Millions of people all over the world suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also called hypertension, and is a risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and type 2 diabetes. It is a complex disease that has serious side effects. You can use diet and exercise to reduce your blood pressure naturally, but this is often not enough. Recently, people’s interest in hemp-related products has grown. You may have heard about CBD from advertisements, TV, social media, or your favorite pharmacy. Some believe it to be a cure-all for numerous conditions such as pain, inflammation, nausea, urinary bladder issues, and even acne. So can it help with hypertension? Are there any effects of hemp on blood pressure at all? To find out what we know for sure and what may be possible in the future, read on.
What Exactly Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force on the arterial walls as the heart pumps the blood throughout the body. The pressure depends on several variables. The amount and force of the pumping blood, the arterial diameter, and arterial flexibility all play a role. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when this force damages the blood vessels’ walls, arteries, and veins. Hypertension does not have immediate symptoms, which is one of the things that make it quite confusing. The bad thing about it is that it can lead to other cardiovascular conditions such as aneurysms, stroke, heart failure, heart disease, and heart attack. Type 2 diabetes, inflammation, a high salt intake, anxiety, alcohol, and insomnia also wreak havoc on your blood pressure.
In the United States alone, tens of millions of people are suffering from high blood pressure. Your blood pressure levels will change throughout the day based on the physical, emotional, and environmental stimuli around you. With this fluctuation, there is a normal range that it should fall into. However, if it goes above its normal range, you have hypertension. Many people are turning away from pharmaceuticals to help deal with hypertension. Natural remedies are growing in popularity, which is why we’re discussing what the effects of hemp on blood pressure may be.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant that contains 0.3% or less THC content. It has been grown for thousands of years in Asia and the Middle East. It was used to make ropes, textiles, insulation, paper, clothing, and even biofuel. Hemp has a lower THC, and higher concentrations of CBD, so many people prefer it. This is because it will not make you high as THC, which is psychoactive, is in very low concentrations. CBD (cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid that can come from either marijuana or the hemp plant. Hemp-derived CBD is usually produced from industrial hemp plants, which are generally scarce in foliage and skinny. It will have lower levels of THC than the marijuana counterpart. Hence, it is legal to purchase and use hemp-derived CBD in most places as it has less than 0.3% THC. This makes it beneficial for health purposes, as it is not intoxicating.
Are There Effects of Hemp on Blood Pressure?
The answer to this seems to be yes! Typically, when you have high blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe over the counter medications. Some of these include ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers with serious side effects such as swollen ankles, constipation, headaches, and dizziness. If you use them for long periods of time, these medications can cause serious side effects. This reason is why many people are exploring hemp-derived CBD. Hemp products are safe and have very few side effects, if any, although they can interact with certain medications. Below are some of the ways in which CBD affects blood pressure.
The Effects of Hemp on Blood Pressure
It Is A Vasodilator
One of the main reasons CBD affects high blood pressure is its role as a vasodilator. This means that it relaxes the smooth muscles and also widens the arteries. The purpose of this is to allow better flow of blood in the body and decrease the pressure exerted against the walls of the heart.
Vasoconstriction is a process whereby the muscular walls of the arteries contract, making the blood vessels narrower. This happens in small arterioles and even in the large arteries. The process is needed to hinder the bleeding process and limit the blood flow rate. During constriction, the blood flow is restricted, increasing the vascular resistance and retaining body heat.
The skin will, therefore, look pale as there is less blood flowing through the surface. Persistent vasoconstriction leads to hypertension. To reduce blood pressure, it is crucial to have vasodilation of the arteries to increase blood flow. According to studies, a single dose of CBD could help reduce resting blood pressure, which is induced by physical stress by relaxing the arterial walls.
Anxiety and depression make up a considerable part of mental illnesses in the world today. An increase in stressors in your daily life can trigger an anxiety attack. During panic attacks, blood pressure will elevate, and arteries will constrict.
Frequent anxiety episodes can spike your blood pressure levels and increase your heart rate, leaving you at risk for high blood pressure and even heart disease. The National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) conducted studies showing that CBD could reduce anxiety. It was discovered that related symptoms, such as rapid heart rate and high blood pressure, also improved by using CBD.
Hemodynamic regulation is one of the potential positive effects of hemp on blood pressure. Hemodynamics refers to the dynamics of the flow of blood in the body. Homeostatic mechanisms regulate the body to ensure that all processes are maintained in a stable environment. Hemodynamics relates the pumping actions of the heart to the blood pressure. In cases where there is a poor hemodynamic response, the normal blood flow will be disrupted. This increases pressure on the arteries, which will not be good for you. This is where CBD comes in. It may help moderate the flow of blood to ensure a steady flow rate. It will then stabilize the blood pressure.
According to studies, CBD may also prevent a spike in blood pressure when you are in stressful conditions. CBD use may help keep blood flow in the arteries regulated so the hemodynamic response to stressors improves.
It May Improve Sleep
In some studies, CBD seemed to help increase your quality of sleep. Frequent CBD use may regulate adrenal glands. This is crucial for maintaining quality sleep patterns. Getting plenty of good sleep is an important part of everyone’s overall health. Lack of sleep leads to stress, fatigue and higher blood pressure. This is an indirect, but undeniable, effect of hemp on blood pressure.
It Reduces Inflammation
One of the potential benefits of CBD is that it is anti-inflammatory. Of course inflammation not only occurs in the joints but in the heart and blood vessels too. Since CBD is a vasorelaxant, its anti-inflammatory properties may help lower blood pressure by allowing blood flow freely within the heart, veins, and arteries. CBD interacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system in the body to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is the typical response of the body to foreign particles, and it can be a good thing if it doesn’t last long. Chronic inflammation, however, seriously affects your cardiovascular health as it raises blood pressure and may even lead to more severe issues such as atherosclerosis. CBD may reduce inflammation and also help in relieving the oxidative stress in the body. This will then reduce the arterial inflammation and even the formation of plaque.
Dosage For Full Effects of Hemp on Blood Pressure
The FDA has not yet approved any over the counter CBD products. Therefore, there is no official recommended dose for CBD. What does this mean for people who want to start taking CBD? Several factors will determine the dosage you should start with, including your weight, genetics, and medical history. Currently it is up to the individual company to recommend appropriate dosages. Therefore, the best advice is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product. All of Tanasi’s hemp-extracts come with a chart (pictured to the right) to help users decide on their dose.
In addition to following the instructions by the manufacturer, it is always best to start with a low dose. Gauge your body and how it reacts to CBD. Measure your blood pressure with each dose of the product. Note the dose you took and the time you did, together with the blood pressure reading. With time, you can discover the dose that will work for your specific issues.
The Bottomline on the Effects of Hemp on Blood Pressure
The potential benefits of hemp products are numerous. However, research is still ongoing, and there is still so much more to discover. Therefore, before taking CBD, it is wise to talk to your doctors. They will advise you on the best way to go about it, especially if you are on other medications. Also, it would be best if you did not use CBD as a replacement for your blood pressure medication without getting a nod from your doctor. When you get that approval, Tanasi’s high-quality hemp extracts are a great way to start exploring what hemp can do for you.