Of all the herbal health supplements that flood the market today, CBD is the most trustworthy because of its effectiveness, natural origin, and minimum side effects. Patients praise the benefits they get from this non-intoxicating cannabinoid, from de-stressing after a hard day of work to preventing and toning down the impact of seizures.

Researchers are optimistic about the success of CBD in neurology, immunology, reproduction, and pain management. Their eagerness has led to further studies seeking additional health benefits from this cannabinoid. In particular, looking for CBD effects on the heart may help develop new methods of treatment and therapy for cardiovascular disease patients.


What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or as we know it, CBD, is one of the two substances with a higher concentration in cannabis plants. The other one, most known among the public, is THC, the main responsible for the “stoned” effect we feel when smoking marijuana. Both substances interact with our Endocannabinoid System, a part of our nervous system that helps regulate many processes inside our bodies. Besides levelling our responses to pain and inflammation and balancing our reproduction systems, the ECS regulates the cardiovascular system, stabilising its rhythm.

CBD does not leave us “stoned” or “high”, as THC tends to do. Instead, it has some valuable properties, primarily beneficial for our health. Researchers share that their results on CBD show great promise for the medical community. According to their studies, CBD is an excellent help against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, anxiety, depression, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.


CBD for Heart Health

Millions of people die worldwide from cardiovascular diseases every year. Besides genetic predisposition and external causes like work stress, pollution, and poverty, other factors include a sedentary lifestyle, unbalanced eating habits, smoking, and excess drinking of alcoholic beverages.

CBD is not a miracle cure for heart disease. However, research shows that it helps to reduce symptoms and prevent their onset. In particular, the anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD help prevent coronary disease, high blood pressure, and heart strokes. 

A lady's hands holding a replica of a human heart.

cbd effects on the heart: A lady’s hands holding a replica of a human heart.

Preliminary research in mice shows that CBD can protect the heart from damage associated with a heart attack or diabetes. Ongoing research shows promise at preventing heart muscle diseases, cardiomyopathies, and myocarditis.

The protective CBD effects on the heart seem to be associated not with the direct action of the cannabinoid but with its role in regulating our immune system. While these investigations are still at an early stage, there is a high degree of trust in favourable results for the human heart and coronary health. 


CBD Effects on the Heart

While different studies show the positive effects of CBD in the treatment of seizures, nausea, and weight loss, others are inconclusive about the possible CBD effects on the heart. If anything, excessive use of the cannabinoid may lead to undesired symptoms.

However, some CBD properties on other systems may have indirect effects on the cardiovascular system. Its appetite-stimulating abilities may be a great help for patients with heart failure. These patients may develop cachexia, a condition in which they lose a significant amount of weight, mostly muscle mass. With the appetite boost from CBD, patients have a better chance of fighting this condition.

Other undesirable consequences of heart failure are swelling and pain, other areas where CBD shows its worth. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help patients recover from edemas and manage better their pain levels.


CBD Effects on Heart Rate

According to recent studies, CBD does not significantly affect the heart rate or blood pressure under normal circumstances. However, under stressful circumstances, CBD appears to normalize both blood pressure and heart rate. This effect seems to link with the anxiolytic properties of CBD, which inhibit the behavioural and cardiovascular response to stress and anxiety. Since stress is a known accelerant of hypertension and atherosclerosis, CBD seems to play a preventive role against these conditions.


Does CBD Lower Heart Rate?

We can obtain interesting information from a few research studies on the interaction between CBD and the cardiovascular system. Most studies look at the influence of the cannabinoid in rodents. Since their heart tissue is similar to the human’s, The CBD Effects on the Heart will behave similarly. Further studies used healthy human volunteers to corroborate the results, close to those obtained through rodent trials.

A man measuring his own heart rate.

cbd effects on the heart: A man measuring his own heart rate.

Some research results show that CBD induces a significant but temporary decrease in blood pressure in patients in a normal resting state. However, this alteration does not extend to the heart rate, which remained unaffected during the trials. 

When the patients received behaviour-altering stimuli, such as conditioned fear or acute stress, they showed significant change in the results. In these cases, CBD had the effect of reducing both the blood pressure and the heart rate to levels closer to resting ones. The researchers suspect this action occurs through the brain, where the anxiolytic qualities of CBD help reduce the response to this kind of stimuli.


CBD for Heart Palpitation

We go through our everyday lives without noticing our heart’s work. However, sometimes particular events make us feel it pumping through our chests. What we call palpitation is the sensation of a pounding, fluttering, or irregular beating heart. 

Many causes can trigger heart palpitations. An unhealthy lifestyle, with excessive alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine consumption, too little sleep, or too strenuous exercise, can lead to heart palpitations, a sign that our heart needs some rest.

Other factors that can trigger this state can be psychological, like anxiety, stress, or panic attacks. Certain medications, hormonal changes, and previous heart conditions also cause heart palpitations.

You do not need to see a GP when your heart palpitation is a single event and passes quickly. However, if your palpitations are frequent, lasting for a long time, or you have a history of heart issues, it will be best for you to set up an appointment. Your GP will help you determine the cause triggering them and trace a path leading to a better-feeling heart.

In a 2021 study around hospitalisations related to the use of cannabis, researchers found that a small yet significant number of patients with a long history of cannabis use developed arrhythmia. This correlation seems to be an effect of THC and not CBD.


Does CBD Oil Lower Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a kind of fat with a wax-like texture that flows through our blood. Every cell in our bodies needs cholesterol to protect itself from external invasions. It helps us digest food and help the body make some hormones, and develop vitamin D. 

Low-density Lipoprotein, LDL, also receives the name of “bad cholesterol”. It can build up on the blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis. On the contrary, HDL cholesterol helps remove other kinds of cholesterol from the bloodstream, lowering the chance of a dangerous build-up. Blocked blood vessels can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

CBD oil results from the extraction of the cannabinoid, taken from hemp flowers, later infused in a carrier oil, usually MCT, coconut, or hemp oil. You can take a few drops under your tongue for fast absorption, add it to your cooking preparations, inhale it through a vaporiser, or apply it to your skin with topical ointments.

The soothing properties of CBD act upon the lining of the blood vessels of our body. This effect not only lowers the blood pressure but also loosens out the LDL Cholesterol cover that might be attached to them and makes it easier to flow. CBD also increases the HDL Cholesterol concentration in our blood. A high amount of HDL will lower the other kinds of cholesterol.

We still need more studies of CBD’s effects on the heart to understand how this amazing compound can help us stay healthy. For now, you can check out Elements of Green’s careful selection of CBD oil that can boost your immune system for a healthier body.