High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels is consistently too high. High blood pressure can be a very serious ailment if left unchecked and is something you should take seriously. CBD has been thought to help with many things but can CBD actually help regulate or lower your blood pressure?
Many people don’t even know or realize that they have high blood pressure. In the United States alone it is believed that almost half of adults are considered to have high blood pressure. Hypertension can be addressed in many ways and with various prescription medications. But if you are someone who prefers a more natural solution you might be wondering if CBD could help to alleviate your blood pressure.
We were wondering the same thing so we did some more research on this topic. Read on to find out what the research says about whether CBD is effective at lowering blood pressure and how much CBD you should take to lower your blood pressure.
What Is Blood Pressure and How Is It Measured
So, what exactly is blood pressure? Understanding the basics of human anatomy as it pertains to blood pressure is important. It allows you to better recognize when there may be a problem and it also allows you to better understand what your response to that problem should be. We have doctors for a reason but it is a good thing to understand your body and how it works, at least in a general sense.
Your heart pumps blood throughout your body through what is known as the circulatory system. This is a vast system of pathways by which your blood reaches your entire body. The term blood pressure simply refers to the amount of force or pressure of the circulating blood against the walls of your blood vessels. It is normally viewed as the pressure in the large arteries. Blood pressure is an important vital sign that a healthcare professional would use when evaluating a person’s health.
Most of us have probably had our blood pressure measured. It is traditionally done using what is called a sphygmomanometer. That’s the cuff that they put on you and then pump it up to squeeze your arm. A stethoscope is also used so that they can carefully listen to the artery to determine the correct systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It’s not a complicated method but it does take some training and practice to become accurate. Nowadays we also have more automated ways of determining a person’s blood pressure, which can also be very accurate.
Hypertension is referred to ‘the silent killer’ for a reason. You may feel fine and you may not be experiencing any negative symptoms that you are aware of. But the fact is that if left untreated, HBP does damage to your circulatory system that can lead to major health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Possible Causes and Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
What causes high blood pressure and are some people more prone to it than others? There is no question that there are some things you can do to lower your risk of hypertension. On the other hand, there are other risk factors that are hereditary and you are simply stuck with.
These are some hereditary risk factors that you cannot change but should be aware of that can lead to high blood pressure:
- Family history – If close blood relatives have had HBP then you are more at risk
- Age – The simple fact is the older you are the more likely you are to suffer from HBP
- Gender – Before age 64 men are more at risk. After 64 women seem to have a higher risk
- Race – HBP is more prevalent in African Americans
Some risk factors of HBP that you do have some control over:
- Diet – unhealthy diet, especially high sodium contributes to HBP
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Stress – too much stress can definitely contribute to an increase in your blood pressure
Short and Long Term Effects of Hypertension
High blood pressure is referred to as ‘the silent killer’ for a reason. Unfortunately, you may not even know or feel the damage being caused to your circulatory system and your heart. If you are aware that you are at risk for high blood pressure then you should have it checked regularly to make sure it is not increasing. There are also a host of symptoms that may point to signs of having high blood pressure.
Some of these symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
In the long run, high blood pressure can lead to some very serious problems. It can lead to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. This is when plaque actually builds up in your arteries, causing blockages. This can lead to a restriction of blood flow to your heart. A severe condition may even lead to chest pain especially when you are exerting yourself.
Some other conditions that are often attributed to high blood pressure are strokes, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, and preeclampsia during a woman’s pregnancy. These are all very serious conditions that can be life-threatening. And your chances of experiencing these are all increased with high blood pressure.