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CBD and Blood Pressure

Let’s face it, the world has been crazy the past few years and it’s left a lot of us feeling hyper-tense. But for some of the population, hyper-tense can lead to what is known as hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure. In the world of wellness, there are few areas more important than heart health, and having healthy blood pressure levels is an important part of maintaining your cardiovascular health. When it comes to keeping your blood pressure where it needs to be, CBD may be one option you want to consider, especially if you plan to take a natural approach. In this article we’ll take a close look at blood pressure, including what it is, what are considered healthy levels to maintain, and what factors cause it to go up or down. We’ll also review scientific studies that have been done on CBD’s impact on blood pressure so that you can be armed with knowledge you need when you make your own plan to combat high blood pressure. 

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Most of us know that blood pressure is what’s being measured when the doctor or nurse slips that cuff around our arm and pumps it full of air, but what exactly is it? Blood pressure is the amount of force, or pressure, your blood exerts against the interior walls of your arteries. Blood pressure is measured using two different types of metrics: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. For example, a person might be told their blood pressure is 120 over 80. The first number is their systolic blood pressure, which is the amount of pressure the heart exerts while beating. The second number is the diastolic pressure, the amount of pressure in the arteries between heart beats. 

It is natural for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day but when the levels are chronically elevated, that is known as hypertension. The following chart lists general guidelines for how to evaluate blood pressure levels.

blood pressure chart

As you can see, hypertension is broken down into two stages. Stage 1, also known as prehypertension, is a warning sign that more serious high blood pressure issues may develop if it is not addressed. Stage 2 is full blown hypertension and needs to be addressed to prevent the risk of serious health issues.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

There are a variety of risk factors for high blood pressure. While some are biological and unavoidable, many of the risk factors include lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the negative effects of hypertension. Some of these factors include: 

Shot of a doctor examining a man with a blood pressure gauge
  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Not being physically active
  • Tobacco usage
  • High sodium (salt) diet
  • Too little potassium
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

Why Be Concerned About High Blood Pressure?

There are a variety of reasons that you should take your blood pressure seriously. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in America and high blood pressure is often a precursor to its most deadly conditions, heart attack and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds in America. The Center for Disease Control says that 47% of American adults have hypertension and only 1 in 4 of adults with hypertension have their condition under control. This led to 516,955 deaths in 2019 where hypertension was a primary or contributing factor.

But heart attack and stroke aren’t the only risks of having high blood pressure. If left untreated, hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, vision impairment, metabolic syndromes, and even dementia. Luckily, there are a multitude of steps you can take to avoid high blood pressure or get it back under control. One of those steps may be adding CBD into your daily regimen.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. It interacts with a network of receptors within the body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to impart a variety of therapeutic benefits. The ECS has the task of keeping the body’s internal states in equilibrium, or homeostasis. When these states are not balanced, CBD can help the ECS restore that balance. 

CBD comes in a variety of forms and products. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products contain CBD as well as all or many of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that come from the hemp plant. CBD isolates have been distilled down to a 99.9% pure concentration of CBD. You can find CBD in the form of tinctures, oils, gummies, vapes, smokable flower, and topical treatments.

Can CBD Help with High Blood Pressure?

One of the internal systems that the ECS helps keep balanced is the cardiovascular system, but research into exactly how this is achieved has been limited until very recently. Because hemp products were illegal until the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, research on CBD and the ECS was difficult and there was also little interest in it since it could not be monetized.

Now that hemp is legal, research on CBD has ramped up dramatically, and one area that is being studied is its impact on high blood pressure. While there is still much work to be done, the early results are promising.

A 2017 randomized crossover study found that a single dose of CBD reduces blood pressure in subjects that are at rest as well as subjects that were under stress. A 2020 study also found that using CBD could help reduce blood pressure in subjects who were under stress. Because stress is considered a contributing factor in high-blood pressure, it is worth noting that many studies like this one conducted in 2015 have shown that CBD can be useful in reducing stress and anxiety. You can read more about CBD’s impact on anxiety here.

