As of 2022, heart disease remained the leading cause of death in the US. Believe it or not, it has topped the list since 1950, with risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol, conditions like diabetes and obesity, and lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking contributing to fatalities.
Over 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease; more than half a million perish each year. If you’re living with heart disease or risk factors, there are things you can do to improve your situation and reduce risks.
A healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and regular fitness activities can help a lot, as can lifestyle changes like weight loss and quitting smoking and drinking, in some cases. However, you might be looking to do more.
How does CBD fit into your health and wellness regimen? Are CBD gummies safe for heart patients? Will CBD impact your heart rate? Could CBD help improve your outlook when dealing with heart disease risk factors? Here’s what you need to know to make informed decisions for your health and well-being.
Does CBD Affect Heart Rate?
Heart rate, also called pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. To find yours, you can feel for a pulse on key points like a carotid artery on the neck (located on either side of the esophagus), the wrists, the insides of elbows, or the tops of feet.
A heart is generally considered healthy when the heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) during rest/inactivity, but this can vary from one person to the next. For example, athletes may have a lower resting heart rate of under 60 bpm, which might spell trouble for someone with a sedentary lifestyle.
Many factors can affect heart rate, from weight or activity level to emotional states like stress or excitement to medical conditions or medications. Even extreme heat or cold could spike your pulse.
Before you add CBD to your regimen, you probably have questions about its potential impact. Does CBD increase heart rate or lower it? Generally, CBD has been favorably linked to many potential heart health benefits, although further research is needed.
Regarding heart rate, CBD has not explicitly been shown to impact hemodynamics (blood flow). Still, it has been found to reduce the cardiovascular stress response, which could include rapid heartbeat. What other effects could CBD have on heart health?
How CBD Affects the Heart
As cannabis legalization spreads, opening new doors to research and development, more opportunities exist to learn about the many chemical compounds that make up this incredible plant.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized the cultivation, distribution, possession, and transportation of hemp cannabis and products containing 0.3% THC or less, was particularly notable.
Hemp-derived CBD products are now widely available across the US, but what can you expect when you use them? Benefits like antioxidant and calming properties are well known, but what about the impact on heart disease and its risk factors? How does CBD affect heart rate and specific conditions like hypertension, congestive heart failure, and more?
Do you ever feel like your heart is racing, even though you’re not stressed or engaged in physical activity? Does your heart seem to flutter or skip a beat for no reason sometimes? When your heart beats too fast, flutters, or skips beats, during activity or rest, it’s known as heart palpitations, which can be frightening.
Heart palpitations aren’t usually a cause for concern, but they could be a symptom of a serious condition. They should always be checked for recurring issues that could signal arrhythmia, heart attack, or other problems.
While there’s no clinical evidence to prove that CBD might help with arrhythmia, for example, some studies with animal subjects suggest that CBD has the potential to help regulate heart rhythms.
This may be especially useful for patients with heart palpitations caused by stress since there are links between CBD and positive effects for those with anxiety. However, before you start researching the best CBD oil for heart palpitations, it’s probably best to see a medical professional for testing to determine underlying causes.
Hypertension, known more commonly as high blood pressure, is characterized by blood pressure above the normal range. To understand this, you need to know that blood pressure is broken into two categories — systolic, or the pressure in arteries when the heart beats, and diastolic, or the pressure in arteries when the heart rests (between beats).
Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80, with 120 representing your systolic and 80 representing your diastolic blood pressure. Still, there is an acceptable range, and what is “normal” can vary from one person to the next. Hypertension is typically defined as anything measuring 140/90 or more, but it may vary by patient and doctor.
If you have high blood pressure, you might wonder, can CBD help, or alternately, can CBD cause heart problems? In cases of stress-induced hypertension, at least two studies where CBD was administered have shown positive results in lowering blood pressure.
An ischemic stroke, commonly referred to as a stroke, occurs when a blockage prevents blood from reaching the brain, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. Less common is hemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Both are considered emergencies.
In the case of ischemic stroke, the cause is a blood clot that breaks away from plaque buildup in an artery, travels through the bloodstream, and ultimately forms a blockage that stops blood flow to part of the brain.
Many factors, including high blood pressure or cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and more, could cause arterial plaque buildup. In addition, ischemic stroke has been linked to the effects of chronic, long-term inflammation.
How does CBD affect heart rate and related risk factors for stroke? Although few studies have been conducted, animal studies suggest that CBD could increase cerebral blood flow during a stroke, potentially reducing harm. CBD’s effects on inflammation may also prove helpful in some cases.
