Are CBD Gummies Safe For Heart Patients

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Harvard-trained cardiologist Cynthia Thaik explores the currect research on how CBD can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. CBD (cannabidiol) oil may be safe for heart patients, but research is limited. Learn about the potential heart benefits of CBD, along with drug interactions.

3 Ways CBD Can Help With Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women, killing a person every 37 seconds in the United States alone. Heart disease is the result of the cardiovascular system not working efficiently when the blood vessels harden and plaque accumulates over time.

Treating this medical condition is the job of thousands of medical professionals who work to prevent patients from suffering from fatal strokes or heart attacks. However, the medication to treat heart disease comes with a list of side effects that can cause other complications, so a safer alternative is ideal.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but before expanding on how it affects your body, it is important to know that it will not make you high. Two main natural compounds are extracted from the cannabis plant. There is CBD, also known as cannabinol and THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol.

THC has psychoactive properties, and it will make you high. On the other hand, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. Accordingly, products such as CBD oil or edibles such as gummies with minimal THC levels can be taken safely without fear of getting high.

With its positive traits, researchers are analyzing this compound to see if it is a safer option when compared to traditional treatment prescribed for heart disease. CBD has similar properties to the ECS found in our bodies and manages critical functions such as appetite, mood, sleep, temperature, reproductive systems, immune systems, and more. In a nutshell, the ECS’s goal is to create homeostasis, thus achieving the right balance in your body for optimal function.

While CBD does not directly work with your cardiovascular system, it does have positive benefits on lowering the risk of heart disease thanks to the way it interacts with the ECS.

How is CBD Helpful to Patients with Heart Disease?

Research on CBD is limited since researchers usually have to conduct tests on animals, rather than people. However, early studies are showing the benefits of CBD on patients with heart disease. These include:

  • Reducing irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing inflammation

Heart Arrhythmias

Heart arrhythmias happen when the electrical impulses in your body help coordinate your heartbeats when they aren’t working as they should. As a result, it can beat slower, faster, or irregular. While some heart arrhythmias are harmless, others can be life-threatening.

In one study on rats , researchers noted the positive effect of CBD on arrhythmias. It was noted how CBD is “cardioprotective” by lowering ventricular arrhythmias. They concluded that CBD could help with the antiarrhythmic effect.

Lowering Blood Pressure

High blood pressure creates damage to the body for years before you even start feeling symptoms. Hypertension can damage or narrow your arteries due to the high pressure inside your body.

When blood vessels’ pressure occurs for years, it can start forming bulges, known as aneurysms. If one of these bulges ruptures, internal bleeding would be the result that could lead to fatal consequences. High blood pressure may also be the culprit of an enlarged heart when it’s forced to work harder to pump blood, leading to a higher risk of a heart attack. Hypertension can also cause heart failure and coronary artery disease, both of which lead to chest pains and heart attacks.

Lowering your blood pressure is, therefore, crucial to reducing your risk of heart disease and this is where CBD can help. Researchers have found that CBD can lower blood pressure by widening blood vessels and enabling the blood to flow more easily. During a 2017 study , researchers learned that one dose of CBD reduced blood pressure in healthy participants.

Reducing Inflammation

Researchers have already noted the benefits of CBD on inflammation-causing diseases such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD can also be of benefit when it comes to the inflammation of the heart.

One report conducted by researchers at the Imperial College London noted how CBD contains significant anti-inflammatory properties, even higher than the usual contenders such as antioxidants, Omega-3 and vitamin C. When mice were given 5 mg of CBD, their inflammation was diminished by 50 percent.

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Using CBD the Right Way

As with any other form of medication, doses will vary from one person to the next, even when it comes to consuming CBD. Ideally, it’s always best to consult a medical professional before taking CBD, especially if you are already suffering from a form of heart disease and you are taking medication.

CBD could affect your current medication and lead to complications. Moreover, a professional can guide you into choosing the right CBD for you, as some can still contain a high percentage of THC.

Furthermore, CBD should not be the only answer to your heart disease problems. A healthy diet is critical to remain healthy as is regular exercise and enjoying days when stress and anxiety are not present.

About the author

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, M.D., FACC is a Harvard-trained cardiologist serving the greater Los Angeles community at her holistic health center in Burbank and Valencia, CA. Dr. Thaik is the author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. To learn more about Dr. Thaik or the Holistic Healing Heart Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact [email protected] or call (818) 842-1410 .

