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cbd oil for heart failure

CBD Oil and Heart Failure

Could CBD oil ease your heart failure symptoms or help you manage your condition? This herbal supplement is sold over the counter and may be marketed with various health claims, but heart experts aren’t so sure it’s worthwhile or even safe if you have heart failure.

“Heart failure patients should know that while CBD has been touted as a wonder compound and seems to be in almost everything these days, it has never been shown to have any significant cardiovascular benefits in human studies,” says Scott Lundgren, DO, a transplant cardiologist at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil contains cannabidiol, an herbal liquid supplement made from the cannabis plant. It doesn’t have the same effect on the brain as THC, another compound found in cannabis that gives you a “high” when smoked or eaten, says Larry Allen, MD, associate division head for clinical affairs in cardiology at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

“There are no known cardiovascular benefits for cannabis or cannabidiol, and there may even be some adverse effects, so people should not take these products and think that it will have positive effects on their cardiovascular health,” says Allen, who’s also co-author of the American Heart Association’s statement on all cannabis products.


In 2018, the FDA approved the first oral, purified CBD drug, Epidiolex, to treat seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy. Two synthetic versions of cannabidiol were later approved: dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) for treatment of nausea during cancer chemotherapy and nabilone (Cesamet) to treat weight loss associated with AIDS.

Some of CBD’s proven benefits in other health conditions may be intriguing to people living with heart failure, Allen says.

“Does it stimulate your appetite? Yes. Do people gain weight if they take it? Possibly true. Patients with severe heart failure do have cachexia,” or severe weight loss and muscle wasting, he says. “One could argue that people with nausea, lack of appetite, or who are losing weight could think CBD would help them. People with heart failure have a fair amount of discomfort, including edema [swelling] and somatic or pain-related issues, so you could think CBD has a role.”

But there isn’t really any evidence to prove that it will relieve heart failure symptoms or be safe to use if you have heart failure, he adds.

What We Know About CBD

Some research suggests that CBD oil may improve some heart-related symptoms:

  • A very small study conducted in 2017 in England found that CBD improved resting blood pressure and blood pressure spikes related to stress in people without heart conditions.
  • Various studies in animals have shown that CBD could improve vasorelaxation, or opening of arteries for better blood flow, as well as reduce inflammation. A small clinical trial from Mexico studying CBD in people with heart failure hasn’t reported any results yet.
  • A large study of more than 161,000 people hospitalized for heart failure who had used marijuana found that they had, on average, a lower risk of death and shorter hospital stays. But this doesn’t necessarily mean CBD oil would have the same benefit.

It’s illegal in the U.S. to market CBD by adding it to any food or calling it a dietary supplement. Also, although the FDA has approved a few CBD drugs to treat certain diseases, don’t expect CBD sold over the counter to be safe or beneficial for heart failure, Lundgren says.


“CBD oil may not have the same properties, and it can actually cause gastrointestinal distress like diarrhea or cause decreased appetite. CBD products can include unknown ingredients and may not be accurately labeled,” he says.

When you use CBD oil, your liver breaks it down. During this process, it could interfere with your medications for heart failure or other heart conditions. “CBD has known interactions with warfarin, certain statins, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and nitrates. Just because a supplement is вЂ˜natural’ doesn’t mean that it is safe,” Lundgren says.

CBD May Have Health Risks

CBD oil must be studied in randomized clinical trials on people, not animals, before it can be considered safe or effective for heart failure, Lundgren says. Until that happens, he advises against buying or using CBD. “There is some evidence that CBD can cause liver injury as well as lead to male infertility issues. When consumed with alcohol, individuals may experience increased drowsiness, which can lead to household injuries.”


If you have heart failure, you might feel like you’re taking control of your own care by trying herbal treatments that don’t require a prescription. To be safe, talk to your cardiologist first: Ask questions about CBD oil and make decisions together about using this or any other supplement, Allen says.

“CBD products cost money and can distract you from taking prescribed treatments for heart failure that are evidence-based. They could do indirect harm to people with heart failure. . We already have a half-dozen treatments for heart failure symptoms and to help you live longer.”


