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High Blood Pressure and CBD Oil: Managing Hypertension

CBD oil is making waves in the medical world due to its wide range of potential health benefits, including its ability to help with high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is usually caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors, and generally worsens with increasing age. If not managed properly, high blood pressure is usually caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors, and generally worsens with increasing age.

Below, you’ll find information on how CBD oil can help reduce hypertension and the research that’s been done on the topic, as well as recommended CBD dosage and delivery methods for lowering blood pressure. Please note that hypertension is a serious disease. If you decide to use CBD oil in the management of your high blood pressure, you should always do so in conjunction with your regular doctor.

Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil to Lower Blood Pressure

Used in Eastern countries for centuries, the cannabis plant is well known for its disease-fighting properties and health benefits. It contains over 100 plant compounds known as phytocannabinoids, which act upon our body’s endocannabinoid system. The phytocannabinoids we know the most about are THC and CBD, both of which have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

There are a number of studies available that indicate CBD oil can lower blood pressure; this is why CBD oil carries the caution that it may not be suitable for pre- or post-operative patients. But, if you are suffering from hypertension, this could make CBD oil your saving grace.

One of the ways CBD oil reduces high blood pressure is by widening, or dilating, blood vessels. A 2017 study by the University of Nottingham found that just a single dose of CBD oil significantly lowered blood pressure in test subjects under stress and at rest.

Also in 2017, there was an in-depth review of 25 previous studies that examined the use of CBD oil on hemodynamics (the dynamics of blood flow). The review concluded that while “Data from human studies investigating the effects of CBD on hemodynamics is still very limited … CBD may be used as a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke.” On the flip side, the study found that CBD mainly reduces BP and HR under stress conditions: 

From the limited data available, we conclude that acute and chronic administration of CBD had no effect on BP or HR under control conditions, but reduces BP and HR in stressful conditions, and increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) in mouse models of stroke.

Finally, if your high blood pressure is due to high stress levels, CBD oil may be of good use to you. Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” is released by your body in times of stress. Between work, family, self-care, finances, and a mountain of other concerns, stress can become a constant in everyday life. This means your cortisol levels could be elevated, causing a physical stress response in your body that could be raising your blood pressure. In a 1993 study, CBD effectively lowered cortisol levels in test subjects, and lower cortisol levels lead to decreased blood pressure.

As more clinical trials and observational studies are conducted, CBD oil’s effectiveness in treating high blood pressure will become clearer.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Hypertension

High blood pressure can be brought on by a variety of factors, from diets high in salt and fat to stress to family genetics. High blood pressure damages artery walls, which can cause arteriosclerosis (where cholesterol plaques form). These plaques narrow the vessels and interfere with blood flow. When the plaques rupture, they can occlude the arteries completely, stopping blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs, which can be fatal.

While CBD oil has many well-documented benefits, there are other supplemental changes you can make to your lifestyle that may significantly reduce hypertension, like:

  • Adopting a healthy diet focussing on vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, and fish, while avoiding processed foods and sugar.
  • Exercising regularly to strengthen your heart (this could be something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk each day).
  • Finding ways to manage stress, which could include seeing a therapist, meditating, journaling, or making art.

If you have high blood pressure, you may be taking one of the following medications:

  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) like Diovan which dilate blood vessels but can have side effects like:
    • Headaches.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Nausea.
    • Flu-like symptoms.
    • Back and joint pain.
    • Skin rash.
  • Selective Beta blockers such as metoprolol (brand names Lopressor, Toprol-XL), which slow your heart rate but can have side effects like:
    • Diarrhea.
    • Constipation.
    • Vomiting.
    • Fatigue.
    • Insomnia.
    • Depression and anxiety.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Decreased libido and other sex-related issues.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors like Benazepril and Vasotec, which keep blood vessels from narrowing but can cause side effects like:
    • Dizziness.
    • Headaches.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Dry cough.
    • Skin rash.

While effective in treating the symptoms of hypertension, the possible side effects these medications carry can make lowering your blood pressure an unpleasant experience. Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, has little to no known side effects, and is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” according to the World Health Organization.