CBD and Heart Health

What to Know About CBD for Heart Failure, Cholesterol, and Blood Pressure

Lindsay Curtis is a health writer with over 20 years of experience in writing health, science & wellness-focused articles.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Jeffrey S. Lander, MD, is a board-certified cardiologist and the President and Governor of the American College of Cardiology, New Jersey chapter.

Heart health is one of the areas being explored to determine the therapeutic health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). Nearly 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, accounting for one in every four deaths.

CBD cannot cure heart disease or congestive heart failure, but it is being studied for ways it may help reduce symptoms or prevent heart disease. However, CBD has not been shown in large studies to prevent diseases that lead to heart failure.

Read on to learn more about CBD’s benefits for the heart, what CBD oil is, side effects, and forms of CBD oil.

Verywell / Jessica Olah

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. CBD is a chemical that’s unique to the cannabis plant. The two major cannabinoids contained in cannabis plants are:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): It has psychoactive properties that create a “high” feeling.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): It has no psychoactive effects but provides several therapeutic benefits.

Both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is a complex biological system that impacts many of the body’s functions, including appetite, memory, mood, and sleep. Researchers are learning that the endocannabinoid plays a role in the function of the cardiovascular (heart) system.

A growing body of evidence shows that dysregulated ECS is associated with a number of cardiovascular diseases. Whether you have a heart condition or want to prevent heart disease, CBD may boost your endocannabinoid system to help it regulate the cardiovascular system.

Overview of Heart Failure

Heart disease is an umbrella term that refers to several types of heart conditions. Heart disease may involve the heart valves, arteries, and heart rate, leading to heart failure.

Heart failure is a serious health condition in which the heart isn’t pumping the way it should be. The body depends on the heart’s pumping action to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to all of its cells.

With heart failure, the heart cannot supply the body’s cells with enough blood, leading to symptoms that can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life.

Heart failure has a number of causes, including genetics, other medical conditions (e.g., anemia, diabetes, sleep apnea), and lifestyle (e.g., smoking, obesity).

Symptoms of heart failure vary, depending on the type and severity of heart failure you have. Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Bluish-colored fingers and/or lips
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Inability to sleep when lying flat

CBD and Heart Health

CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative properties that may help reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease. It may also be helpful in reducing the risk of related conditions, such as stroke.

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Blood Pressure

Research suggests that even a single dose of CBD can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure has been linked to congestive heart failure. This is because high blood pressure makes it more difficult for blood to travel easily throughout the body, causing the heart to work harder.

While more research is needed to be sure, CBD may be helpful in lowering blood pressure to prevent congestive heart failure.

Cholesterol

CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce cholesterol levels to improve heart health. Cholesterol is a type of lipid (fat) found in the blood.

High cholesterol levels—particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol—increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. LDL can build up in the lining of blood vessels, causing a blockage that can lead to heart attack or stroke.

CBD has properties that help relax arterial walls, which research suggests may help reduce blood pressure and excess cholesterol. In animal studies, CBD has been shown to increase HDL levels—aka “good” cholesterol—and lower LDL levels after four weeks of CBD supplementation.

Inflammation

CBD is perhaps best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that inflammation may be at the root of many chronic illnesses. Heart disease is associated with inflammation. Inflamed blood vessels make it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

One study found that CBD has a direct effect on the arteries, helping reduce inflammation and improving blood flow. This suggests that CBD reduces inflammation in arteries and blood vessels, easing the strain on the heart, potentially preventing heart failure.

Weight Management

Obesity is one of the leading causes of congestive heart failure, which is one reason why it is important to maintain a healthy weight for optimal heart health. There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may help maintain a healthy weight.

One study found that CBD promotes the browning of white fat cells, which aids in converting the fat into burnable calories. This is beneficial because brown fat cells contain more mitochondria than white fat cells, which helps burn calories. White fat cells contain droplets of fat that accumulate around the body and can lead to obesity.

Are There Any Side Effects?

CBD has few side effects, and the World Health Organization states that it is generally well tolerated and has a good safety profile. While relatively safe, there are a few things to consider before you try CBD.

If you are currently taking any other medications, speak with your doctor before trying CBD. Some research suggests that CBD may interfere with the way the liver processes certain medications.

This interference may prevent the liver from metabolizing other medications as it normally would, leading to higher concentrations of the medication in the body and increasing the risk of liver toxicity.