Larry Allen, MD, MHS, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Scott Lundgren, DO, Nebraska Medicine.

FDA: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy,” “FDA and Cannabis: Research and Drug Approval Process.”

JCI Insight: “A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study.”

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: “Therapeutic Applications of Cannabinoids in Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure.”

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” “Cannabidiol in Patients With Heart Failure in AHA/ACC Stages A-C (CAPITAL-AC).” NCT03634189.

Journal of Cardiac Failure: “Marijuana Use is Associated with Better Hospital Outcome in Patients with Acute Heart Failure: A Propensity Match Analysis from National Inpatient Database.”

CBD oil is made from cannabis plants but won’t make you high. Still, this natural supplement could interact with some heart medicines. Find out what you need to know before you try CBD oil for heart failure.

CBD for Heart Disease: Can It Help? — What the Research Says

Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world.

CBD supplements have been shown to slow heart disease progression & improve quality of life.

Learn how it works & how to use it safely.

Article By

According to The World Health Organization, heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Nearly 18 million people die each year from the condition.

Around 90% of heart attacks are preventable, according to a 2008 study [5].

CBD supplements have been suggested to potentially offer broad protective effects against developing heart diseases.

Here, we’ll go over what heart disease is, how CBD can be used to support it, and what else you can do to reduce your chances of falling victim to the leading cause of death around the world.

Let’s get started.


Updated on January 17, 2021

Table of Contents
  • Best CBD Oils For Heart Health
  • What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil For Heart Disease?
  • How to Use CBD Oil for Heart Disease
    • What Form of CBD Should I Use?
    • Tips for Optimizing CBD Supplementation
  • What’s the Dose of CBD?
    • General Dosage Guidelines for Cardiovascular Conditions
    • CBD Dosage Calculator
  • Heart Disease 101
    • 1. Angina (Coronary Artery Disease)
    • 2. Atrial Fibrillation
    • 3. Cardiomyopathy
    • 4. Congenital Heart Disease
    • 5. Congestive Heart Failure
    • 6. Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
  • What’s The Cause of Heart Disease?
  • Conventional Treatment Options For Heart Disease?
  • Final Verdict: CBD for Heart Disease
  • References Cited in This Article
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    Best CBD Oils For Heart Health

    • Royal CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil For Cardiovascular Health
    • Gold Bee CBD Oil— Best Organic CBD Oil
    • Endoca CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil in Europe

    What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil For Heart Disease?

    There are many different forms of heart disease — some are serious and life-threatening; others are more benign.

    CBD may be a useful supplement for alleviating common side-effects of heart disease, and in some cases, can help mitigate the underlying causes of the condition.

    CBD could be especially beneficial to people suffering from atrial fibrillation (or other arrhythmias) associated with anxiety and inflammatory causes, including atherosclerosis. Future studies should be done to directly investigate the relationship between taking CBD and cardiac health outcomes in humans.

    Most patients with heart disease use CBD to alleviate comorbidities such as anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, and depression.

    Potential Benefits of CBD for Heart Disease:

    1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels [1]
    2. Promotes weight loss[1]
    3. Decreasesinflammation [3]
    4. Lowers blood pressure in the face of acute stress [2]
    5. Protects the arteries from oxidative stress [4]

    How to Use CBD Oil for Heart Disease

    Heart disease is a serious condition that requires the oversight of an experienced medical professional.

    Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements — including CBD.

    It is important to know that CBD will not stop chest pain or a heart attack in progress. If you have symptoms like squeezing or crushing chest/arm/jaw pain, nausea, with excess sweating – you should call emergency medical services or go to your nearest emergency room right away.

    After calling for help in such a situation, chewing one adult-dose aspirin (325 mg), or up to 4 baby aspirins (81 mg each x 4 = 324 mg) at once, with water has been shown to reduce mortality in heart attack patients.

    Be sure not to just swallow without chewing, and avoid enteric-coated aspirin — the idea is to ingest aspirin as fast as possible after calling for help.

