Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure? What the Research Says
With stress in the U.S. on the rise, it’s no wonder more than half of Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
CBD oil has been hailed as a cure-all for a variety of conditions, but what do researchers have to say about CBD oil and blood pressure?
Does CBD oil lower blood pressure, or is it an unfounded claim? Is it possible to skip the burdensome doctors’ visits and expensive trips to the pharmacy?
We wouldn’t go that far. Hypertension is a risk factor in heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Even though it’s common, it’s a serious issue which require medical attention.
However, there are many steps you can take to naturally reduce your blood pressure, one of which may be by using CBD oil for hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. As blood is pumped through your blood vessels, they undergo a degree of force. If you have high blood pressure, this force can damage the walls of your blood vessels, veins and arteries.
When you visit the doctor, you’ll usually hear your blood pressure described by two numbers, like 120/70.
The first number refers to the systolic pressure, the pressure exerted when the heart contracts and pumps blood into the arteries. The second is the diastolic pressure, measured when the heart muscle relaxes between beats. In cardiology, a systolic pressure of 140, and/or a diastolic pressure of 90, is considered the boundary between normal and high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm and heart failure. The condition is exacerbated by type 2 diabetes, stress, anxiety, inflammation, high cholesterol levels, insomnia, a diet high in salt, and alcohol and tobacco use.
Lowering High Blood Pressure: CBD and Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be naturally lowered by reducing stress, salt intake, and consumption of alcohol and tobacco. You can also lower your blood pressure by exercising regularly and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Your doctor may prescribe medications that can lower blood pressure. Many of these medications, such as calcium channel blockers and ACE-inhibitors, cause side effects like headaches, dizziness, constipation and swollen ankles. That has naturally sparked interest in non-prescription treatments for high blood pressure.
New evidence links CBD to a decrease in blood pressure. For many people, CBD oil has fewer side effects than prescription medications, too.
We spoke with Rebecca Park, registered nurse and founder of RemediesForMe.com, who told us that CBD oil tinctures made using hemp have very few side effects and are generally well tolerated.
If you are already on high blood pressure medications, however, consult your physician before using CBD oil as there may be interactions.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, which is a cannabinoid found in the two forms of cannabis, marijuana and hemp plants.
Commercially-available CBD oil is cannabidiol extracted from the hemp plant, often mixed with coconut or hemp oil. Unlike its marijuana-derived counterpart, this CBD oil does not contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so cannabidiol does not get you high. Instead, most users report that it makes them feel relaxed and calm, among the other generally positive effects of CBD.
According to federal law, hemp-derived CBD oil is classified as having less than 0.3% THC, making it legal to purchase and use. And since hemp has minuscule amounts of THC content, CBD oil from this type of cannabis plant does not cause any of THC’s intoxicating side effects. Marijuana-derived CBD oil, whether it’s derived from sativa or indica-dominant plants, contains more than 0.3% THC as its primary active ingredient, and may make you high. It is only legal in states with recreational or medical marijuana legalization.
Though it comes in a wide variety of forms such as capsules, vape juice, powders, topical patches and lotions, and edibles like gummies, cannabidiol is most popularly consumed as a sublingual oil. You simply place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue and let it sit for 30 to 90 seconds.
Pharmacology research has shown a wide range of potential benefits for cannabidiol. CBD oil is commonly used to treat or supplement treatment of medical conditions like chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Park added that CBD oil is also commonly used by people suffering from a wide range of mental disorders.
“CBD can be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, anxiety related insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” she said.
Additionally, emerging evidence shows that CBD may use the same mechanism to treat high blood pressure as it does to reduce anxiety.
How CBD Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System and Body
The endocannabinoid system is a biological system in your body that allows cannabinoids to send and receive messages that control most of the body’s important functions. In fact, your body naturally produces cannabinoids every day.
This system has two main endocannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2. THC binds directly to the CB1 receptors, affecting areas of the brain that influence memory, motor coordination and time perception, and to the CB2 receptors which affect the pain centers in your brain and manage inflammation in the body. The interaction between THC and the endocannabinoid system is what causes the psychoactive side effects that marijuana is best known for.
On the other hand, cannabidiol does not directly bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, it causes a number of indirect actions leading to therapeutic benefits, such as activating TRPV1 receptors that regulate pain, body temperature, and inflammation.
Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?
While Park told us that high blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors, CBD oil appears to lower increases in blood pressure caused by stress and anxiety.
She explained that when emotional or physical stress is high, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can raise blood pressure.
“CBD lowers blood pressure by reducing cortisol levels and dilating blood vessels, allowing more blood flow and leading to lower blood pressure,” Park said.
