MEDICAL CONDITIONS

High blood pressure

CBD effect high blood pressure
Written by Stefan K.

CBD for high blood pressure

Of the approximately 83 million inhabitants living in Germany (as of the end of 2019), between 20 and 30 million suffer from high blood pressure. The disease, also known as hypertension, can damage the blood vessels in the long term. There is therefore a high chance of suffering from secondary diseases such as strokes or heart diseases. The number of people with high blood pressure has doubled in the last 40 years. According to the WHO, a person is considered to be affected if the measured values permanently exceed 140 to 90.

One of the problems with high blood pressure is that the increased values are unfortunately rarely noticeable before damage has been caused by symptoms. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or impaired vision only occur when blood pressure is very high. In most cases, high blood pressure becomes a problem if it prevails over a longer period of time. The temporary rise in blood pressure, even when reaching absolute extremes, is not a problem for a healthy person. It often happens that, especially during intensive sport, a value that is far too high in the short term is reached. However, this is easy to master once it has returned to a healthy level. 

In addition to diabetes, smoking and poor blood lipid values, high blood pressure is a decisive factor for arteriosclerosis. Thus, in addition to the two diseases mentioned above, heart failure, kidney damage and a number of other health problems also occur.

At present, cannabidiol (CBD) is increasingly attracting the attention of both sufferers and medical professionals. CBD is available in different dosage forms such as CBD oil (also called hemp oil), CBD liquid, CBD tablets and many others. The CBD is extracted from the hemp plant (cannabis). CBD is one of more than 100 different cannabinoids in hemp. Very well known among these is THC. But in contrast to this, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect, does not cause intoxication and does not lead to addiction. In the European Union, CBD products with a maximum THC content of 0.2% are allowed. In Switzerland, for example, this limit is 1 %.

CBD and its effects have been the subject of increasingly intensive research for years. So far, various studies have presented a manifold number of different applications. Many affected people therefore also ask themselves the question, can hemp oil lower blood pressure? 

Causes of high blood pressure

In medicine, experts distinguish between primary and secondary hypertension. The difference between these two basic forms is that primary hypertension is not caused by an underlying disease, whereas secondary hypertension is caused by kidney disease or thyroid dysfunction, for example. 90% of all cases of high blood pressure have a primary cause. 

The exact causes of primary hypertension have not yet been determined with 100% certainty. However, experts are sure that certain factors are highly conducive to the development of high blood pressure. 

These include obesity (BMI over 25), high salt consumption, a family history of high blood pressure and predisposition, mild to severe lack of exercise, smoking, high alcohol consumption, low potassium intake (few or no vegetables, fruit or nuts) and advanced age. The latter begins in connection with high blood pressure in women at 55 and in men at 65. Women should also pay more attention to their blood pressure during the menopause. With the onset of menopause, hypertension becomes more common. 

Stress is also a major factor in high blood pressure. Experts believe that it is not solely responsible, but it is more common as a trigger in people with a hypertensive tendency. 

Primary hypertension occurs to an above-average extent in people who are overweight, have type 2 diabetes and/or high blood lipid levels. If all three factors occur together with high blood pressure, doctors refer to it as metabolic syndrome

There are other factors besides primary hypertension. Diseases such as narrowing of the renal arteries or the aorta, sleep apnoea syndrome, dependence on hard drugs, hormonal imbalances and training with heavy weights can be causes. Pregnancy-related high blood pressure also exists. 

Symptoms of hypertension

As already mentioned, affected persons do not show clearly recognizable symptoms of hypertension for a long time. There is therefore a great danger that the increased vascular pressure will remain undetected for a long period of time. Direct symptoms that clearly indicate high blood pressure therefore usually only appear when the damage has already been done. However, early therapy can often prevent worse. Particular attention should therefore be paid to the following symptoms and if they occur more frequently, they should be taken very seriously:

  • Insomnia
  • Morning headaches
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Reddened face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

The morning headache associated with high blood pressure can be felt more in the back of the head. This is a result of night-time high blood pressure. The symptoms of nervousness and shortness of breath are misinterpreted as menopausal symptoms, especially by middle-aged women. If you have a creeping or sudden unexplainable tendency to dizziness, you should consult a doctor for an examination. 


