Some of this work is still in animals, and much more research is needed before we can definitively say that CBD can help in this area.
“In terms of the products found in shops, there’s virtually no evidence to support the claims made for a lot of them.” Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at Liverpool John Moores University
CBD is the latest health craze to sweep the high street, with claims it can help everything from chronic pain and inflammation to anxiety. But what is CBD, and can it really help the heart? Emily Ray finds out.
Can CBD help the heart?
But so far, Professor Sumnall points out, CBD products in shops are marketed as food supplements, not medicines, so none of them have gone through this process.
The biggest difference between CBD used in clinical trials and in stores is the dose. Research has shown that some products contain very little CBD (or even none at all). Others contain THC or other illegal drugs, or even alcohol instead of CBD. By contrast, in clinical trials the CBD is purified, manufactured to a very high standard and given at a much higher dose. It is also taken regularly and under medical supervision.
However, it also notes that this research is still in the early stages, and that more studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn on whether CBD is effective.
Since 2016, any CBD product that is presented as having medicinal value must be licensed and regulated as a medicine, regardless of whether it is actually effective. Manufacturers must follow very specific and robust rules around production, packaging and the information provided.
However, studies have shown that there is potential for CBD to reduce risk factors associated with heart disease. High blood pressure is at the top of that list.
A study in 2017 asked for a handful of volunteers to subject themselves to stressful situations in order to increase their blood pressure rates. Doctors then prescribed half of the participants a dose of CBD oil and the other half received a placebo. Blood pressure was reduced in patients who received the CBD dosage as opposed to those who received the placebo.
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Due to the sheer amount of health-related benefits of CBD oil, physicians have speculated if it can also be used to help treat or lessen the effects of heart-related conditions. In particular, questions have been raised about whether CBD can treat people with high blood pressure.
CBD contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that help stabilize the body’s endocannabinoid system. The natural components of CBD oil are very similar to endocannabinoids in the human body, which attach themselves to neurotransmitters and help manage the body’s reactions to feelings of appetite, mood disorders, and especially symptoms of pain and anxiety.
People are becoming increasingly drawn to organic substances and remedies to treat underlying conditions. Doctors are also recommending more natural methods of treating underlying symptoms of physical and mental conditions to provide a healthier form of treatment.