How CBD Works - How Does CBD Work for Blood Pressure
One of the listed side effects for CBD is (drum roll please)…
Drop-in Blood Pressure!!
With side effects like that, who needs benefits!
Most people find CBD due to sleep, anxiety, or pain.
We stumbled on it due to blood pressure!
My wife was hit very hard by perimenopause.
It resulted in a panic attack which of course spiked her blood pressure.
180 over 101!
We were in the ER at the time so that didn’t help much.
The underlying hormone drop of perimenopause sent everything upside down.
The follow-up appointment with the doctor resulted in two blood pressure meds.
A diuretic and ARB
Her BP dropped but she felt terrible!
Round two with an ACE inhibitor and beta-blocker.
She felt even worse.
ER visit #2
At this point, we have “white coat” responses to any BP reading.
It was a mess!
The blood pressure meds are blunt instruments.
They do smackdown BP but our bodies are complicated and interwoven.
There’s no free ride in the Universe!
She eventually came off all the meds (we don’t recommend this to people…just saying).
This blood pressure issue is one of the reasons we found CBD.
The research on CBD and blood pressure is very impressive.
We’ll get into that below.
You can jump right to the CBD comparison based on safety and price here:
Otherwise, let’s dig deeper into what research is showing for CBD and blood pressure:
Let’s get started.
1 in 3 adults in the US has high blood pressure.
There are well-established relationships between pro-longed elevated blood pressure and cardiovascular issues.
That being said, it CAN be reversed.
It requires many lifestyle changes (exercise, plant-based diets, and medication to begin with).
Blood pressure goes up and down all the time!
Let’s zoom in a bit before we get to the endocannabinoid system and CBD.
Your arteries and veins are actually lined with muscle.
There’s an entire chemical pathway in the body that governs the flexing (tightening) and relaxing of this muscle.
Let’s say we’re under attack by the proverbial tiger in the bush we’re always hearing about.
The smooth muscle receives signals to tighten quickly so that blood can speed to areas needed for us to run, jump, think, or scream (my preference personally).
Imagine forcing water through a smaller hose. The pressure goes up!
When the threat is gone, the same pathway sends signals to relax the smooth muscles and allow a normal flow.
The pressure goes down. More space for the same volume of blood!
That’s how it’s suppose to work.
So…what goes wrong with high blood pressure?
We’ll skip the usual culprits (salt, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, etc) and dig deeper.
Yes, those all affect the blood pressure reading but what’s going on down in the arteries?
There two primary causes:
The first is a chemical issue.
If you’re constantly under stress, a signal to tighten (tiger in the bush) is constantly generated.
There are also environmental and internal stresses such as chemicals and overactive immune responses that are now implicated.
What about the second issue…the arterial walls?
What does “plastic” mean?
It just means flexible. Pliable. Able to change shapes.
We get that spike of stress (tiger) and the system can’t adjust.
Plumbers are probably going, “Oh yea…this all makes sense”.
The volume of liquid in a fixed space!
For the former, there is interesting research on how the endocannabinoid system is intimately tied into the message pathway to our smooth muscle in the arteries.
This is the pathway most BP medications affect but with some nasty side effects.
For the latter, there’s even more exciting research on CBD and inflammation which is implicated in the hardening of the arterial walls.
Not mammal or liver from us.
It will probably take 10 years before the medical community acknowledges this but statins are a big seller!
Both of these elements directly affect blood pressure.
Look…you still need more:
This is going to lower your bp for many people.
Especially the plant-based diet without preservatives and exercise.
One reduces inflammation. The other makes arteries more flexible (by constantly flexing).
Let’s look at the system tasked with governing a big chunk of this.
The endocannabinoid system.
We all have a system that spans our entire body
We share this with all of the animal kingdom and estimates put it at about 600 million years old!
Nature seems to like it (except with insects).
Research shows it is tasked with balancing other key systems:
These are incredibly important systems that govern how you feel, think, repair, and even…
manage blood pressure!
The first signs came when they blocked endocannabinoid receptors.
The results showed that blocking receptors immediately caused a spike in blood pressure:
Heart contractility means the heart has to work harder.
So…they block endocannabinoid function and the heart work harder, blood pressure goes up.
Following this initial response, there were contradictory results depending on the situation and actual cannabinoid used.
A great deal of research will use synthetic cannabinoids since it’s easier to control but if we’ve learned anything, synthetic is not always the same in the body:
Scientists assumed they would work the same in the body leading to decades or terrible effects in bodies (and hearts!).
More research began to come in on the endocannabinoid system’s direct influence on blood pressure.
To translate, cannabinoids (like CBD) have powerful effects to lower blood pressure and reduce pressure on hearts.
Specifically, Anandamide (our most prevalent endocannabinoid) directly influences blood pressure:
Anandamide was found to have a prolonged reduction in blood pressure and heart rate.
