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Does CBD Affect Heart Rate?

Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of mortality. But, more importantly, it remains the primary cause of disability and mounting costs in healthcare. 

Most cardiovascular conditions are chronic, like hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

In heart conditions, a high heart rate is not good, as it makes the heart work faster and increases its needs for oxygen and other nutrients, thus increasing the risk of a heart attack. On the other hand, keeping heart rate lower is preferred, as it helps control blood pressure and lowers stress on cardiac muscles.

For a long time, researchers knew little about the influence of cannabinoids on heart health. Since CBD was illegal just a few decades back, it was impossible to carry out clinical trials or even lab studies. However, now things have changed, and using CBD in clinical trials is legal and ethical.

Effects of CBD on your Heart Rate

The most beneficial effects of CBD seem to occur due to its impact on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). At first, researchers thought that ECS is mainly present in the brain. However, now they understand that it is present in almost every organ. Thus, it is present in blood cells, adipose tissues, heart muscles, blood vessels. It can influence inflammatory responses, blood pressure, heart rate, platelet aggregation, and much more.

It seems that now researchers understand how cannabis can affect heart rate. Judging by this research it appears that ECS activates or deactivates the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1). Studies point to TRPV1 being activated by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). And on the contrary, the cannabinoid is a strong desensitizer of TRPV1.

Additionally, the latest studies also show that CBD may have a much broader impact on heart health. It may alter inflammatory responses, help prevent the formation of plaques, may exert a protective action on the cardiovascular system.

CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) cohort study confirmed that not only CBD but even recreational marijuana appears to be safe for heart health. However, unlike CBD, marijuana is more complex, as it contains various compounds with opposing effects on ECS receptors. Therefore, understanding a single compound and its impact on heart health is more straightforward.

What does CBD do to your heart rate?

Since CBD is a desensitizer of TRPV1 channels, it has a mild calming effect on the heart. In addition, it tends to slow down the heart rate, which is beneficial for those living with hypertension or those at the risk of a heart attack. It also lowers the metabolic rate in heart muscles. However, it is worth noticing that CBD only has a mild effect on the heart.

Generally, the THC heart rate effect may be stimulating, and the CBD heart rate effect would be calming.

At present, there are not many studies regarding its impact on heart rate. Nonetheless, most observations indicate that it may help keep the heart calm. It is vital to understand that it mildly lowers the heart rate and, more importantly, may slow down unnecessary cardiac response to minor stressors. It means that it reduces the heart rate variability, which may be pretty good for the heart. 

Heart rate variability and CBD

There is a difference between the heart rate at rest and the heart rate under stress (physical or emotional). Greater variability in the heart rate is bad for heart health. 

However, it is essential to know that individual sensitivities differ, and in some, CBD may instead cause a mild increase in heart rate along with lowering blood pressure. This increase in heart rate is more common after the first few dosages (acute ingestion) and only when CBD is used at extremely high doses like 600 mg a day. However, in most people, a moderate dose of 70 mg a day would only have a calming effect. Nonetheless, it is vital to remember that its heart action will depend on the dosage and will change over time.

Additionally, it is also worth noticing that CBD has many indirect benefits for heart health. It may lower fast heart rate due to its ability to counter anxiety and other emotional responses.

This means that CBD may be suitable for controlling heart arrhythmia. It can lower heart rate, and it may even help prevent irregular heartbeats. Thus, one can also use CBD for heart palpitations, which are commonly caused by either fast heart rate or irregular beating of the heart. Although its effect would be mild, but beneficial. In fact, its mild effect is a good thing, as it means that people can use it frequently without worrying about the side effects or the need for consulting a doctor.

Taking CBD when you have Heart Issues

There could be many reasons to take CBD when living with a heart condition:

  • Hypertension: CBD generally lowers blood pressure. Its blood pressure-lowering action appears to be mild at the recommended dosage of below 70 mg/day.
  • Heart rate control: its effect will vary. At the recommended dosage of 70 mg/day or below, it will have a calming effect. However, a very high dosage of 600 mg may cause an increase in heart rate. Further, the body will get used to it with time, and it will have a minimally calming effect. Additionally, CBD will also reduce heart rate variability.
  • Myocardial infarction: usually, it would help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and thus boost cardiac function. It may reduce episodes of cardiac pain.
  • Atherosclerosis: ECS system is also widely present in macrophages and vascular smooth muscles. Its dysregulation increases the risk of plaque formation. CBD may help regulate ECS and thus lower the risk of atherosclerosis.

ECS regulation with the help of CBD appears to be one of the promising approaches for managing heart issues. CBD oil is good for lowering heart rate, overcoming palpitations. It also helps prevent or manage more severe conditions like arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease. However, these are still early days, and there is a need for more studies in humans.

Since individual sensitives vary, so does the dosage. 10 to 20 mg a day would be a good starting point for those taking CBD for the first time. Generally, a dosage of 70 mg a day is regarded as moderate and highly safe. However, one should be a little careful if exceeding this dose. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing that CBD is safe even at much higher dosages like 600 mg or even 1000 mg a day. But, at higher dosages risk of adverse effects is also higher.

Safe and legal, CBD has the potential to change the shape of people's health for the better. Get in contact with us and find the various CBD options we offer!