Best CBD for Heart Health

CBD comes in many different forms, including oils and tinctures, edibles, topicals, and vaporizers. Taking CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) is an easy way to enjoy the benefits. Using sublingual oils tends to work faster and produce stronger results than other edible products, such as gummies.

Vaping CBD is a fast way of delivering CBD into your system, but it is not recommended for individuals with heart disease. Vaping is associated with lung damage, and research shows it causes an increased risk in developing cardiovascular disease.

There are a number of CBD types to choose from. Understanding these differences can help you choose which type is best for your needs. These types include:

  • Isolate: CBD is the only cannabinoid contained in the product.
  • Full-spectrum: Contains multiple naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts, including terpenes, other cannabinoids, and up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad: Contains CBD and other components/cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but does not contain any THC.

The availability of these products varies from state to state, particularly for products that contain THC.

If you’re just starting off with CBD, try a small dose first. Watch for any side effects. If you wish, you can slowly increase your dosage (no more than 5 to 10 mg increase at a time) until you find the dosage that is right for you.

How to Buy CBD

With so many CBD options available, shopping for the right product can be an overwhelming experience. Some important things to keep in mind when buying CBD include:

  • Cannabis source: CBD is derived from cannabis plants, and it’s important the CBD is sourced from a company that takes care in the quality and cultivation of their plants. Look for products that come from organic plants when possible.
  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA): Responsible, reputable manufacturers offer a CoA that clearly states the amounts of cannabinoids in a product. CoAs are conducted by an independent, accredited lab.
  • Read the label: Read the full list of ingredients contained in CBD to know what you are consuming.
  • Type of CBD: To get the best results, look for full-spectrum or broad CBD products. These may offer an “entourage effect,” combining the effects of multiple cannabis compounds that work in synergy to offer the most benefits.
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Summary

CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Researchers are looking into ways it could be beneficial for heart health. While it has few side effects, it may slow liver metabolism and affect other medications you are taking.

Cannabidiol comes in several forms and methods of application. People with heart disease should avoid products that require vaping or smoking.

A Word From Verywell

While CBD is not a cure for heart failure, it may prevent further damage thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD may be helpful in reducing blood pressure, decreasing inflammation and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Improving these factors may reduce the risk of heart failure.

Speak with your doctor before trying CBD, particularly if you are on any other medications or dietary supplements. Your doctor can let you know if it is safe to take, and may have product and/or dosage recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is CBD for congestive heart failure?

CBD is generally considered to be safe for congestive heart failure. Research shows no significant adverse effects of CBD at a wide range of doses (anywhere from 3 to 1,200 mg/day).

CBD has significant potential to treat a variety of heart diseases and comes with few adverse side effects, though more research is needed. Talk with your doctor before using CBD for heart disease, particularly if you are currently taking any other medications.

Does CBD lead to heart problems?

CBD alone does not lead to heart problems. However, CBD is broken down and metabolized by the liver. During this process, it may interfere with your medications for any heart conditions you have. This may lead to liver problems or interfere with the effectiveness of any medications you are taking.

Exercise caution and speak with your doctor before using CBD for heart failure.

Can CBD cause heart palpitations?

The cardiovascular effects of CBD are currently being studied. Some research suggests that cannabis use may cause arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) or tachycardia (increase in heart rate).

However, those studies included products that also contain THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. More research is needed to determine if CBD causes heart palpitations.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease facts.

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National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Heart failure.

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Parray HA, Yun JW. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol Cell Biochem. 2016;416(1-2):131-139. doi:10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5

World Health Organization. Cannabidiol (CBD).

Ewing LE, Skinner CM, Quick CM, et al. Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model. Molecules. 2019;24(9):1694. doi:10.3390/molecules24091694

Peruzzi M, Biondi-Zoccai G, Carnevale R, Cavarretta E, Frati G, Versaci F. Vaping cardiovascular health risks: an updated umbrella review. Curr Emerg Hosp Med Rep. 2020;8:1-7. doi:10.1007/s40138-020-00219-0

Garza-Cervantes JA, Ramos-González M, Lozano O, Jerjes-Sánchez C, García-Rivas G. Therapeutic applications of cannabinoids in cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020:4587024. doi:10.1155/2020/4587024

Goyal H, Awad HH, Ghali JK. Role of cannabis in cardiovascular disorders. J Thorac Dis. 2017;9(7):2079-2092. doi:10.21037/jtd.2017.06.104

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