Park pointed to a study of 11 participants that showed CBD oil may lower the levels of cortisol produced in the body. This study showed that volunteers saw a significant reduction in cortisol production when given 300 mg and 600 mg of CBD compared to the placebo control.
In a famous 2017 randomized crossover study led by British doctor Khalid Jadoon and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), a single dose of 600 mg of CBD oil or a placebo was administered to nine healthy volunteers. The resulting data showed that acute administration of CBD reduced resting blood pressure compared to placebo dosing.
The patients were then given a series of stress tests to increase heart rate. Those who were given 600 mg of CBD had lower stress-induced blood pressure spikes than the control group.
It’s amazing, but it’s true. A single dose of cannabidiol lowered the blood pressure of patients, whether they were resting or under stress.
The sample size of these studies was small and further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, but the results are promising.
How CBD Can Help With Hypertension
As Park explained, high blood pressure can be caused by many factors. Fortunately, there are several health benefits of CBD that could indirectly help with hypertension.
Anxiety can lead to rapid heart rate and palpitations, leaving you at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
CBD oil has been shown to reduce anxiety in animal studies by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA). This study demonstrated that symptoms that accompany anxiety, like high blood pressure and rapid heart rate, were improved by use of CBD.
Inflammation doesn’t only occur in your joints. In fact, research shows that CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the heart and blood vessels in the brain.
Called a “vasorelaxant” by researchers, CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may lower blood pressure by allowing the free flow of blood through your heart, arteries and veins.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acute pain can lead to high blood pressure. Because CBD acts on the pain receptors in the brain, the pain-relieving properties of CBD could lead to decreased blood pressure.
CBD Improves Sleep
As CBD reduces stress, you may see an increase in your quality of sleep and general wellness.
Sarah Polansky, owner and developer of the CBD brand Prismatic Plants, told Public Goods that “The more you take CBD and help to regulate your adrenals, the less likely you’ll feel fatigued as your body returns to a state of balance rather than constant stress.”
She added, “This means your need for caffeine consumption could decrease and your quality of sleep could improve, which has a waterfall benefit for increasing overall health.”
Choosing CBD Oil for High Blood Pressure
No prescription or documentation is needed for CBD oil. The only exceptions are the marijuana-derived CBD oil sold in dispensaries (in medical marijuana states, you’ll need a patient card to buy it) and a medication called Epidiolex, a CBD medication only available by prescription to patients suffering from some forms of childhood epilepsy.
All of the forms of CBD that you can buy over the counter are not generic products. Their effectiveness depends largely on the quality of the manufacturer producing it, and the type of CBD that’s used.
Many of the cannabidiol products you’ll see in CBD stores or online are of lower quality, since – as with any product – it’s more expensive to produce high-end merchandise and it sells for a higher price, often with lower profit margins for the vendors.
High-quality CBD oil, capsules, topicals, juice for vaping, or edibles will always produce a better result, so it’s best to do a little research to find reputable vendors who create effective products. Look for oil sourced from Colorado or West Coast organic hemp, extracted with high-end methods (like supercritical CO2 extraction), and containing only a small number of natural or organic ingredients required for flavoring or distributing the cannabidiol (the latter is done via MCT coconut carrier oil in high-quality CBD).
Some cannabidiol delivery methods work more slowly than others.
Capsules and edibles, for example, must make their way through the digestion process before the CBD can be released into the blood stream and carried throughout the body. Vaping or administration under the tongue make the cannabidiol available almost immediately, since it’s absorbed quickly by the sublingual glands or tissues in the lungs. And topical CBD usually doesn’t even make it into the bloodstream, since it’s blocked by the epidermis.
When shopping for CBD oil, you’ll find there are three different types to choose from.
- Full-spectrum CBD is the most effective. It contains all of hemp’s natural terpenes and flavonoids, as well as all of the cannabinoids in the plant – including the small amount of THC we’ve mentioned. They all work together in the so-called “entourage effect” that boosts CBD’s performance.
- Broad-spectrum CBD provides a slightly lower entourage effect, because the THC content has been removed from the cannabidiol before it’s processed and sold.
- CBD isolate goes a step further. All of the components of hemp except cannabidiol are removed, leaving only pure CBD in the final products.
Some people believe that pure cannabidiol does the most good, but in reality, there’s only one reason to avoid CBD that contains THC: it eliminates any chance of turning up dirty on a drug test for marijuana. In reality, very few full-spectrum CBD users ever test positive, but some people’s minds are set at ease by knowing there’s no THC in their body.
What’s The Best CBD Dosage for High Blood Pressure?
Because the FDA has not approved over-the-counter CBD products, there is no official recommendation for a dose of CBD. The right dose depends on your weight, genetics, sex and medical history. More studies need to be conducted with human subjects to get an accurate dosage.
