Did you know that millions upon millions of Americans experience abnormally low or high blood pressure? Well, now you do, with in fact, high blood pressure being considered the more common of the two. Why? Because blood pressure has such a critical role in our overall health, I’s important that we do what we can to manage it, through a healthy diet, stress reduction methods, and the use of supplements or medications if necessary.
Over the years, studies have been showing that cannabidiol (CBD) offers a distinctive effect on blood pressure as well. This natural, nontoxic and nonintoxicating hemp derivative seems to have the potential to address certain blood pressure-related issues, but how? And, based on what we know from scientific studies, how can we use CBD effectively to possibly address certain blood pressure disorders?
What Exactly is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure that pushes against the walls of the arteries, as a function of our body’s cardiovascular system. With every heartbeat, our heart is sending blood through the body to the tissues and organs. It’s measured in units of millimeters of mercury, according to our systolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart beats) over diastolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart relaxes), which can be determined through a cuff inflated with air that’s wrapped around an artery.
Blood pressure levels can vary quite a bit throughout the day. For instance, our blood pressure is typically lower before we eat, and higher after. During moments of heightened physical activity, it can increase, and decrease during moments of rest. Our blood pressure also gets higher when we’re feeling stressed. This is normal, and if your blood pressure fluctuates somewhat during the day, that doesn’t mean that something is wrong.
However, chronically high or low blood pressure can be a problem, since it indicates a deeper issue within the body. For instance, hypertension, or chronically high blood pressure, can lead to health complications like cardiovascular disease, and can be caused by chronic stress, poor diet or being overweight. Chronically low blood pressure, or hypotension, can prevent the body from getting nutrients and oxygen. Low blood pressure can occur if a person has lost a lot of blood, if they’re standing for a long time, if they haven’t eaten or if they’re exposed to extreme heat which affects their nervous system. Also, to an extent, both hypertension and hypotension can be inherited genetically.
Blood pressure problems can, like we mentioned, lead to a host of issues, which is why it is crucial to treat them carefully. Doctors always check blood pressure when you have a medical appointment, and they will tell you if your blood pressure is abnormal. You can also purchase blood pressure monitors that can be used throughout the day as needed, to monitor it yourself. If you have abnormal blood pressure, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes or medications to address the issue, depending on the severity.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Hypertension is regarded as “the silent killer” for a reason – often, it goes asymptomatic for a long time, and only starts to become problematic when it’s too late. High blood pressure is deadly, and because it can be asymptomatic for so long, it’s all the more important that you see your doctor regularly so that they can check your blood pressure and determine whether or not it’s abnormally high.
Still, people can experience symptoms of high blood pressure, with the most common ones being:
·Shortness of breath
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure tends to be more symptomatic than high blood pressure, and a person experiencing hypotension may feel:
·Pins and needles/numbness in the extremities
·Sudden cold sweats
What Does CBD Have to Do with Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is a cardiovascular function of the body that’s always at work, whether we’re awake or asleep. And, as a natural process of the body, it’s influenced by the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system of the body that consists of cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors) found in every bodily system, including the endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoid receptors regulate individual bodily processes to keep us in homeostasis, after a chemical reaction takes place in which cannabinoid attach to these receptors. Blood pressure is a process that uses cannabinoid receptors to become regulated. As CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant, it has an influence on blood pressure that is shown in a number of studies.
CBD for Blood Pressure: What Can It Accomplish Overall?
Let’s take a look at what the research has to say when it comes to cannabidiol’s impact on blood pressure. The general consensus, as you’ll see momentarily, is that cannabidiol has a lowering effect on blood pressure, as there really isn’t any information out there on what it can do for hypotension.
One of the most fascinating studies to come out on CBD’s relationship with blood pressure shows us the extent to which the cannabinoid is effective. A group of healthy men were given high doses of CBD daily for several days, and another group was not. The men who were given CBD experienced overall reduced blood pressure for a week of daily use, and after that, their body built up a tolerance to the effect so that they maintained normal blood pressure with each daily dosage. However, at moments of stress, when blood pressure typically increases, their blood pressure stayed within a healthy range. What this shows us is that CBD may generally decrease blood pressure as our body gets used to it, but after we take it on a daily basis, it only brings down blood pressure at times when it would typically become abnormally high.
Research has also shown that essentially, cannabidiol has a positive regulatory effect on cardiovascular and circulatory functions, as the cannabinoid does interact directly with cannabinoid receptors that regulate these systems of the body.
Should You Try CBD For Blood Pressure?
Basically, cannabidiol does have a clear effect on blood pressure – particularly by lowering blood pressure, which can be useful for those who struggle with hypertension. Due to CBD being nontoxic and nonintoxicating, it may act as a sound method to keep blood pressure at more manageable levels from day-to-day.