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Metabolic Syndrome & CBD Oil: Addressing Multiple Conditions

Metabolic syndrome covers a range of health conditions that all pose cardiovascular complications, that are all interlinked, and that together pose cardiovascular complications. Metabolic syndrome is shockingly common, and the American Heart Association estimates that 34% of American adults have it.

Fortunately, CBD oil presents significant potential for use in managing the causes and symptoms associated with this condition.

The risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome are obesity (especially central abdominal obesity presenting as increased abdominal circumference), high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol/high LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and elevated triglycerides. The presence of three or more of these conditions is the criteria for a clinical diagnosis. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.

Here’s a look at the benefits and efficacy of using CBD oil as a potential treatment for metabolic syndrome.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome does not have a specific cure. As mentioned above, it is a collection of conditions like high blood pressure and obesity, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

The primary course of action used to treat metabolic syndrome is a lifestyle change. Diet, exercise, and stress relief can go a long way to reversing or managing the underlying conditions that are linked to metabolic syndrome. CBD oil may be able to help with some of these lifestyle changes.

CBD oil has been shown to reduce stress, reduce the pain and inflammation associated with a tough workout (while helping to build fat-burning muscle!), and it may even be able to help regulate appetite and feeding habits.

The medications that are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance can carry some pretty hefty side effects. One of the primary potential benefits of CBD oil is that it may be able to produce some of the same effects of these medications without all of the associated risk.

For a better understanding of the possible benefits of CBD oil for metabolic syndrome, see the medication table below AND speak to your doctor. Because everyone is different, the information below should only be used as a general reference and does not replace a consultation with your physician.

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Common Metabolic Syndrome Medications Medication’s Uses Medication’s Side Effects Potential Benefits of CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) like Diovan Used to dilate blood vessels. Headache; diarrhea; nausea; skin rash; back and joint pain. CBD oil can act as a vasodilator without causing the same side effects.
Metoprolol beta-blockers (Lopressor; Toprol XL) Used to slow heart rate. Vomiting; fatigue; diarrhea; constipation; shortness of breath; depression; anxiety; decreased libido. CBD oil may be able to reduce heart rate.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors like Benazepril and Vasoctec Used to prevent blood vessels from narrowing. Dizziness; headache; diarrhea; dry cough; skin rash. CBD oil can act as a vasodilator without causing the same side effects.
Statins (Lipitor; Crestor; Zocor) Used to lower LDL cholesterol and slightly increase HDL cholesterol. Muscle soreness; increased blood sugar; constipation; nausea; diarrhea; stomach pain and cramping. CBD oil may be able to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol without causing the same side effects.
Metformin Increases sensitivity to insulin while reducing glucose production. Gas; diarrhea; abdominal pain; bloating; weakness; muscle pain; low blood sugar; dizziness; nausea; vomiting. CBD oil can reduce the inflammation in cells that may be linked to insulin resistance.

CBD oil is generally considered safe and has few side effects. However, cannabidiol (CBD) can interact with some medications, so it is best to confirm with your doctor that starting a CBD oil regimen is the safest path forward.

Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome

There are a number of ways that CBD oil may prove to be effective in treating metabolic syndrome. While more research and clinical trials are needed, and are currently being conducted, here’s what we know so far.

CBD Oil for High Blood Pressure

CBD oil has been found to be effective at reducing high blood pressure. By dilating blood vessels, CBD allows more blood to flow through, lowering overall blood pressure.

One study conducted by the University of Nottingham revealed that a single dose of CBD oil significantly lowered blood pressure in the test subjects when they were both at rest and under stress.

A review of studies performed in 2017 examined the use of CBD oil on hemodynamics, or the dynamics of blood flow. While the data from clinical trials on CBD and human hemodynamics is limited, the review concluded that “CBD may be used as a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke.”

Another way that CBD oil can reduce blood pressure is by regulating and controlling stress levels.

