Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure but most don't even know they have it. High blood pressure is a silent killer - without any obvious symptoms, it can go undetected for years. The chances are we'll all experience it at some point in our life, so how do you treat it and does CBD lower blood pressure?
What is high blood pressure?
Your blood pressure is measured in two ways:
- The force your heart exerts to pump blood around your body, and
- The resistance to the blood flow in the vessels
It's normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but a consistently high rate could be a sign you have hypertension (high blood pressure).
Left untreated high blood pressure can cause chest pain, a stroke, or even a heart attack. With no obvious symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose - the only way of knowing if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked.
If you're at risk of developing hypertension then your GP may recommend making some lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on your sodium intake or losing weight. An organic supplement, like CBD oil, could also help reduce your blood pressure.
How does CBD oil work?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound found naturally in the cannabis plant.
Unlike its close relation, tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD doesn't leave you with the feeling of being 'high' and has no addictive properties. In fact, the World Health Organisation reports that the effects of cannabidiol are well tolerated with few reported side effects.
It works by interacting with the body's own endocannabinoid system (ECS) - a complex system of receptors located throughout the body that regulates a range of functions. It plays a key role in such things as:
CBD is extracted from the plant and mixed with a carrier oil, like hemp seed oil. It's available in a range of products from tinctures to edibles, muscle rubs, bath bombs and skincare products. But, how does CBD affect blood pressure?
Does CBD lower blood pressure?
Some studies suggest that CBD may be effective at lowering blood pressure in some people. A 2020 study¹ found that cannabidiol could have vasodilatory effects in human and rat arteries - this means it dilates blood vessels to help blood flow easily.
In 2017, researchers from the Royal Derby Hospital and Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism conducted a study into blood pressure and CBD².
They gave nine healthy male volunteers a 600mg dose of cannabidiol or a placebo in a randomized test, then monitored their heart rate and blood pressure. They found that this single dose reduced blood pressure both at rest and under stress.
Stress is a known contributor to high blood pressure, and the effects of CBD may also be able to help treat some of these known risk factors in patients.
Treating other known risk factors
Inflammation, stress, and disturbed sleep can all affect your blood pressure, according to NHS England. CBD oil may be able to help reduce these known risk factors.
Cannabidiol is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and is already used extensively to manage chronic pain conditions like arthritis. Alongside a healthy lifestyle, CBD could reduce the narrowing of blood vessels that causes hypertension.
When the body releases stress hormones (cortisol) it affects your blood pressure. A number of researchers have suggested that CBD can reduce levels of cortisol in some people, which could lead to an overall improvement in blood pressure.
A lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, but CBD oil could be the answer. Its therapeutic effects are thought to aid a good night's sleep - helping people to drop off and to stay asleep longer.
How to take CBD oil for high blood pressure
There are many different forms of CBD, but for overall wellbeing, we recommend using a CBD tincture. Tinctures are a concentrated form of CBD oil, that can be taken under the tongue by carefully measuring out drops using a small pipette.
The tongue is a capillary-rich area so the maximum amount of CBD can be absorbed, and it gets to work straight away for results within 30 to 60 minutes. You can expect the effects of a tincture to last for around four to six hours.
There are no specific dosage recommendations for treating high blood pressure, it's simply a case of finding out what works best for you. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the amount that is most effective.
If this is your first time using CBD oil, read our dosage guide to find out more.
Our top CBD tinctures at Origin40
We only sell brands from manufacturers that meet our high standards for organic hemp production. That way we can guarantee that all our CBD products are free from nasty pesticides and contain only high-grade cannabidiol.
Green Stem CBD oil is a broad-spectrum formula, available in lots of different flavours. If you've taken a tincture before and been put off by the earthy, hemp taste, then we recommend indulging in the peppermint or Sicilian lemon flavours from Green Stem.
This peppermint oil from Kanaco tastes great and is easy to take on-the-go. Sublingual drops, like this one, come with a built-in pipette, so it's convenient to transport. Pop it in your bag or pocket, and you've got it with you ready for your next dose.
These gluten-free, vegan drops contain premium CBD blended with coconut oil. The graduated pipette makes it easy to measure out your daily dose. We recommend holding the drops under your tongue for one minute before swallowing.
Lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure
CBD oil works best when it's used as part of a wider treatment plan. Speak to your doctor before taking CBD if you've been prescribed with blood pressure medication.
Alongside medication and organic supplements, there are lots of lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your blood pressure naturally:
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight (if required)
- Cut back on alcohol and caffeine
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy diet low in sodium
- Reduce stress
All these things will contribute to a healthier lifestyle and reduce your chances of suffering a serious condition like heart disease or a stroke.
The key takeaway
High blood pressure is hard to diagnose as often there are no symptoms. The only way to know if you have hypertension is with regular blood pressure testing.
Undetected hypertension can lead to serious heart conditions. Medications and healthy lifestyle choices can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risks of hypertension.
Early research indicates that CBD oil may be able to lower blood pressure in some people. It is also thought to be effective at treating some of the underlying causes of high blood pressure, such as stress and a lack of sleep.
- Galea, K, Medical News Today [online] CBD for high blood pressure: dosage, products, and how it works [updated 28 April 2021; cited 2 Sept 2021] Available from: https://bit.ly/3t9XI4C
- Clark, S, CBD Clinicals [online] Best CBD oil for high blood pressure (hypertension) - September 2021 [updated 1 Sept 2021; cited 2 Sept 2021] Available from: https://bit.ly/3gYEtpJ