May 09, 2022

CBD & Low Blood Pressure: Yea Or Nay?

We hear a lot about high blood pressure — almost half of all American adults are afflicted with this.(1) But what about low blood pressure?

It’s hard to nail down an exact percentage of the population that has low blood pressure, aka hypotension. This is largely because it’s often a silent or transient condition. However, experts agree that some degree of low blood pressure is common — maybe even about 50% of people experience a hypotensive episode.(2)

Given the prevalence of low blood pressure and popularity of CBD, people want to know if the two mix. They’re interested in understanding things like:

  • How does CBD affect blood pressure?
  • Can CBD lower blood pressure?
  • Can you take CBD if you have low blood pressure?

Let’s find out!

Hypotension — What’s That?

The optimal range for healthy blood pressure (BP) between 90/60 and 120/80 (systolic/diastolic). For most healthy adults, their BP is somewhere in this ballpark. (3,4,5)

Hypotension is the medical name for low blood pressure, or a BP that’s below 90/60.

Types Of Hypotension

A person can have occasional low blood pressure that’s pretty much NBG and requires no treatment. It’s likely that everyone experiences a bout of hypotension at some point in their lives. Low BP gets to be a concern if it’s persistent or causing other problems (like fainting and falling).

Not all hypotension is the same. There are different sorts of low blood pressure, including:

  • Orthostatic or Postural Hypotension
  • Neurally Mediated Hypotension
  • Postprandial Hypotension
  • Shock-Related Hypotension

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

Hypotension can be symptomatic or asymptomatic. But, if low BP were to rear its head, it might look something like this:

  • Clamminess
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Distorted vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Shallow, fast breathing
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unusual behavior
  • Weakness

Causes of Low Blood Pressure

This condition has lots of potential causes, including:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Anemia
  • Being on bed rest
  • Body position
  • Breathing rhythm
  • Nervous system diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Dehydration
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Eating
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Heart and lung conditions
  • Losing a lot of blood
  • Metabolic or endocrine conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe infections
  • Shock
  • Some supplements or home remedies
  • Stress
  • Trauma

Not all of these causes are associated with all types of hypotension. Each kind of low blood pressure has its own subset of possible causes and triggers.

Age, sex, time of day, and other factors can impact the likelihood of low BP, too.

Treating Hypotension

The treatment protocol is different for each form of low blood pressure and each person. If your doctor determines it’s necessary for intervention, he or she could recommend a variety of lifestyle changes and medical therapies. These could include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Physical movement
  • Compression stockings
  • Medication
  • Hormone therapy
  • IV fluids
  • Blood transfusion

If the hypotension is brought on by and underlying condition, your healthcare provider will work to help you resolve that.

CBD & Blood Pressure

So, you’re probably wondering how CBD impacts blood pressure and if it’s a viable therapeutic or recreational option right about now.

As a quick refresher, CBD is the common name for the cannabinoid cannabidiol. CBD is non-psychoactive and is well-reputed for its many potential mental and physical wellness benefits. It may help with various health concerns that relate to blood pressure.

How CBD Impacts Blood Pressure

According to research, CBD appears to move the dial on blood pressure in a few ways.

Studies show that CBD lowers blood pressure and diminishes the blood pressure response to increased heart rate.(6) A double whammy to hypertension!

Besides these direct methods, CBD can indirectly act on blood pressure. It does this by affecting levers like psychological and emotional, lifestyle, and other contributors to high BP. For example, CBD could help reduce stress and anxiety — and with lower stress and anxiety levels, a person may have better blood pressure trends.

And again, CBD has a rep for supporting general well-being. People with more robust health tend to have lower risk factors for cardiovascular, metabolic, and other disorders that may lead to blood pressure problems. Their bodies stay closer to that healthy balanced zone: homeostasis.

CBD & Hypotension

Bluntly, there seems to be little existing research on this. Most of the focus is on CBD and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Fortunately, we can glean a lot of useful info from those investigations into cannabinoids and blood pressure. (For an in-dept look at CBD and high BP, check out Does CBD Oil Raise Blood Pressure? next.)

Here’s what the clinical data and academic papers are finding:

  • THC — a fellow cannabinoid often found in CBD oil products — can either lower or raise blood pressure. The effect hinges on a number of things like how much THC was consumed and how a person’s body metabolizes the cannabinoid.(7)
  • CBD opens up blood vessels, which can lead to improved blood flow and lower BP.(8)

Researchers continue to delve into the effects of cannabinoids on blood pressure and contributing conditions. However, many clinical trials exclude patients with hypotension, so it may make it difficult to derive direct insights.

Using CBD With Low Blood Pressure

As always, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor before using CBD if you have pre-existing medical conditions or take medications or supplements. Your doc will be able to tell you if CBD is a no-go based on your health profile — including considerations related to your blood pressure.

You physician can evaluate and diagnose hypotension and hypertension. If you have blood pressure issues, your physician can discuss all your options with you. There are likely to be natural solutions you can incorporate in your care plan. CBD may or may not be on that list….

Assuming your care provider, gives the two-thumbs-up signal for you to try CBD:

Can You Take CBD If You Have Low Blood Pressure? Maybe…

There are different kinds of hypotension (low blood pressure). Depending upon your body, your variety of low blood pressure, and the type of CBD you consume — CBD may lower your blood pressure even more.

Consult with your doctor prior to taking CBD, especially if you have hypotensive experiences. Your physician is in a position to help you better address health concerns and advise on whether or not CBD is appropriate for you.

CBD’S OK FOR ME & MY BP!

References

  1. (2021). Facts About Hypertension in the United States. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
  2. Owens, P, et al. (2000). Arterial hypotension: prevalence of low blood pressure in the general population using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Journal of Human Hypertension. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.jhh.1000973
  3. (2020). Low blood pressure (hypotension) - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20355465
  4. Roth, E. (2021). Everything You Need to Know About Low Blood Pressure. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/hypotension
  5. (2022). Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): Causes and Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21156-low-blood-pressure-hypotension
  6. Jadoon, K. A., Tan, G. D., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.93760
  7. Rey, A, et al. (2012). Biphasic Effects of Cannabinoids in Anxiety Responses: CB1 and GABAB Receptors in the Balance of GABAergic and Glutamatergic Neurotransmission. Neuropsychopharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2012.123
  8. Baranowska-Kuczko, M, et al. (2020). Vasodilatory effects of cannabidiol in human pulmonary and rat small mesenteric arteries: modification by hypertension and the potential pharmacological opportunities. Journal of Hypertension. https://doi.org/10.1097/hjh.0000000000002333


Also in News

CBD & Fertility: What Everyone With Reproductive Parts Outta Know

CBD receives constant praise for its laundry list of potential health benefits as well as its use in the treatment of many chronic conditions. How...

by Liz Ireland May 16, 2022

Read More
When NOT To Use CBD, THC, Or D8

While there are many good reasons to use CBD, THC, or D8 — there are also times when you should probably avoid them. Or you might want to opt for o...

by Liz Ireland May 13, 2022

Read More
Can You Use CBD At Work? A Quick-Reference Guide For Employees

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. Since it doesn’t get you high, it might seem like you could use CBD products anytime, in...

by Liz Ireland May 11, 2022

Read More