It is important to note that while CBD is safe to use, it can have an impact on the way your body processes and synthesizes other medications, including those prescribed by doctors to treat high blood pressure. If you are on blood pressure medication, you should consult your doctor before adding CBD to your treatment plan so that you can work together to make sure all your treatments are achieving the desired effects.

FAQs

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted against the interior walls of arteries during (systolic) and in between (diastolic) heart beats.

What is a healthy blood pressure level?

A healthy blood pressure range is below 120 over 80. As these numbers climb, the individual is at a higher risk for hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure. Those with blood pressure of 140 over 90 are in a state of hypertension and should take steps to reduce their blood pressure to avoid increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Can CBD help reduce my blood pressure?

While more research needs to be done, early studies show that CBD can be helpful in reducing high blood pressure, particularly for those who are under stress.

How else can I manage my blood pressure?

A healthy diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco, and reducing stress are all proven strategies for helping to maintain healthy levels of blood pressure.

Other Ways to Treat High Blood Pressure

In addition to CBD and prescription medication, there are a variety of lifestyle choices you can make to manage high blood pressure. Many of them are associated with the risk factors we talked about earlier, but we’ll go over the most effective strategies here.

Exercise for 30 Minutes a Day

Regular exercise is an effective way to help reduce blood pressure. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or even dancing can be particularly impactful in helping to avoid or control hypertension.

Healthy foods next to work out equipment. In the food basket there are fresh vegetables, including zucchinis, radishes, broccoli, artichokes, leaks, mushrooms, and bell peppers. There is also a fruit basked with kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. There is also a plate with low carb healthy sources of protein, such a eggs, hard cheese, lentils and a fresh cut of meat (steak). There are also a pair of dumbbells, a grip strengthener, a kettlebell, a foam rolling ball, a yoga mat as well as a water bottle on top of a towel. This image illustrates the concept of healthy eating and exercising which is the best way to stay healthy, loose weight and live a long and happy life.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can go a long way in controlling hypertension. Focusing on reducing sodium and increasing potassium can lead to a dramatic reduction in blood pressure. While changing your dietary habits is not easy, it is one of the more effective strategies available. Tips like keeping a food journal and shopping smart in the grocery store can help make the changes to your diet easier.

Limit Alcohol and Avoid Tobacco

Research suggests that having one drink per day can reduce your blood pressure, but that protective effect is lost as your drinking increases. In fact, even moderate amounts of alcohol consumption can lead to increased blood pressure. Tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, also raise your blood pressure immediately after using, and can cause hardening of and damage to cardiovascular cells.

Young blonde woman meditating in the park

Avoid Stress

Easier said than done, I know. But the right strategies can make stress more manageable. Practices like yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing can lead to a reduction in stress. Mindfulness and reasonable expectations can help you put the things that cause you stress into a better perspective. You can also practice gratitude and avoid stressful triggers. Collectively, these habits can go a long way in reducing stress as well as blood pressure.

Wrapping It All Up

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is vital to living a long and healthy life. Adding CBD to your lifestyle alongside other healthy strategies can be a great way to make sure you keep those numbers where they need to be. Here at the Green Dragon CBD, we carry a variety of CBD products that can be seamlessly integrated into your lifestyle as you pursue the healthiest happiest version of yourself. Each product is sourced from a reputable producer, and each comes with laboratory test results to assure peace of mind that you’re getting the best product available. We also have educated and helpful representatives standing by to help answer any questions you might have and guide you to the products that are best for your needs. Just give us a shout in the comments below or reach out to us privately through our contact link. We’re ready and waiting to do whatever we can to help take some of that pressure off your shoulders.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, SCOTT JONES

Scott Jones is a freelance writer, author, and digital marketer from Akron, Ohio. He loves to research and write about any and all topics that fascinate him, including CBD. He could afford to watch a few fewer movies and eat a few more vegetables. Connect with him on LinkedInInstagram, or read other posts by Scott.

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