CBD Oil for Stress Relief

Stress can significantly increase blood pressure. Fortunately, CBD oil can help provide stress relief.

The stress hormone, cortisol, is released in the body in periods of high stress. These elevated cortisol levels can lead the body to respond in ways that elevate blood pressure. In a study from 1993, CBD was shown to regulate cortisol excretion in the body of healthy human volunteers, effectively lowering their blood pressure.

In a study from 2013, researchers found that CBD could potentially reduce the defensive, stress-induced behaviors, like the fight-or-flight response, evoked by threatening stimuli through its effect on a serotonin receptor (5-HT1A). For the study, mice were treated with CBD as well as different doses of a 5-HT1A antagonist, and exposed to a wild snake. The fear responses were measured and results found that CBD’s anti-anxiety effects were real, and depended on the availability of the 5-HT1A receptor.

By targeting stress at the hormonal and neurotransmitter levels, CBD oil could show promise as a multi-pronged method for reducing stress and its contributions to metabolic syndrome.

CBD Oil for Insulin Resistance

It is not entirely clear how CBD combats insulin resistance, and more research is necessary, but the studies that do exist point to a connection between insulin resistance and inflammation.

CBD oil is a known anti-inflammatory. Through its impact on the immune system as well as the endocannabinoid system, CBD can mitigate inflammation and potentially improve insulin resistance.

CBD oil can also increase the level of adenosine found in the brain. This neurotransmitter, along with the A1 and A2 adenosine receptors, play a significant role in the reduction of cellular inflammation. By increasing available adenosine, CBD increases signaling by the A1 and A2 receptors. Researchers believe that this action is linked to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD Oil for Obesity

CBD oil may be effective at reducing obesity in a couple of different ways.

For one, CBD oil may function as an appetite suppressant. In a 2012 study, adult male rats were administered a range of cannabinoids and food consumption was measured following this treatment. CBD was found to reduce food consumption in the treated rats.

CBD may also help the body turn harmful white fat cells into the more favorable brown fat cells. White fat is used to store energy and it has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Brown fat, on the other hand, converts calories from food into heat released by the body. Lean individuals tend to have more brown fat than obese individuals. Ratio is difficult because generally one has very little brown fat compared to white fat.

In one study, CBD was found to transition white fat cells to brown, leading researchers to conclude that although more exploration was needed, CBD has the potential for actively combating obesity.

CBD Oil for Cholesterol

Unfortunately, at this time, there are not a lot of published studies on CBD and cholesterol. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a sign of promise.

Some of the research that does exist indicates that CBD oil can increase metabolism, which results in quicker processing of calories and fat, decreasing blood cholesterol levels.

Many of the products created from hemp contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and several polyunsaturated fats. These fats play a significant role in preventing bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries.

How to Use CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome

Before you begin taking CBD oil for metabolic syndrome, it is essential that you first speak to your health care provider. You will want to be sure that CBD oil is the best option for you and that you are using it as safely as possible.

Once you have had this conversation and are given the go-ahead, you will need to decide which types of CBD products you want to use.

When addressing the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, it is likely that you will want to have a fairly consistent amount of CBD oil in your system. For this, the best options are likely to be CBD oil edibles, CBD oil tinctures or drops, and CBD oil capsules.

Edibles and capsules provide a relatively consistent dose of CBD oil, making them both convenient and worry-free methods for taking cannabidiol. Because these delivery formats need to pass through the digestive system before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream, they can take up to an hour to show effects. But, these effects can last 4 to 6 hours, meaning you probably won’t need to take more than one or two doses throughout the day.

CBD oil tinctures and drops do not need to pass through the digestive system since they are absorbed sublingually (under the tongue). These formats usually take effect within 30 minutes and can last 2 to 4 hours. With CBD oil drops and tinctures, it is easy to adjust the dose up or down as needed—to the literal drop—making them a good starting point for finding your ideal dosage. They also come in small, portable bottles, meaning you can take them on the go and use them should the need arise.

