Evidence based

CBD and Heart Disease: Current Research & Understanding

Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. CBD supplements have been shown to slow heart disease progression and improve quality of life.

Article By
Justin Cooke , posted 2 months ago

According to The World Health Organization, heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Nearly 18 million people die each year from the condition.

Around 90% of heart disease deaths are preventable, according to a 2008 study [5].

Eating healthily, managing stress, exercising, and quitting smoking all go a long way in preventing heart disease.

CBD supplements have also been indicated to potentially offer broad protective effects against developing heart disease. Early research in valid models is promising, although direct conclusive studies about CBD and cardiovascular disease in humans have not yet been done.

Many people are starting to combine daily CBD supplementation with other healthy lifestyle choices to minimize the chances of developing heart disease. It’s also used to slow the progression of existing heart disease.

Here, we’ll go over what heart disease is, how CBD can be used to support it, and what else you can do to reduce your chances of falling victim to the leading cause of death around the world.

Let’s get started.

  • MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

    Abraham Benavides, M.D.,Medical Doctor

    Updated on November 16, 2019

  • Table of Contents

Summary: Using CBD for Heart Disease

There are many different forms of heart disease — some are serious and life-threatening; others are more benign.

CBD is a useful supplement for alleviating common side-effects of heart disease, and in some cases, can even treat the underlying cause of the condition.

CBD is especially beneficial to people suffering from atrial fibrillation (or other arrhythmias) associated with anxiety and inflammatory causes, including atherosclerosis.

Most patients with heart disease use CBD to alleviate side-effects such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Heart Disease:

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels [1]
  2. Promotes weight loss [1]
  3. Stops inflammation [3]
  4. Lowers blood pressure [2]
  5. Protects the arteries from oxidative stress [4]

Tips for Optimizing CBD Supplementation

  1. Use a full-spectrum extract
  2. Use CBD over the long term for the best results
  3. Make dietary and lifestyle changes 
  4. Discuss CBD use with your doctor to avoid drug interactions
  5. Use oral CBD only
  6. Avoid smoking at all costs

Heart Disease 101

The term “heart disease” is often used synonymously with cardiovascular disease — an umbrella term for all medical conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels around the body. Others prefer to use the term to describe the medical conditions only affecting the heart.

In this article, we’re going to use this secondary meaning — referring to problems with the heart muscle itself rather than the rest of the cardiovascular system.

The heart’s job is to pump blood throughout the body rhythmically. The movement of blood delivers necessary nutrients to cells and eliminates toxic byproducts at the same time.

If there are any issues with the function of the heart, it can affect the function of every other organ in the body. If the heart stops, even for just a few minutes, we can sustain permanent, debilitating damage to our body’s tissues.

Common Types of Heart Disease

1. Angina (Coronary Artery Disease)

Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). The condition involves a blockage in one or more of the arteries feeding the heart. When the artery becomes blocked, or the heart demands more blood flow than can pass through the occluded area, it causes symptoms resembling a heart attack.

It causes pain and tightness in the chest — usually lasting a few minutes before clearing up on its own.

This condition is a sign of serious heart disease and dramatically increases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

2. Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation involves an irregular heartbeat — often referred to commonly as heart palpitations. It can feel as though your heart missed a beat or is fitting extra beats in.

Atrial fibrillations are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the heart.

Although atrial fibrillation isn’t directly life-threatening, it can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack later in life. Roughly 33% of strokes in people over the age of 60 are a result of atrial fibrillation, according to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

This condition can be caused by menopause, old-age, anxiety, or congenital defects.

3. Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a condition affecting the function of the heart muscle — negatively impacting its ability to contract and force blood through the system. There are a few different types of cardiomyopathies depending on the cause — but all of them will result in a reduction in the heart’s ability to oxygenate the body.

4. Congenital Heart Disease

The word congenital refers to conditions that are present at birth. This condition is caused by problems during fetal development.

It can result in varying levels of dysfunction throughout life depending on the severity of the defect.

5. Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure develops after the heart has been injured — usually after a heart attack. It’s a condition that involves an inability to pump the blood around the body effectively. Side-effects will vary depending on which side of the heart is affected.

If the right side of the heart is damaged, blood will begin to pool in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema, coughing, and shortness of breath.

If the left side of the heart is affected, blood will begin to pool in the rest of the body, primarily the arms and legs.

6. Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood feeding the heart becomes blocked. The heart muscle is extremely powerful and demands a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to beat properly. If the flow of oxygen and nutrients is cut off, even for just a few minutes, it can cause the specialized heart cells to die off.

If blood flow isn’t restored almost immediately, the condition can be fatal.

Even in cases where blood flow was restored,  too much damage can leave those affected with permanent damage and reduced quality of life.

Heart attacks often lead to congestive heart failure.