Myocardial infarction, more commonly called a heart attack, is similar to a stroke in that it involves a blockage of blood flow that impairs oxygen delivery. However, this blockage occurs in the heart rather than the brain.
As with stroke, the blockage is typically caused by a blood clot that breaks loose from arterial plaque. If the flow of blood and oxygen is not restored promptly, cells begin to die, causing muscle damage that may become irreversible within as little as 30 minutes.
Although you can’t necessarily rely on CBD gummies to clean heart arteries, per se, CBD could positively impact contributing factors like stress and inflammation. Paired with other efforts, such as changes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits, the risks of heart attack could be reduced.
Congestive Heart Failure
When the heart is healthy and beating as it should, it pumps blood throughout the body. However, when heart muscles weaken, blood flow may be impaired. This is known as congestive heart failure, and the result could be a back up that overflows into the lungs, leading to fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms that could ultimately prove life-threatening.
Research for CBD and congestive heart failure is currently limited, but factors that contribute to congestive heart failure, like hypertension and stress, could be positively impacted by CBD.
Are There Side Effects of Using CBD to Lower Heart Rate?
Although some studies have shown that CBD could contribute to regulating heart rhythm, another study suggested the potential for issues with heart rhythm. That said, the latter study was conducted using full-spectrum products featuring THC, and the relationship was not determined to be causal.
Although CBD has generally been established as safe, entailing little risk of side effects, there is one potential issue to consider. Do not substitute CBD for other treatment options clinically proven to treat certain forms of heart disease.
Does CBD affect heart rate and other risk factors for heart disease? There is potential for improvement depending on several factors, particularly inflammation, and stress. However, discussing your condition with a trusted medical professional and fully understanding all treatment options before choosing is always best.
How to Use CBD for Heart-Related Conditions
Once you’ve answered questions like “Does CBD oil help irregular heartbeat, hypertension, and other risk factors for heart disease?” it’s time to consider how you want to add it to your daily regimen.
If you decide to try CBD for heart-related conditions, after discussing it with your healthcare provider, you’ll need to determine which products are right for you and the amount that best serves your particular needs.
There are two main options to consider when it comes to consumption — inhalation and ingestion. What are the benefits or potential risks of these options? How can you determine a suitable serving size?
Inhalation vs. Ingestion
When it comes to smoking or ingesting edibles or tinctures, your choice may be a personal preference.
You should know that inhaled products, including flower, vapes, and concentrates meant to be vaporized with a dabbing rig, will typically deliver faster onset of effects but often a shorter duration of relief. In contrast, ingested products may kick in more slowly but last longer.
The caveat is that you can achieve faster effects with edibles and tinctures that use nano-technology to improve the absorption and uptake of compounds like cannabinoids. Tinctures that can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) tend to be particularly fast-acting.
For patients with heart disease, specifically, it’s also important to ask is smoking CBD bad for your heart. Smoking, in general, has been found to contribute to heart disease, although studies mainly apply to cigarettes. Still, if you already suffer from risk factors, you might want to stick with edible products.
Understanding how CBD affects heart rate and health could come down to how much you consume. Products like edibles and tinctures typically include dosing instructions, giving you a starting point to build on.
A doctor or pharmacist may be able to help you determine dosing precisely for your needs, and you can always start small and build up slowly until you achieve desired results. Make sure to give products plenty of time to work before adding more, keeping in mind that everyone has different metabolism and body chemistry that could impact results.
Find the Right CBD for Your Needs with the Hemp Doctor
Whether you have a family medical history that increases your risks for heart disease, are dealing with hypertension or palpitations, or you’ve already suffered a heart attack, you might be interested to learn more about the impact of adding CBD to your health and wellness regimen.
Does CBD lower heart rate? Can it help reduce other risk factors for heart disease? Although further research is needed to determine specific benefits, studies point to potentially positive effects between CBD and heart health, particularly regarding factors like reduced swelling and stress.
When you choose The Hemp Doctor for your CBD needs, you’ll enjoy organically-grown, full-spectrum products made in the USA and offering fast absorption for speedy results. Our trained staff can answer your questions about hemp and CBD products and make recommendations to help with your health journey. Shop our safe, natural, and effective collection such as delta 9 gummies, delta 8 thc pre rolls, and more. Find the right solution for your health and wellness. Contact us today to learn more and find the perfect CBD products for you.