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How do conventional high blood pressure medications work?

Individual factors are the determining factor when it comes to the precise treatment of hypertension meaning it is always a case-by-case decision. The basic and usually universally valid factors are the level of blood pressure and the personal risk of secondary diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. Age also plays a role, of course. 

The goal of any therapy for hypertension patients is set by the German Hypertension League [1]. According to this, the blood pressure should be reduced below 140 to 90. However, this value is an average value. Influencing factors such as age, kidney disease or diabetes usually change it. 

Drug treatments for high blood pressure are always the second step. First of all, the person affected by it should consider a change to his or her own lifestyle. Reducing excess weight, regular exercise and a healthy diet will help. Stopping smoking as well as relaxation techniques like yoga stabilize the body. 

If none of this works, medication against high blood pressure often comes into play. These are usually ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium antagonists, AT1 antagonists and diuretics. Which drugs are successful in treatment always depends on the patient.

CBD in hypertension – how does cannabidiol work?

In addition to making personal lifestyle adjustments in relation to high blood pressure, CBD can help with certain causes and symptoms. CBD has the potential to help people overcome obesity, to combat alcohol and smoking addiction, during menopause and to reduce stress. CBD can also help to achieve a soothing effect in diabetes. If high blood pressure is caused or accompanied by inflammation, CBD is also a possible helper due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Studies and effects – CBD in hypertension

In 2017, a study [2] was conducted which showed that CBD can help to lower blood pressure. The data show that the rapid and acute administration of CBD can lower resting blood pressure. The study was conducted in nine healthy volunteers. The double-blind study was controlled by a placebo group.

CBD – Effect in the case of hypertension due to obesity

Being overweight can be a trigger for hypertension. Therefore, in addition to making a lifestyle change, it is important to consider the possibility of using CBD against hypertension. The fact that CBD has an appetite-suppressing effect is proven by a study[3] from 2012, in which CBD was given to rats. In the course of the following hours, the rats showed clearly recognizable and measurable appetite suppressant behaviour. 

The results of a study[4] from Korea show that CBD is suitable for combating obesity. The researchers found out that CBD, by stimulating certain proteins and genes, has a particularly positive effect on the metabolism by breaking down fat. The test persons reported that the CBD helped them to lose weight. 

Another study[5] deals with the connection between CBD and excess weight. It was found that CBD has an influence on the mitochondria. CBD increases their activity so that they can take care of the breakdown of the body’s own fat. The researchers also discovered that CBD inhibits some proteins that are responsible for the production of fat cells. 

CBD – Effect in the case of high blood pressure caused by inflammation

One of the most frequently proven mechanisms of CBD is its effect against inflammation. One of these studies [6] is presented here as an example. In a comprehensive report in the “Journal of Experimental Medicine” the authors dealt with how effective CBD is against inflammation. It is explained here how the interaction of CBD and glycine receptors works in this context. In conjunction with some dorsal horn neurons, targeted receptors can tell the brain that the body feels pain from inflammation. The authors of the study have now concluded that pain, starting as a result of chronic inflammation, is suppressed by CBD. As a result, the high blood pressure based on this pain is also relieved by the CBD.

CBD – Effect in the case of high blood pressure caused by kidney disease  

Kidney disease is often the basic prerequisite for secondary hypertension. To combat this cause, an increasing number of experts suggest the additional intake of CBD. Doctors attribute many kidney diseases to a bacterial infection. Well known in this context is bacterial pyelonephritis. This disease, also known as pyelonephritis, can be inhibited by the antibiotic effect of CBD. Especially the growth of the bacteria can be stopped here. This is confirmed by studies[7] that have looked into the antibacterial properties of CBD. 

The endo-cannabinoid system (ECS) can have an influence on this throughout the body. Since researchers in Turin discovered in a study [8] that ECS also affects the kidneys, CBD has become even more prominent in kidney disease. Researchers at the University of Turin concluded that CBD has a major influence on the course of progressive chronic kidney disease, for example. According to the experts, CBD could help to protect the kidneys. If the kidney is not damaged in this way, this possible cause of secondary hypertension no longer exists. 