That’s a good sign.
Interestingly, the effects were seen in subjects with high blood pressure and not in subjects with normal blood pressure.
This speaks to the endocannabinoids system’s role in “balancing” other systems.
It’s also why there is no known report of an overdose.
The system uses what it needs and discards beyond that.
Further research then looked at the hardening of the arteries by plaques or arteriosclerosis.
The endocannabinoid system was key in managing the inflammation that’s required for these plaques to be created in the first place:
Most people don’t realize that you need an immune or inflammatory response to create arterial hardening.
Not mammal and not from our liver.
Mouth bacteria to be exact which points to the long know association between dental health and heart health.
The whole process of arteriosclerosis is mediated by the endocannabinoid system:
CBD is just code for an endocannabinoid receptor.
Its footprint is everywhere in terms of healthy blood pressure.
Anandamide is a vasodilator (opens up arteries):
To sum it up:
A great summary of studies can be found here:
Let’s look at CBD specifically, since it has a direct effect on the endocannabinoid system.
CBD directly impacts the endocannabinoid system’s function.
The interest in CBD and blood pressure really came to a boil by this study.
Healthy individuals were given CBD prior to stress-inducing situations.
They then found that CBD appears to affect the muscle that makes up your arterial walls by relaxing it.
This is yet another target for many popular BD medications.
Researchers further found that CBD causes an increase in the release of Nitrous Oxide, a known vasodilator (and similar target of medications).
Finally and maybe most importantly, CBD directly affects the roots of what drives blood pressure.
There’s a reason that blood pressure increases as we get older.
Years of inflammation in the arterial walls create scar tissue.
This is a function of our immune system’s inflammatory and repair process.
The lipid (fat) waste material from these bacteria get locked away in the lining of arteries from our immune response agents.
To many people, this sounds brand new.
What about cholesterol??
Scientists analyzed the genetic profile of the fat deposit in arteries and it bares the signature of bacteria…not mammal origin!
This is revolutionary but unfortunately disrupts a billion-dollar statin business.
It may be years if not decades before the medical community changes course.
Here’s a quick synopsis of why this inflammation is important:
For a simpler explanation…high blood pressure may be an autoimmune disease:
Interestingly, CBD has a very powerful effect on the immune response and inflammatory response in the body.
In fact, those are two of the major systems that the endocannabinoid system balances.
What about all the lifestyle changes?
Think about it…they all have a direct impact on systemic inflammation and immune response.
It’s so obvious in hindsight.
To wrap it up:
CBD appears to positively affect some of the signals for high blood pressure (angiotensin, nitrous oxide, etc)
As well as…
The inflammatory process and signals.
Most medications on the market will take one signal and slam it!
This has resulting effects throughout the body.
Check out the book, Drug Muggers to see the knock-on effects.
Anecdotally, my wife’s blood pressure has dropped to 116/75 from CBD usage at about 200mg per day.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about CBD amounts now.
A few notes here.
Always start slow and see how your body reacts.
The great thing about blood pressure is that we can actually measure the results!!
It then becomes a question of affordability and effect.
Most of the research is based on about 300mgs but that’s a higher level.
We’ve seen results on blood pressure at about 100mg of CBD.
Look below for important guidance regarding CBD and blood pressure medication.
First, take CBD at least 2 hours away from other medications.
CBD uses a standard liver pathway called P450.
Many medications use this same pathway so we don’t want to affect their metabolism.
Ideally, take CBD after a meal…your fattiest meal if possible.
CBD oil is definitely the most popular.
We recommend isolate at first to avoid allergy or histamine issues.
The response to allergens is essentially an immune response so that’s going the wrong way!
You can check out the screened list of major CBD brands by cost here:
Thanks and happy lowering!
Let’s help spread the word and reduce suffering.
It’s how we say “Thank You” to CBD!
Dozens of Brands
“I was lost…there’s so many CBD products out there. Thank you for making this all make sense!”
“I literally lay down and I’m out. I wake one to use the bathroom and them I’m out again til morning. I almost NEVER am able to sleep like that! It’s pretty awesome”
“I feel like my body is oddly more flexible in the gym if that makes sense. I do notice that I sleep deeper.”
“CBD is the only way I get through the night. It’s been a life-saver for me. Thank you for the research!”
SEE Statement at bottom regarding FDA notification and legal statement on claims
“I love the comparison! It’s impossible to figure out what’s being offered and for how much. Thank you so much! I’ll make sure to send my CBD story to you!”
“I had no idea how important the lab results were with CBD. I won’t touch it without first seeing what’s in there now.”
“I was spending sooo much energy fighting off negative thoughts before CBD. I have so much more energy now.”
“Thank you so much for your marvelous work. I’ve told all my family members to check out the how it works page. Simple enough for even me to understand!”