Medical Research News

CBD and Heart Disease

Written by Fay Smith

The human heart is like a well-oiled machine during a person’s lifetime, pumping an average of about one million barrels of blood, or enough to fill three supertankers! So, when the organ develops a condition like heart disease, it’s crucial to manage the range of conditions as effectively as possible, as the ailment accounts for one-quarter of deaths in the United States annually.

Using cannabidiol-rich (CBD) oil is an alternative therapy that may help relieve or reduce the symptoms of heart disease. Its constituents include aromatic compounds known as terpenes that contribute to the scents of Cannabis sativa and many, many other plants.

CBD may complement doctor-recommended treatments for cardiovascular disease. For example, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve weight loss procedures can be highly effective and beneficial for individuals with cardiovascular disease.

Keep reading to learn some promising ways CBD may help with heart disease.


What is CBD Oil?

CBD is one of over 100 cannabis-derived compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD is non-intoxicating, therefore, it doesn’t produce a “high” like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). A higher THC level is what many people associate with cannabis use. However, hemp is a lower THC (< 0.3%) variety of cannabis and CBD products are typically hemp-derived.

Studies suggest CBD may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant [1], and pain-relieving [2] benefits.

CBD oil is an extract from hemp plants. Administration methods for CBD include sublingually (under the tongue), orally (gel capsules and tablets), and topically (creams, lotions, and balms) amongst many others.


Can CBD Oil Help Relieve Heart Disease Symptoms? 

While additional research is needed, here are some potential ways CBD oil and other forms like tinctures, topicals, and patches may help reduce or relieve symptoms of heart disease.


CBD May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) is a potential symptom of heart disease. High blood pressure is a possible cause of the symptom, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A medical study published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) Insight showed that single doses of CBD reduced resting blood pressure in healthy individuals. [3] However, the researchers also reported that the subjects’ heart rates increased.


CBD May Help Lower the Risk of Stroke

Heart disease and ischemic stroke share certain risk factors. Ischemic stroke transpires when narrowed or blocked arteries in the brain reduce blood intake. Strokes are medical emergencies as brain issues begin dying within minutes of the event.

Researchers conducting a review of animal studies published in Pharmaceuticals reported that CBD may help protect stroke patients from brain damage and enhance recovery. [4]

In another review of animal studies published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, researchers hypothesized that CBD may increase cerebral blood flow during a stroke. [5]


CBD May Help Relieve Pain

Heart disease may cause various chest-associated symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Pressure
  • Tightness
  • Discomfort

Research shows that CBD may have promising analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. For example, a 2020 study examined CBD’s potential to help relieve chronic pain when primary therapies are insufficient or implausible. [2]

CBD’s potential pain-relieving properties are based on its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). [6] The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids. THC binds to cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. CBD, on the other hand, does not exert its therapeutic properties by binding with either CB1 or CB2 receptors (found in regions of our immune systems). It can antagonize them, however, when THC is present, thereby attenuating the effects of THC.

CBD purportedly supports the role of the modulation of nociceptive pain. Nociceptive pain is caused by damage to body tissue.


CBD May Help Relieve Nausea

Cannabinoids, including CBD, may help regulate nausea and vomiting, according to a review by the British Journal of Pharmacology. [7] Nausea is a possible symptom of heart attacks. The study’s researchers noted that animal studies suggest that cannabinoids may help relieve symptoms of nausea.


CBD Risk Factors and Side Effects

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that CBD does not seem to have the potential for drug abuse and has a generally safe profile. However, CBD may pose certain risk factors.

CBD is among medications metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP450) liver enzymes, a large family of enzymes. CBD inhibits some enzymes in the CYP450.

CBD inhibits some enzymes within the family of enzymes. The slower metabolism of particular drugs may increase side effects. Meanwhile, CBD may also increase the breakdown of other drugs, decreasing their effectiveness.

Research also shows that CBD may cause mild side effects, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

CBD and Heart Health

Studies show that CBD may provide therapeutic effects for individuals with heart disease by reducing blood pressure, relieving pain, and lowering the risk of stroke. However, additional research is needed.

Today, more patients with conditions like heart disease are searching for plant-based alternative therapies to complement their prescription medications. Hemp-derived CBD products with under 0.3% THC are legal on the federal level.

Consulting your doctor or other medical professionals before taking CBD products is highly advisable. They can guide you on the proper usage and dosage for relieving symptoms of specific health conditions, including heart disease.




[1] Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;9(1):21. [journal impact factor = 6.313; times cited = 132]


[2] Argueta DA, Ventura CM, Kiven S, Sagi V, Gupta K. A balanced approach for cannabidiol use in chronic pain. Front Pharmacol. 2020;11:561. [journal impact factor = 5.810; times cited = 17]


[3] Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O’Sullivan SE. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. 2017;2(12):e93760. [journal impact factor = 8.315; times cited = 50]


[4] Hayakawa K, Mishima K, Fujiwara M. Therapeutic potential of non-psychotropic cannabidiol in ischemic stroke. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010;3(7):2197-2212. [journal impact factor = 5.677; times cited = 39]


[5] Sultan SR, Millar SA, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the haemodynamic effects of cannabidiol. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:81. [journal impact factor = 5.810; times cited = 39]


[6] Manzanares J, Julian M, Carrascosa A. Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2006;4(3):239-257. [journal impact factor = 7.363; times cited = 185]


[7] Parker LA, Rock EM, Limebeer CL. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1411-1422. [journal impact factor = 8.739; times cited = 178]


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Fay Smith

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