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, as is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While CBD and THC share some similarities, there are also key differences between the two. One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD oil is that it will get you high, when in reality CBD has none of the intoxicating, mind-altering properties associated with THC and marijuana consumption. In short, taking CBD oil will not get you high, making it a practical and popular choice for individuals who want to manage their high blood pressure with a more natural treatment option.

However, because cannabidiol oil can react to certain medications (e.g. antidepressants and antibiotics), always talk to your doctor before testing out CBD oil as a potential treatment for hypertension.

How to Use CBD Oil for High Blood Pressure

Before you start experimenting with different CBD products and dosages, it’s imperative you speak to your doctor about using CBD oil for treating high blood pressure. If you’re still looking for more information on CBD as a medical supplement, you might also consider speaking with a cannabis doctor who specializes in the subject.

When you have the all-clear from your physician you’ll need to decide how you’d like to take CBD oil.  There are many different ways to consume CBD oil and the delivery format you choose will depend on your personal preferences and your lifestyle. Here’s a look at some of the most popular formats, their benefits, and their drawbacks:

CBD Oil Capsules and Edibles

Capsules and edibles are an easy and convenient way to take CBD oil, especially for beginners.

  • Benefits: The major benefit for this format is that the dose is consistent each and every time. There is no guesswork. And to this end, capsules and edibles are easy to work into your routine. Simply swallow a capsule or eat a gummy as directed, and you’re set! The effects can last a while, between 6-12 hours so you will likely not need to take another dose during the day.
  • Drawbacks: Eating CBD oil can delay its effects. When you swallow a capsule or consume an edible, the CBD oil has to pass through your digestive system before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Depending on how fast your metabolism is, and the amount of food already in your stomach, the effects of the CBD oil could take between 20 minutes and an hour to appear. This is not the best method if you are looking for fast and immediate relief.

CBD Oil Tinctures or Drops

Tinctures and drops are a valuable option for people seeking quick results and maximum dosage control.

  • Benefits: Tinctures and drops are administered orally under the tongue. The CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, allowing for results 30-60 minutes after use and the effects can last between 4 and 6 hours. CBD oil tinctures and drops are also convenient in that they store and travel well, and can be easily administered when needed.
  • Drawbacks: One of the biggest drawbacks to CBD oil tinctures and drops is the taste. Not everyone likes the natural, earthy, at times bitter flavor of hemp. Some products are flavored to compensate for this but then you need to consider where the flavoring comes from. Is it artificial flavor? Are they adding sugar and chemicals you’d otherwise want to avoid? Choice here comes down to preference, but it is worth consideration.

CBD Oil Vapes

CBD oil vapes are one of the fastest ways to get CBD into your system.

  • Benefits: When vaping CBD oil, it enters the bloodstream through the lungs, bypassing the digestive system. Effects can be felt in a matter of minutes. This is the best way to get a dose of CBD oil whenever you need it.
  • Drawbacks: The primary drawback to vaping CBD oil is that its effects do not last particularly long. Typically you can expect it to last 30 minutes to an hour or two. The problem with hypertension is that unlike anxiety, you can't feel that your BP is up and that you need another dose. You'd have to keep on taking your BP during the day, so vaping CBD could be a little impractical. 
  • Another potential issue with vaping is that it is hard to know exactly how much CBD is in each draw. CBD oil vape products come with a listed amount per inhale, but not everyone’s inhale will be the same so it requires a little bit of experimentation at first to get it right.

CBD Oil Dosage for Hypertension

Unfortunately, CBD oil does not come with a one size fits all dose. The amount you require will depend on your genetics, metabolism, size and weight. It is important to read the dosing instructions on any product you choose and start slowly.

If you need further guidance, we at CBD Oil Review have tested hundreds of products and come up with the following dosage recommendation:

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

If this does not produce the results you are after, increase your dose by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find the relief you are looking for. For more information on CBD oil dosing, read our guide here.

*FYI, our medical editors want you to know that the studies mentioned in this article were done with 300-600mg doses, which is considerably higher than our Standard. As we always say, when in doubt about taking CBD oil for anything, ask your physician!

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