    Do not take aspirin if you are allergic to it, and do not give it to a child unless directed by a physician. Even if you take aspirin daily, you should take another one at the onset of heart attack symptoms.

    Don’t start or stop taking aspirin daily unless your doctor has told you so.

    It’s also important to note that CBD may interact with medications, including sensitive heart medications such as cardiac glycosides and blood thinners. While CBD has been proven safe in both animal and human trials, it may be necessary to decrease your dose of CBD if you are on one of these common heart medications.

    To get the most out of your CBD supplementation, look for companies that use certified organic hemp and avoid those that don’t list their third-party lab results publicly on their website. Any contaminants in low-quality oils could make underlying causes for heart disease even worse, so it’s critical to ensure you only use high-quality products.

    We also recommend using full-spectrum oils over CBD isolates because they contain other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that offer their own set of benefits toward inflammation, blood sugar regulation, and anxiety — all of which are critically important in the underlying causes and sustaining factors of heart disease.

    What Form of CBD Should I Use?

    Choosing what type of CBD to use out of all the options can seem intimidating at first — there’s capsules, oils, tinctures, suppositories, edibles, gummies, vape oils, coffee, and numerous other forms depending on the company.

    The truth is that most of these will work just fine. In all forms except topical CBD, the result is the absorption of CBD into the bloodstream.

    With that said, CBD oils, tinctures, and capsules offer distinct advantages over the other options when it comes to heart disease.

    The benefit of CBD oils and tinctures is that the dose can be individually measured more easily than most other forms. Once you’ve determined the amount of CBD contained in each milliliter or drop of fluid, it’s easy to tweak the dose according to how it affects you individually.

    CBD capsules are also an excellent option and are considered by many to be the most convenient form of dosing CBD.

    Tips for Optimizing CBD Supplementation

    1. Use a full-spectrum extract
    2. Use CBD over the long term for the best results
    3. Make dietary and lifestyle changes
    4. Discuss CBD use with your doctor to avoid drug interactions
    5. Use oral CBD only
    6. Avoid cigarette smoking and other tobacco product use at all costs

    What’s the Dose of CBD?

    The required dose of CBD can vary from one person to the next. This is because the compound affects everyone differently depending on the health of the liver, your prescriptions, digestive tract, and genetic variability in the endocannabinoid function throughout the body.

    For this reason, most people need to do some trial and error when trying CBD for the first time.

    The best way to do this is to start with the lowest dose on our chart below according to your weight and build up gradually each day by adding 2 mg or 3 mg of CBD. Once you find relief from your symptoms, you’ve found the correct dose for you.

    It’s important to note that some people end up at a dose far higher than those listed on the chart below. In general, the maximum dose of CBD should be around 100 mg, but this can vary from person to person, and CBD is considered highly safe even at large doses.

    General Dosage Guidelines for Cardiovascular Conditions
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    • Mild anxiety
    • High cholesterol
    • Anxiety
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Inflammatory conditions
    • High cholesterol
    • Atherosclerosis
    • High blood pressure
    • Anxiety
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Inflammatory conditions
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    Heart Disease 101

    The term “heart disease” is often used synonymously with cardiovascular disease — an umbrella term for all medical conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels around the body. Others prefer to use the term to describe the medical conditions only affecting the heart, or even just the singular diagnosis of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) [6].

    In this article, we’re going to use this secondary meaning — referring to problems with the heart muscle itself rather than the rest of the cardiovascular system.

    The heart’s job is to pump blood throughout the body rhythmically and efficiently. The movement of blood delivers necessary nutrients to cells and eliminates toxic byproducts at the same time.

    If there are any issues with the function of the heart, it can affect the function of every other organ in the body. If the heart stops, even for just a few minutes, we can sustain permanent, debilitating damage to our body’s tissues, especially the brain and heart itself.

    1. Angina (Coronary Artery Disease)

    Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). The condition involves a blockage in one or more of the arteries feeding the heart. As the artery becomes more and more blocked, or the heart demands more blood flow than can pass through the occluded area, it causes symptoms resembling a heart attack including chest, left arm, or jaw discomfort/pain and nausea.