Many CBD oils come in dropperful (1 ml) doses of 10 mg/ml. Cannabidiol affects different people, particularly based on the weight, metabolism and body type. However, Park said the effective therapeutic dose is usually in the range of 20 mg to 300 mg, or 2 to 30 dropperfuls.
In a 2018 study, researchers found that a dose of 300 mg was most effective for reducing anxiety in a simulated public speaking trial. Participants who took 150 mg or 600 mg did not receive the same benefit.
Meanwhile, in the previously-mentioned study of nine healthy volunteers, blood pressure was effectively lowered with a single dose of 600 mg.
The best way to determine how effective a dose of CBD will be for you is to start small and frequently check your blood pressure using an electronic cuff. Write down the dose you took and the time you took it, as well as your blood pressure reading. Over time, you should be able to obtain a clearer picture of what dose will help you achieve low blood pressure.
Park noted that, “If CBD works for you, without the use of other medications, I would say it is a great and safe alternative.” CBD may not be a replacement for exercise and a healthy diet, but it is nice to know you might be able to lower your blood pressure with a few drops of oil under the tongue.
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CBD oil seems to be a cure-all for many ailments, but does it lower high blood pressure? Here’s what research says about CBD and hypertension.
What are the top CBD oils?
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CBD oil is an oil that contains cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic compound that derives from the cannabis plant. Studies indicate that CBD is beneficial for a variety of ailments, and using oil is one of several ways that people can take advantage of it.
According to an article in JCI Insight , CBD may reduce high blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress. The Epilepsy Foundation indicate that CBD might help treat the seizures associated with certain epilepsy syndromes.
A study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology suggested that CBD oil may reduce pain sensations in rats. A review in Molecules notes how CBD may treat a variety of disorders, including pain and inflammation. These properties make CBD oil a potential remedy for:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- menstrual cramps
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- neuropathic pain
- other types of pain and pain conditions
Keep reading to learn more about some of the best CBD oils on the market. Please note we are unable to specify which oil is best for a particular condition. This is because CBD oils are not standardized and are a newly emerging treatment for these conditions.
However, the oils we list here are all high quality products whose manufacturers provide proof of independent, third-party testing. They should be suitable for use for a variety of conditions.
We advise that individuals do their own research before purchasing any CBD product to ensure they select a quality oil that meets their needs.
Share on Pinterest A person may use CBD oil to reduce pain sensations.
CBD oil consists of CBD extract from the cannabis plant and a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. CBD is one of many compounds present in the cannabis plant or industrial hemp plant.
Another well-known cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the ‘high’ or the strong psychoactive properties of marijuana. THC causes the feeling of being “high” following marijuana use.
CBD in non-impairing. This means that it does not cause a high, euphoria, or impairment. However, it contains other properties that have contributed to its rise in popularity as an alternative remedy. These include pain-relieving properties, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic effects.
CBD oils are available as a CBD isolate, which means the only active ingredient they contain is CBD. They are also available in a full-spectrum product or a broad-spectrum product, which means they contain other compounds.
- CBD isolate: CBD isolate is the pure form of CBD.
- Full-spectrum CBD: This CBD contains all the phytochemicals that occur naturally in the cannabis plant, including various other cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils. It also contains some trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high” effect.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: This CBD contains all the phytochemicals in the cannabis plant with little or no THC. Some broad-spectrum CBD may contain trace quantities of THC.
Please note that the CBD industry has not defined these terms very clearly and that some companies may use them interchangeably to an extent.
A product made with broad-spectrum CBD, for example, may contain THC and could lead to a person failing a drug test.
In the United States, products must contain less than 0.3% THC to comply with legislation.
CBD oils are also available in various strengths and flavors.
Numerous companies are manufacturing CBD oil products, and people may find it challenging to choosing which one is best. Note, there are two main types of products that would fall in the ‘oils’ category; CBD oil and CBD tinctures. The difference lies in the manufacturing process
CBD oil: A carrier oil is infused with CBD to create the product.
CBD tincture: Manufacturers soak cannabis in alcohol and glycerin to produce this product.
Some of the top CBD oils and tinctures available include:
1. Charlotte’s Web CBD oil
Charlotte’s Web CBD tinctures are a full-spectrum hemp product, containing phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids. The oils are available in a variety of strengths, ranging from 210-1,800 mg per 30ml bottle.
The company say that they designed their CBD oil to help maintain calm, focus, and healthful sleep. They also state that it is effective for recovery from exercise-induced inflammation.
These CBD oils come in four flavors: mint chocolate, olive oil, orange blossom, and lemon twist.
2. Spruce CBD oil
Spruce CBD oil is available in two strengths: 750 mg and 2,400 mg in a 30ml bottle. People should start with the lower strength oil, as a person will not know how their body will react and respond to CBD until they have tried it.
