High blood pressure affects more than a quarter of adults in the UK, according to the NHS. The condition is serious, as if left untreated it can lead to dangerous health problems like heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure can often be lowered without the need for medication, simply by making some lifestyle changes. Some studies have also shown CBD oil may help to improve the condition.
CBD oil is an oil made from cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol – or THC – which is another compound of the cannabis plant.
THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the ‘high’ people feel when taking cannabis.
CBD, meanwhile, has no psychoactive properties and is thought to be responsible for the medicinal benefits associated with cannabis.
According to medical website Healthline, recent research has linked CBD with “several benefits” for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.
In one study, 10 healthy men were given one dose each of 600mg of CBD oil. The results found it reduced resting blood pressure when compared to a placebo.
The same study also gave the men ‘stress tests’ that would normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than they normally would in response to these tests.
Researchers have suggested it may be the stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD which are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.
“Studies indicate that CBD may be a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure,” said Healthline.
In addition, several animal studies have demonstrated that CBD may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease, due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
For example, one study found that treatment with CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease.
Healthline noted, however, that more studies in humans are needed before CBD oil can be recommended as a potential treatment for high blood pressure.
“Though more human studies are needed, CBD may benefit heart health in several ways, including by reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage,” said Healthline.
CBD oil can be bought from pharmacies and health shops without a prescription.
The NHS warns against buying CBD oil online, as products sold and bought over the internet from unreputable sources may be illegal to possess or supply.
Products bought from unreputable companies may also not necessarily be safe to use and may contain THC.
The health body also advises that CBD oils sold in health stores are not guaranteed to be of good quality and tend to only contain very small amounts of CBD – making their effects unclear.