Increasing evidence is showing that CBD from the Cannabis plant is beneficial for cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart disease. Most testing has been done on cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, yet other cannabinoids such as Anandamide have also been found to have positive effects on heart conditions.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking an estimated 788,000 lives per year in 2011. Cardiovascular diseases take out more lives than all cancers combined.1
Relaxing Arterial Walls
One of the main findings is how CBD helps to relax arterial walls, lessening tension in the blood vessels. 2 While it relaxes it also protects the arteries from inflammation.3 CBD is a natural way to reduce the metabolic issues of high glucose responses present in heart disease patients as well as diabetes, decreasing vein wall permeability.4
In heart disease and cardiovascular conditions, there is too much inflammation. New lab tests show the immune modulating and anti-inflammatory components of cannabinoids, coupled with the anti-oxidant effects, protect the heart specifically when tissue damage is present from lack of oxygen and blood supply.
It also protects the heart from cardiomyopathy – a disease of the heart muscles causing hardening and thickening and lack of blood flow. 2 A very interesting finding was that CBD stopped endotoxin production. These types of pro-inflammatory cytokines are exactly what cause heart conditions to progress; so inhibiting endotoxin production is a profound key to heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. 5
Reducing Arterial Plaque
Arterial Plaque is a huge factor in heart disease, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular issues. When this plaque builds up throughout the arterial walls it makes it very challenging for the heart to pump blood.
CBD also decreased the adhesion of plaque to arterial walls. This is a key finding, as this type of plaque build-up is one of the main causes of the progression of heart disease.
The Research Is In…
Research and studies are showing a direct link between treating or even preventing health challenges like atherosclerosis – and the endocannabinoid system. A study was conducted utilizing tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) on mice. It was evident that THC activated the CB2 receptors, which inhibited plaque formation within the arteries of the mice. Lab testing further revealed that low oral doses of THC, at about 1mg per day, resulted in the plaque build-up within the arteries halting its progression.6
We are seeing more and more studies suggest that our endocannabinoid system plays a large role in our body’s defense against cardiovascular diseases.
In summary, CBD has the ability to calm inflammation in the vascular system, relax the arterial walls and work as an immune modulator and anti-oxidant while decreasing the amount of plaque build up in the walls of the arteries. These findings suggest yet another potent use for cannabinoids and cannabis.
Find out what forms of cannabis are legal where you live, and fight for the legalization of those that are not. Your life, or the life of someone you love, could very well be saved by this plant one day.