Heart disease is an unfortunately prevalent phenomenon in Western countries. With a lack of available treatment options, it’s understandable that researchers around the world are looking for new and better ways of taking care of the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, the veins (peripheral vasculature), and the complex network of blood vessels which networks the brain (cerebral vasculature).
Recent scientific evidence and ample anecdotal testimony indicate that the hemp derivative cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective treatment for many common cardiovascular ailments. Researchers cite CBD’s blood pressure reducing (hypotensive) effects in animal models as well as its apparent effectiveness against cardiomyopathy when making the case for this substance’s viability as a cardiovascular treatment.
Cannabinoids on the Horizon
Cannabinoids, a name given to certain or molecularly isolated components of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa), have been the subject of intense inquiry since their discovery in the early 20th century. Common cannabinoids include Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), and Cannabigerol (CBD). Researchers hailing from dozens of different countries have been astounded at the seemingly-miraculous healing powers of these plant-derived cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids).
Especially acclaimed among the cannabinoids, CBD may be an effective treatment for diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Other potential targets of CBD therapy include Huntington’s disease, colitis, and various cardiac ailments. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not appear to have any significant side-effects.
Cannabidiol and Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is an enlargement or thickening of the heart muscle associated with diabetes. Those with diabetes are much more likely to also develop one or more types of heart disease. In one study, researchers were pleased to note that CBD attenuated (reduced) all of the major symptoms associated with cardiomyopathy (1). Cardiomyopathy is one of the most common risk factors for heart attack and heart failure. Combined with cannabidiol’s reputed effectiveness against all types of diabetes and associated (comorbid) conditions, these results spell out a clear need for further research into every potential therapeutic application of this apparent wonder drug.
Harmless Heart Relaxer?
In animal models, CBD appears to reduce cardiac responses to stress (2). When a startling event occurs, the heart reacts instantly and can sometimes freeze up. This is called a heart attack (cardiac arrest), and while a single heart attack can kill, multiple instances of cardiac arrest inevitably lead to total heart failure. If it’s true that CBD reduces the heart’s response to stressful stimuli, then this is just further evidence that CBD might serve as a buffer against heart attacks.
The reputed cardiac benefits of cannabidiol don’t stop there: researchers have commented on various other ways in which cannabidiol appears to benefit cardiac health in general (3). The combined evidence, while inconclusive, appears decisively in favor of CBD’s potential therapeutic application across a wide spectrum of heart ailments.
It’s a proudly upheld tradition of scientific inquiry to resist the temptation to jump to conclusions. The cautious tone taken by most CBD researchers is therefore understandable, but reading between the lines of the academic papers available on the subject can afford insight into the way these researchers feel about their subject of inquiry.
Within these studies, there seems to be an air of excitement around CBD’s potential. While it’s true that more research certainly needs to be done, dozens of credible studies have already been conducted supporting CBD’s purported health benefits; this evidence has been enough to convince hundreds of researchers and thousands of doctors, patients and entrepreneurs around the world of CBD’s immense healing potential.
CBD also helps with many other ailments both common and more serious, and we published an article on the best CBD Companies here.