CBD flower and CBD oil vape products are also available. These items provide near-instant effects but these effects typically only last for an hour or so. These formats are better suited to pain, inflammation, and stress relief as needed.

You may find that it is a combination of products that work most effectively for you. For example, you may supplement regularly with a capsule and use a vape product or tincture during the day for relief of sudden stress and anxiety. Start slow, but do not be afraid to try a few different things to determine which is best for you.

Dosage of CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome

Unfortunately, when it comes to CBD oil, there is no one-size-fits-all dosing recommendation. Dose varies according to an individual's weight, age, metabolism and genetics. It is always best to start slow and begin with the lowest recommended dose listed on your packaging.

Once you know how your body will respond, you can adjust the dosage up or down as needed.

As a general starting point, we at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with the following:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily

If this amount does not provide the results you were after, try increasing the dose by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find relief.

For more information on CBD oil dosages, check out our dosage guide. You might also consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor who can tailor a CBD oil dosage and treatment plan to your specific needs.

Best CBD Oil for Metabolic Syndrome

There is no one ideal product for metabolic syndrome so instead, you should be focusing your shopping efforts on finding a quality product.

In order to help you find the best CBD oil products on the market, here are some things to consider:

  • The Law. Before you begin shopping for CBD oil, be sure that it is legal in your state. CBD oil is legal at the federal level if it is derived from hemp and has 0.3% THC or less. But, not every state has come on board, so double check with your state’s cannabis laws to ensure you aren’t going to purchase a product illegally.
  • Check for THC. In states where cannabis is legally available for medical and recreational use, it will be possible to buy CBD oil with a THC content that is greater than 0.3%. If you live in a state that has strict regulation around cannabis, or would prefer to not ingest THC, be sure that you are shopping for products made using broad-spectrum CBD oil or a CBD oil isolate.
  • Look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Look for brands that post a Certificate of Analysis for every batch of CBD oil products they produce. These certificates are lab results that will tell you exactly what is present in your CBD oil. It will help you verify both THC and CBD concentrations and help you to avoid any heavy metal contamination.

Metabolic syndrome poses a significant risk to a large number of people and there is no specific treatment or cure. While diet and exercise go a long way to improving health, it is sometimes not enough. While the effects of CBD oil continue to be examined by researchers and medical professionals, it appears that it may be beneficial in helping people deal with the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, and may help people to avoid contracting heart disease or Type 2 diabetes.

+ 13 sources


  1. American Heart Association, Inc. https://www.heart.org/en/404
  2. Christopher Stanley et al. (2014) Vascular targets for cannabinoids: animal and human studies - National Center for Biotechnology Information" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954478/
  3. Khalid A. Jadoon et al. (2017) A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study - American Society for Clinical Investigation https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/93760
  4. Khalid A Jadoon et al. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28614793/
  5. Salahaden R. Sultan et al. (2017) A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Haemodynamic Effects of Cannabidiol - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5323388/
  6. A W Zuardi et al. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8257923/
  7. André Twardowschy et al. (2013) The role of 5-HT1A receptors in the anti-aversive effects of cannabidiol on panic attack-like behaviors evoked in the presence of the wild snake Epicrates cenchria crassus (Reptilia, Boidae) - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23926240/
  8. Carl de Luca et al. (2007) Inflammation and Insulin Resistance - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2246086/
  9. Clementino Ibeas Bih et al. (2015) Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604182/
  10. AlisonRibeiro et al. (2012) Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: Role for the adenosine A2A receptor - Elsevier B.V. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299912000052#bb0075
  11. Jonathan A Farrimond et al. (2012) Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22543671/
  12. Liangyou Rui Brown and Beige Adipose Tissues in Health and Disease - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28915325/
  13. Hilal Ahmad Parray et al. (2016) Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27067870/

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