CBD – Effect in the case of high blood pressure and smoking

Smoking as an addiction is cited by a large number of experts as one of the main causes of high blood pressure. CBD can help especially those smokers who want to quit but are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms. These include anger and irritability, fear and nervousness, lack of concentration, stress, increased appetite, headaches, stomach problems and depression. 

As an example, we will put forward here the importance of CBD regarding stress as a withdrawal symptom. CBD can alleviate the stress that not smoking causes in addicts. CBD influences the release of serotonin – the happiness hormone – in the brain of a person via the already mentioned ECS. In moments of stress, CBD can help the body’s own happiness hormones to provide short-term relief. Taken over a longer period of time, CBD is able to alleviate chronic stress. CBD also reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol. In a double-blind study[9] it was found that a lowered cortisol level leads to less stress being felt. This reduction in stress can make it easier for addicts to quit not only smoking, but also stop alcohol consumption. 

cbd-high-blood-pressure

CBD – Effect on menopausal high blood pressure

Every woman who experiences the menopause experiences it a little differently. Many therefore assume that certain conditions experienced during this time are always and exclusively due to this phase. However, the onset of the menopause can always lead to dangerous high blood pressure. The symptoms are too often attributed to the menopause. It is difficult to make a clear distinction between the symptoms of menopause and high blood pressure and any tests should be carried out by a doctor. The direct response to both possibilities can also come from the person affected. 


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Hemp oil and other CBD products in the case of high blood pressure

If you browse the internet or a CBD shop, you will find that there is a wide variety of hemp oils and many other CBD products, which are elaborately and carefully produced. Amongst many other things, examples include:

  • CBD oil,
  • CBD pills,
  • CBD ointments,
  • CBD food,
  • CBD liquid (e-cigarette),
  • CBD creams

All these CBD products can be administered in different ways. They also act at different speeds. Let’s stick to the well-known CBD oil for the time being. CBD oil for high blood pressure is usually taken sublingually. You simply drop it under the tongue, wait between 30 and 60 seconds, and swallow the rest. The fastest way how to take CBD it is in the form of CBD fluid. This is inhaled through a so-called vaper, i.e. an e-cigarette. In this way, CBD enters the bloodstream directly via the lungs and has the quickest impact. CBD food is absorbed through the stomach mucosa. Here the CBD effect can last a while. It is similar with CBD tablets. 

CBD ointments and CBD creams used for high blood pressure have an effect over a longer period of time. If you want to achieve an acute effect with CBD products, you should rely on CBD liquids and CBD oils. 

CBD dosage for high blood pressure

The appropriate dose of CBD for hypertension depends on several personal and individual factors. Basically, two factors should be considered when determining the appropriate dose of CBD for hypertension – the recommendation of the treating physician and that of the manufacturer. You should start with a low dose and increase it slowly. Once the desired effect is achieved, you can stay at this level. If undesirable effects occur, the dosage should be reduced.

How to find the right dose for yourself can be read in another article on cannatrust.eu. 

Conclusion

  • High blood pressure is a widespread disease. In Germany alone, almost 30 million people suffer from it. The causes are not yet 100% clear, but there are strong indications as to which diseases (secondary hypertension) and which other causes (primary hypertension) can be the triggers.
  • CBD can have a soothing effect on many of them. One of the most important CBD properties in fighting high blood pressure is that it can help to stop smoking.
  • CBD can alleviate the effects of the dreaded withdrawal symptoms.
  • CBD can also help with weight loss. CBD can also support the body to fight stress symptoms and stress itself, meaning CBD can assist in the reduction of high blood pressure.

Sources:


[1]
https://www.hochdruckliga.de/ – 03.08.2020

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/ – 03.08.2020

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22543671/ – 03.08.2020

4] https://www.worldhealth.net/news/cbd-and-metabolism/ – 03.08.2020

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958190/ – 03.08.2020

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/ – 03.08.2020

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1085130/ – 03.08.2020

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29706358/ – 03.08.2020

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8257923/ – 03.08.2020

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.