Will Taking CBD Bestow Any Cardiovascular Benefits?
By Keith Alban
As we fully immerse into this CBD boom happening all around the country, new benefits are springing forth from the research being conducted around the world. In the last two years alone, over 10 million dollars have been granted by certain health organizations to study CBD in greater depth. Despite the tenuous legal status of marijuana in the past, research has still been conducted on different cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. Now that CBD is able to be extracted from legalized hemp, the research is evolving at a rapid pace. This is certainly an amazing time for the growing science of hemp and different cannabinoids.
As many people know, cardiovascular disease still ranks as one of the most widespread causes of death. Many would argue that some forms of cardiovascular disease are preventable, although others have genetic inclinations. It's important to know even if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, it's still possible to influence those odds and statistics with certain interventions. Poor genetics can be influenced quite profoundly according to a plethora of research with diet changes, supplements, lifestyle, different types of natural therapies, and more.
The number of causes and contributing factors to cardiovascular disease forming are numerous. It is often a combination of multiple issues that aren't being resolved and aren't being properly identified. Despite the incredible minds and diagnostic equipment in the medical establishment, important causes of disease are routinely overlooked or dismissed as unimportant. More time and research is needed to really delve into the cardiovascular benefits that CBD may impart, but preliminary studies have shown positive signs. The vascular system is a vast network that controls so many important functions in the body, including heart health. Once this system is compromised, the heart will be as well.
Causes of Cardiovascular Disease
High Blood Pressure
Scar tissue formation (causes tissue necrosis and cell death, which decreases circulation and oxygenation of the heart muscle)
Endothelial dysfunction (the lining of veins, arteries, capillaries)
Electrolyte imbalances and disturbances
Infections like viruses, parasites, candida, pathogens can worsen heart functioning
High Galectin 3 and fibrinogen (great markers to test for, much more impactful than cholesterol)
Many people with CD have a combination of several of these causes and never even know it. Knowing the causes is crucial in succeeding with the treatment plan. While it's impossible to know every cause of disease, knowing the pathology can play a pivotal role in the course of action that's implemented. It's important to utilize the power of natural medicine no matter what course of action you pursue. Many of the causes of the disease require nutrients that come from nature and cannot be fully resolved without addressing. Fighting cardiovascular disease is an uphill battle that requires a comprehensive approach.
Benefits of CBD For the Cardiovascular System
Studies are still in the beginning stages when it comes to CBD and the cardiovascular system, but there is definite intrigue on its potential. While it won't cure cardiovascular disease, CBD may help to protect the body in certain crucial ways. A high quality, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at the University of Nottingham used a relatively high dose of CBD on participants with high blood pressure to see if there were any cardiovascular benefits. The subjects that used CBD for only a week showed improvements in vascular function in several ways. Arterial stiffness was decreased, an improvement in endothelial function was seen (endothelial tissue lines veins, arteries, capillaries), and an increase in circulation to the carotid artery was evident. (1)
Another study with CBD showed a moderate, but significant improvement in hypertension. This study showed that CBD may help decrease blood pressure by 5 mmHg in response to stress, and 6 mmHg in a resting state. This specific result wasn't always consistent with every study and may not yield this decrease in everyone. CBD alone cannot overcome hypertension, but it may help to nudge it in the right direction and act as a positive addition to any nutritional program. Nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D3, methylated B complex, maitake mushroom extracts, hawthorn, hibiscus, grape seed extract, and ecklonia cava may help to improve blood pressure readings as well.
Impressive Protective Benefits of CBD
Some of the most impressive research with CBD is centered around its protective benefits for the body under duress. While it may not prevent a stroke or heart attack, studies have shown that it may help to improve outcomes from those types of tragic incidents. In animal models, CBD showed the ability to regulate heart rhythm and reduce the number of ischemia-induced arrhythmias. (2) When arrhythmias begin to increase, it may be a sign that the electrical conductivity of the heart is off. This may signal deterioration and may require immediate attention.
Cannabidiol may also be able to protect neurons from cell death and reduce the size of infarction following a stroke. (3) CBD may also help to fight the progression of fibrotic scarring, although more testing is needed to validate this in humans. Fibrotic scarring is often overlooked as one of the causes of cardiovascular disease. Any nutrient that can fight fibrosis and cell death has great value in any medicinal protocol. This may occur from the number of receptors in the body that it influences, which initiates a cascade of biological actions that give multiple benefits. Not many nutrients in nature can activate the number of receptors that cannabidiol is able to.
CBD is able to influence the endocannabinoid system, which impacts a variety of different systems in the body. Researchers have found cannabinoid receptors all throughout the body, including the heart and blood vessels. CBD may help to regulate inflammation in the heart and blood vessels. Hundreds of pieces are research have proven the immense role inflammation plays in many diseases, cardiovascular included. CBD may help to promote a vasorelaxant effect in the arteries, especially in response to stress. This relaxing effect in the arteries and veins may help to improve overall cardiovascular health and protect against some of the damaging effects of stress.
In vivo studies have shown that CBD treatment may also protect against cardiomyopathy that's caused by diabetes. (2) Cannabidiol has also been studied on the effects it may have on ischemic incidents because of its ability to influence different receptors. Adenosine receptors have been a target of pharmaceutical drugs because of the promise they show with ischemic conditions. CBD may naturally affect adenosine receptors, although to what degree hasn't been elucidated as of yet. One particular study was done in rats that had ischemic heart conditions induced by researchers. It was declared that cannabidiol helped to stimulate a protective effect on the heart and warranted further research. CBD may hold promise as a treatment for myocardial ischemia. (4)
CBD's ability to regulate aspects of the cardiovascular system and protect the body under duress is a true testament to its versatility. CBD may be able to adapt to different types of circumstances within the body, although it may take years to know the extent that it may help. Each year that goes on, more studies emerge showing the intriguing benefits of cannabinoids. It's important to utilize other nutrients besides CBD if you're concerned about your heart and cardiovascular health. The number of causes and contributors to cardiovascular disease is vast, so utilizing only a single medication or nutrient as treatment won't likely give you the results you're looking for.