    It causes pain and tightness in the chest — usually lasting a few minutes before clearing up on its own. However, there may not be any symptoms until the artery is at least 70% occluded, making primary prevention very important.

    This condition is a sign of serious heart disease and dramatically increases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Consulting with a cardiologist is essential to maximize survival.

    2. Atrial Fibrillation

    Atrial fibrillation involves an irregular heartbeat — often referred to commonly as heart palpitations. It can feel as though your heart missed a beat or is fitting extra beats in.

    Atrial fibrillations are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the heart.

    Although most forms atrial fibrillation isn’t directly life-threatening, it can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack later in life. Roughly 33% of strokes in people over the age of 60 are a result of atrial fibrillation, according to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

    This condition can be caused by damage to heart tissue after a heart attack, menopause, old-age, anxiety, or congenital defects.

    3. Cardiomyopathy

    Cardiomyopathy is a condition affecting the function of the heart muscle — negatively impacting its ability to contract and force blood through the system. There are a few different types of cardiomyopathies depending on the cause — but all of them will result in a reduction in the heart’s ability to oxygenate the body.

    4. Congenital Heart Disease

    The word congenital refers to conditions that are present at birth. This condition is caused by problems during fetal development.

    It can result in varying levels of dysfunction throughout life depending on the severity of the defect, which may require surgical treatment.

    5. Congestive Heart Failure

    Heart failure develops after the heart has been injured either after a heart attack or years of pumping against stiff arteries under high blood pressure. It’s a condition that involves an inability to pump the blood around the body effectively. Side-effects will vary depending on which side of the heart is affected.

    If the right side of the heart is damaged, blood will begin to pool in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema, coughing, and shortness of breath.

    If the left side of the heart is affected, blood will begin to pool in the rest of the body, primarily the arms and legs.

    6. Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

    A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood feeding the heart becomes blocked by a dislodged atherosclerotic plaque. The heart muscle is extremely powerful and demands a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to beat properly. If the flow of oxygen and nutrients is cut off, even for just a few minutes, it can cause the specialized heart cells to die off.

    If blood flow isn’t restored within one to two hours, the condition can be fatal. It can even be fatal in the weeks following the attack, depending on the extent of the heart tissue damage.

    Even in cases where blood flow was restored, too much damage can leave those affected with permanent damage and reduced quality of life.

    Heart attacks often lead to congestive heart failure and arrythmias.

    What’s The Cause of Heart Disease?

    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Bacterial infections
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Diet high in sodium
    • Diet high in refined carbohydrates
    • Diet high in trans-fats
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Recreational drug use
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Side-effects of certain medications
    • Smoking
    • Stress
    • Viral infections

    Conventional Treatment Options For Heart Disease?

    • Dietary changes
    • Lifestyle changes
    • Medications
    • Stress-reduction techniques

    Final Verdict: CBD for Heart Disease

    CBD is promisingly beneficial to many of the underlying causes of heart disease, including diabetes, anxiety, high stress, inflammation, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome according to early research.

    Heart disease often has no cure and often requires complicated specialist management— CBD is generally used purely to reduce the risk of developing the condition, manage comorbidities, and slow the progression of certain types of heart disease.

    Whenever taking CBD for heart disease, it’s essential that you first consult with your doctor to make sure your prescription medications won’t interact negatively with the CBD or other cannabinoids. Negative drug interactions are more common with products containing THC as a primary cannabinoid. If you have active heart disease, avoid smoking tobacco or THC-containing cannabis, as that may also be a rare trigger for heart attacks and other negative cardiovascular outcomes like stroke due to its effect on raising heart rate and increasing demand on a pumping heart [7, 8].

    In conclusion, we recommend having a look through our reviews before settling on a specific product to make sure it is contaminant-free and contains the cannabinoid profile as advertised on the packaging.

    Can CBD help the heart? Studies show CBD may reduce the risk of heart disease. Check out the best CBD oils for cardiovascular health in 2020.