The cardiovascular system is what is responsible for blood circulation around the body.
This is only one function of the cardiovascular system, this system is also responsible for the transfusion of oxygen and the expulsion of carbon dioxide, the absorption of macronutrients and hormones.
Without a healthy cardiovascular system, we struggle to survive.
What Is Cardiovascular Disease?
It is estimated that cardiovascular disease is responsible for 31% of deaths globally, with this being the leading cause of death in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is a blanket term that covers diseases that fall under this umbrella.
Cardiovascular diseases include issues with the heart and blood vessels, coronary artery disease (CAD) such as angina and includes some types of heart attacks and strokes.
Preventative methods for these diseases can be a healthy lifestyle which includes but is not limited to: healthy eating, exercising and not smoking. However, if you do suffer from Cardiovascular disease, how do you go about treating it?
The Relationship Between Cannabis And The Cardiovasuclar System
Research into the relationship between cannabis and the human cardiovascular system has been increasing the last decade. Researchers are now beginning to understand the mechanisms and reactions on a molecular level.
Research is uncovering how cannabis can play a role in the physiopathelogical functions of the cardiovascular system. Some research is suggestive of the fact that cannabis can provide relief and even protect from the build of plague in arteries and helps protect the cardiovascular system after a heart attack.
How Can Cannabis Help Toward Better Cardiovascular Health?
We know that we have an endocannabioid system which is innate. This system helps cannabis bind to receptors in our brains (CB1) and the rest of our bodies (CB2). The way in which our bodies metabolises cannabis can help us in many ways relating to our cardiac health.
Whilst we will always advocate a healthy and active lifestyle, sometimes this isn’t possible. Even though there isn’t a large amount of literature available on the subject as of yet, the evidence is suggestive of the fact that the use of cannabis can also help towards decreasing blood pressure.
These claims are still being tested and further studies are required before we can validate these claims. However, the inflammatory properties of cannabis is well documented.
Cannabidiol And The Cardiovascular System
Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD is one of the many compounds found in cannabis, it is a non psychoactive compounds who’s health benefits we are only just beginning to uncover. Research has shown that applying CBD directly to affected isolated arteries can reduce promote relaxation of them, lessening the damage caused through constriction.
People who suffer from ischaemia (a condition where there is inadequate blood supply to the heart) were subject to tests whereby they ingested CBD. The results demonstrate that ingestion of CBD helped to protect areas that were suffering from ischaemia.
CBD also helped to lessen the damage that can be sustained through the re-profusion process, something that has been the source of many injuries when ischaemia has been treated.
Cannabidiol And Stress
While stress isn’t directly a cardiovascular condition, it can be a precursor too one. High stress levels can put undue strain on the heart and other organs and can promote eventual failure if they body doesn’t respond well to the external stimuli.
Studies have shown that CBD directly negates the cardiovascular response to stress, whilst researches are currently unsure how this happens, it is clear there is a wider application for CBD, especially in terms of cardiovascular health.
Cannabidiol And Strokes
As aforementioned,CBD can act as a protector when the body is faced with cardiovascular issues. This is also true in the case of a stroke. CBD can act in a protective manner to protect the brain and other parts of the body, such as the heart when a stroke occurs.
It vastly reduces the damage of the restriction of blood to the organ. The results of these trials suggest that CBD will be integral in treating cardiovascular and ischaemic conditions.
Why Cannabidiol And Not Cannabis?
Cannabis is made up of a plethora of compounds and with research being so new in the medical applications of cannabis, there are only so many compounds and mixtures of compounds that researchers can look at, at any one time.
It is well known that all 421 cannabis compounds work in a symbiotic relationship with one and another and promote health benefits we are only just beginning to understand, but for the interim, anecdotal evidence is ahead of the scientific evidence and literature surrounding the many applications of cannabis.
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It is clear that we are beginning to understand the wide and varied application fo cannabis and how it can be used to treat a spectrum of conditions.
Whist research is still focusing on a few compounds or a small mix of compounds, this research is yielding fantastic results. The evidence is showing that cannabis as a whole can be used to treat high blood pressure and regulate stress.
Cannabidiol can be used in direct application to parts of the body to limit the damage caused by cardiovascular health issues such as constricted arteries or even damaged caused through limited blood flow.
Scientists will continue to research cannabis as a whole and its various compounds, the results generated will help its application in cardiovascular health. This area of research is already showing promising results from a subject that is so young and new.