Causes of Heart Disease

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bacterial infections
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Diet high in sodium
  • Diet high in refined carbohydrates
  • Diet high in trans-fats
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Recreational drug use
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Side-effects of certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Viral infections

Treatment Options for Heart Disease

  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Stress-reduction techniques

Guide to using CBD for Heart Disease

CBD is a useful supplement for addressing some of the underlying causes of heart disease, as well as common side-effects such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

The most significant benefits of CBD for heart disease include:

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels [1]
  2. Promotes weight loss [1]
  3. Stops inflammation [3]
  4. Lowers blood pressure [2]
  5. Protects the arteries from oxidative stress [4]

Heart disease is a serious condition, requiring the oversight of an experienced medical professional. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements — including CBD.

Fortunately, CBD rarely interacts with medications, including sensitive heart medications such as cardiac glycosides and blood thinners. CBD has been proven safe in both animal and human trials.

To get the most out of your CBD supplementation, look for companies that use certified organic hemp and avoid those that don’t list their third-party lab results publically on their website. Any contaminants in low-quality oils could make underlying causes for heart disease even worse, so it’s critical to ensure you only use high-quality products.

We also recommend using full-spectrum oils over CBD isolates because they contain other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that offer their own set of benefits toward inflammation, blood sugar regulation, and anxiety — all of which are critically important in the underlying causes and sustaining factors of heart disease.

What Form of CBD Should I Use?

Choosing what type of CBD to use out of all the options can seem intimidating at first — there’s capsules, oils, tinctures, suppositories, edibles, gummies, vape oils, coffee, and numerous other forms depending on the company.

The truth is that most of these will work just fine. In all forms except topical CBD, the result is the absorption of CBD into the bloodstream.

With that said, CBD oils, tinctures, and capsules offer distinct advantages over the other options when it comes to heart disease.

The benefit of CBD oils and tinctures is that the dose can be individually measured more easily than most other forms. Once you’ve determined the amount of CBD contained in each milliliter or drop of fluid, it’s easy to tweak the dose according to how it affects you individually.

CBD capsules are also an excellent option and are considered by many to be the most convenient form of dosing CBD.

The required dose of CBD can vary from one person to the next. This is because the compound affects everyone differently depending on the health of the liver, digestive tract, and genetic variability in the endocannabinoid function throughout the body.

For this reason, most people need to do some trial and error when trying CBD for the first time.

The best way to do this is to start with the lowest dose on our chart below according to your weight and build up gradually each day by adding 2 mg or 3 mg of CBD. Once you find relief from your symptoms, you’ve found the correct dose for you.

It’s important to note that some people end up at a dose far higher than those listed on the chart below. In general, the maximum dose of CBD should be around 100 mg, but this can vary from person to person, and CBD is considered highly safe even at large doses.

General Dosage Guidelines for Cardiovascular Conditions

Low-Strength CBDMedium-Strength CBDHigh-Strength CBD
• Mild anxiety    
• High cholesterol
• Anxiety    
• Coronary artery disease  
• Inflammatory conditions  
• High cholesterol
• Atherosclerosis    
• High blood pressure  
• Anxiety  
• Coronary artery disease  
• Inflammatory conditions

Daily Doses of CBD by Weight and Strength (in mg)

Weight (lbs)Low StrengthMedium StrengthHigh Strength

100 lbs

10 mg

30 mg

60 mg

125 lbs

13 mg

38 mg

75 mg

150 lbs

15 mg

45 mg

90 mg

175 lbs

17 mg

52 mg

105 mg

200 lbs

20 mg

60 mg

120 mg

225 lbs

22 mg

67 mg

135 mg

250 lbs

25 mg

75 mg

150 mg

Final Verdict: CBD for Heart Disease

CBD is beneficial to many of the underlying causes of heart disease, including diabetes, anxiety, high stress, inflammation, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome.

Heart disease often has no cure — CBD is generally used purely to reduce the risk of developing the condition, manage side-effects, and slow the progression of certain types of heart disease.

Whenever taking CBD for heart disease, it’s essential that you first consult with your doctor to make sure your prescription medications won’t interact negatively with the CBD or other cannabinoids. Negative drug interactions are more common with products containing THC as a primary cannabinoid.

In conclusion, we recommend having a look through our reviews before settling on a specific product to make sure it is contaminant-free and contains the cannabinoid profile as advertised on the packaging.


References

  1. Matias, I., & Di Marzo, V. (2007). Endocannabinoids and the control of energy balance. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 18(1), 27-37.
  2. Stanley, C. P., Hind, W. H., & O’sullivan, S. E. (2013). Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75(2), 313-322.
  3. Klein, T. W., Newton, C., Larsen, K., Lu, L., Perkins, I., Nong, L., & Friedman, H. (2003). The cannabinoid system and immune modulation. Journal of leukocyte biology, 74(4), 486-496.
  4. Booz, G. W. (2011). Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 51(5), 1054-1061.
  5. McGill Jr, H. C., McMahan, C. A., & Gidding, S. S. (2008). Preventing heart disease in the 21st century: implications of the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) study. Circulation, 117(9), 1216-1227.

Conditions that May Respond to Cannabidiol