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Is cbd oil good for your cardiovascular health

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.

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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.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Updated on October 19, 2021

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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?

Conventional Treatment Options For Heart Disease

Will CBD Interact With Heart Medications?

CBD may interact negatively with some heart medications. While CBD itself is generally regarded as safe, and unlikely to result in any major side effects, it could increase the chances of side effects from other, more dose-dependent medications.

If you’re taking any prescription medications you should speak to your doctor about using CBD first.

Some potential negative drug interactions with CBD and heart medications include:

  • Statin Drugs (such as Artorvastatin & Lovastatin)
  • ACE Inhibitors (such as Captopril & Ramipril)
  • Alpha Blockers (such as Carvedilol & Doxazosin)
  • Beta-Blockers (such as Acebutolol & Metoprolol)
  • Calcium Channel Blockers (such as Bepridil & Nisoldipine)
  • Central Agonists(such as Guanfacine)
  • Diuretics(such as Chlorothiazide & Furosemide)
  • Peripheral Adrenergic Inhibitors (such as Guanadrel)
  • Blood Thinners(such as Warfarin & Heparins)

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.

CBD: What is it, and can it help the heart?

CBD is the latest health craze to sweep the high street, with claims it can help everything from chronic pain and inflammation to anxiety. But what is CBD, and can it really help the heart? Emily Ray finds out.

What is CBD, and is it legal in the UK?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical that’s extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis itself is an illegal class B drug, as is the compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which it contains. But pure CBD isn’t illegal, as it doesn’t cause the intoxicating effects of cannabis.

What CBD products are available?

The choice of CBD products has exploded recently: you can buy oils, capsules, muscle gels, sprays and oral drops, as well as beer, tea, sweets, hummus and even CBD-infused clothing.

Many of these can be easily picked up from reputable high street stores, such as Holland & Barrett or Boots.

Prices can be high: a 500mg bottle of CBD oil oral drops could set you back as much as £45. Not that this has put people off: over the past two years, sales of CBD have almost doubled in the UK, putting regular users at an estimated quarter of a million.

What is CBD used for?

A 2018 report by the World Health Organization suggested that CBD may help treat symptoms relating to conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), anxiety, depression, insomnia and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, it also notes that this research is still in the early stages, and that more studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn on whether CBD is effective.

CBD’s popularity has been given a boost by the fact that two CBD-containing medicines have been approved for prescription use by the NHS in England: Epidyolex, which has been found to reduce the number of seizures in children with severe epilepsy, and Sativex, which contains a mixture of CBD and THC, and is licensed for treatment of muscle stiffness and spasms in people with MS.

Does CBD work?

Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at Liverpool John Moores University, says: “In terms of the products found in shops, there’s virtually no evidence to support the claims made for a lot of them. There’s a lot of marketing that says CBD is a ‘miracle of the modern age’; however, the marketing has actually overtaken the evidence of what it’s effective for.”

“In terms of the products found in shops, there’s virtually no evidence to support the claims made for a lot of them.”

Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at Liverpool John Moores University

Professor Sumnall argues that while it could be effective for some people, in some of these cases the results could be caused by the placebo effect (where the patient’s belief in a treatment makes them feel better). The placebo effect can be powerful, but Professor Sumnall warns that if people try CBD oil instead of speaking to their doctor, it could cause a problem.

The biggest difference between CBD used in clinical trials and in stores is the dose. Research has shown that some products contain very little CBD (or even none at all). Others contain THC or other illegal drugs, or even alcohol instead of CBD. By contrast, in clinical trials the CBD is purified, manufactured to a very high standard and given at a much higher dose. It is also taken regularly and under medical supervision.

Since 2016, any CBD product that is presented as having medicinal value must be licensed and regulated as a medicine, regardless of whether it is actually effective. Manufacturers must follow very specific and robust rules around production, packaging and the information provided.

But so far, Professor Sumnall points out, CBD products in shops are marketed as food supplements, not medicines, so none of them have gone through this process.

Can CBD help the heart?

Inflammation is part of the process that leads to many diseases, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, and there is some evidence that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Other studies have suggested that CBD can have a protective effect on the heart: this has been proven in rats after a heart attack and in mice with some of the heart damage associated with diabetes. But because these studies are often based on findings in a lab or in animals, not in humans, we cannot yet be confident that CBD will benefit the human heart.

There is ongoing research into the use of purer forms of CBD for a variety of conditions, including heart and circulatory diseases and, in particular, diseases of the heart muscle, including myocarditis and some types of cardiomyopathy.

Some of this work is still in animals, and much more research is needed before we can definitively say that CBD can help in this area.

“It’s clear that CBD has potential,” says Professor Sumnall, “but we’re at a very early stage of that research.”

  • Always talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about taking a CBD product to supplement your existing treatment.

Meet the expert

Harry Sumnall is a Professor in Substance Use at the Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University. He was a member of the UK Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs between 2011 and 2019.

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