The lower strength oil includes peppermint flavoring, while the high-dose bottle contains no additional flavorings, which makes it taste bitter. The company that manufactures Spruce CBD oil claim that they would be unable to achieve such a high dose if they added flavoring. However, other companies do offer higher strength CBD oils with added flavors.
Both oils are free from preservatives, sweeteners, and gluten. They are also organic and suitable for vegans.
You can purchase Spruce CBD oil online here. Use code “MNT” for 15% off and free shipping.
3. Receptra Naturals CBD tincture
Receptra Naturals CBD tincture comes in 30 ml bottles, containing 750mg of CBD. They have turmeric, chamomile, and lavender products.
They use both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, depending on which tincture a person chooses. Products have a sunflower oil base, and are available in various flavors, including ginger lime and fresh berry.
4. Sisters of the Valley CBD infused oil
Sisters of the valley produce their CBD oil using a coconut oil base. It comes in a 15 ml bottle and contains 125–225 mg of CBD per bottle, depending on which product a person chooses.
It is unflavored but also contains blood orange extract. The manufacturers state that they developed this oil for pain relief and general body health. They use hemp-based plants, so their products are virtually free of THC. Lab results show less than 0.5% THC content.
However, other tests are not comprehensive and do not account for molds or heavy metals.
5. Eureka effects tincture
Eureka effects CBD tincture comes in a 30ml bottle containing 500 mg of CBD.
The product is unflavored, and the manufacturers use broad-spectrum CBD, so the product contains terpenes and traces of THC.
The company recommend that people take 1 or 2 drops daily and state that each dropper contains around 15mg of CBD.
The company tests for potency but do not date their test results.
6. CBDPure CBD oil
This full-spectrum oil by CBDPure comes from organically grown hemp and features a natural hemp flavor. There are three different options: 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1,000 mg in a 60ml bottle.
The company recommend the 300 mg option for those who are new to CBD and the 600 mg strength for people who want to get more from their oil.
Their most potent oil, the 1,000 mg oil, is ideal for people who need a very high dose for relief from severe symptoms.
Anyone considering using CBD oil for the first time should discuss options with a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
Taking CBD oil is a relatively straightforward process. Individuals should always follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions. In general, this will involve the following:
- Shake the bottle before use.
- Use the dropper to place a specific number of drops under the tongue. Do not let the dropper touch the mouth, as this may cause contamination of the oil.
- Hold the oil under the tongue 60–120 seconds before swallowing.
It is also possible to mix CBD oil into food or drinks, including yogurts and juices. This may affect the potency, however.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people taking CBD oil for arthritis pain should notice the effects within 15–45 minutes. Long-term results may become apparent within a few weeks to a few months.
Always begin with a small dose of CBD oil, before increasing the dose and frequency over time. People can take CBD at any time of the day. For better sleep, it is best to take it before bed.
In general, CBD oil is a relatively low-risk product. Common side effects, which may be dose-dependent, include :
- appetite changes
- weight gain or weight loss
Other side effects may include insomnia and irritability.
CBD can also cause drowsiness, so driving and operating heavy machinery is not advisable.
CBD can also interact with some medications and dietary supplements, making them less effective.
People should avoid CBD if their medications or supplements carry a warning about grapefruit. Examples of such medications include cholesterol drugs, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and others.
It is always advisable that people speak with their doctor before using CBD or other marijuana products, especially if they are taking any medications or supplements to ensure there are no contraindications.
A study on mice suggests that CBD may increase the risk of liver toxicity if taken in significant quantities.
The U. S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) do not currently regulate CBD products. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose products that are third-party tested. This means that an independent laboratory has verified the product’s purity and potency.
There are several CBD-containing alternatives to CBD oil, including:
- gummies, candies, and other edibles
- topical lotions and balms
- skin patches (transdermal patches)
- vaping oils
Hemp seed oil
Although both hemp seed oil and CBD oil come from the hemp plant (specifically the leaves and flowers), hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any CBD. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the plant, while CBD oil comes from its flowers, stems, and leaves.
People often take hemp seed oil orally as a supplement, because it is rich in omega fatty acids. Some people also apply it topically for skin health. However, it does not have the same pain-relieving properties that CBD appears to have.
There is a range of CBD oils on the market.
High-quality CBD oil may benefit people with certain conditions, including high blood pressure, seizures, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, multiple sclerosis, and more.
As the FDA do not approve over-the-counter CBD, people must carry out their own research to find the product that best suits their personal needs.
Studies indicate that CBD is useful for a variety of ailments, and oil is one of several ways people can consume it. Read more about the best CBD oils.