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Cannabidiol, found in the hemp plant, is known for its positive effects on the human body, but also on animals. But what are its effects on one of our body's most important organs, the heart? Can CBD help treat or prevent heart disease, and how does it respond to medication?

The heart — the most important human organ 

A healthy heart is a key to a successful life. We tend to pay little attention and care to our hearts and think about our future only when we face serious problems in the present. Perhaps because we do not think about prevention, cardiovascular diseases are now at the forefront of civilisation.

Effects of CBD on our bodies 

The non-psychoactive compound of hemp - CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in every mammal's body. CBD has similar properties to the endocannabinoid system found in our bodies and controls important functions such as appetite, mood, sleep, temperature, reproductive system, immune system and more. The purpose of the ECS is to create homeostasis, thus achieving the right balance in the body for optimal functioning. 

Because of its positive properties, cannabidiol has become one of the most researched cannabinoids. Earlier this year, scientists revealed that CBD usage does not cause liver toxicity - finds study. So, what's the case for the heart?

Researchers are investigating whether CBD is a safer option for heart disease compared to traditional treatments prescribed by doctors.

Although CBD does not work directly with the cardiovascular system, it does have a positive effect on reducing the risk of heart disease due to the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

The positive benefits of CBD on the heart

Inflammation is part of the process that leads to many diseases, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. As we already know, one of the strong properties of CBD is its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions, which can reduce the risk of heart diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Other studies show the benefits of CBD for patients with cardiovascular disease. CBD effects show to be also helpful by:

  • arrhythmia 
  • lower blood pressure 
  • stroke
  • inflammation reduction
  • protecting arteries from oxidative stress
  • weighting loss
  • cholesterol reduction

Anti-inflammatory effect 

In general, patients with heart disease can suffer from severe inflammation. Recent research suggests that due to CBD's positive effects on the immune system and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it may protect the heart from possible tissue damage caused by lack of oxygen and blood supply and relax the arterial walls. 

In addition, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can protect the heart from cardiomyopathy by stopping the production of endotoxins that cause some heart diseases. By stopping their production, CBD can help in the recovery process of such severe heart diseases.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for hypertension. Blood pressure can be caused by various factors, one of which is stress. In studies conducted on rats in 2009 and on human volunteers in 2017, subjects were subjected to a stressful situation. A dose of CBD lowered blood pressure and the heart rate.

The researchers also found that CBD can lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and allowing blood to flow more easily. 

However, a 2017 review found that there was no evidence that CBD had similar results in non-stress conditions. Consult your doctor before using CBD if you have high blood pressure.


Heart disease increases the risk of stroke. Two animal studies conducted in 2010 and 2017 found that CBD can help protect stroke patients from brain damage and even promote recovery by enhancing brain function. CBD has also been shown to increase cerebral blood flow during a stroke


Cardiac arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses in your body that help coordinate the beats of your heart do not work as they should. Some cardiac arrhythmias are harmless, but others can be life-threatening.

One study in rats noted that CBD has a 'cardioprotective' effect and may have an antiarrhythmic effect, reducing the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias.

Reducing cholesterol

A 2011 study found that CBD affects metabolic-related genes that help control cholesterol levels in microglial cells. This found that CBD can lower cholesterol by preventing high LDL cholesterol levels.

Effect of CBD on the blood

CBD oil can act as an antithrombotic agent. It means that it reduces the formation of blood clots. CBD itself has also been shown to have a mild anticoagulative effect, meaning that it can act as a blood thinner. However, other studies have found that hemp oil affects platelets and anticoagulants, inhibiting their production and thereby potentially increasing the tendency to bleed. 

Interaction of CBD with heart and blood medicines

There are many drugs prescribed as "blood thinners". There are two main types: anticoagulants and antiplatelet (antiagre- gancia) drugs. Different types of drugs work differently in the body. Anticoagulants, such as heparin, warfarin or coumadin, help blood flow smoothly through the bloodstream by reducing the number of clotting proteins in the blood. They thin the blood, thus limiting its ability to clot. Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, prevent blood cells (called platelets) from sticking together and forming a clot.

CBD oil interaction with anticoagulant drugs

There are many types of anticoagulants, with warfarin being one of the most commonly prescribed. It is metabolized (processed in the body) by the liver's P450 enzyme system. It is metabolised (processed in the body) by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. CBD, like Warfarin, is processed (metabolized) in the liver by the same cytochrome P450 system, which can cause Warfarin to not be adequately metabolized and to accumulate in the body when CBD and Warfarin are taken together. CBD by itself is not effective at thinning the blood, but increased levels of Warfarin can cause increased blood thinning and associated complications.

Taking both substances can increase the risk of bleeding complications. Although warfarin usually reduces the risk of blood clots, too high a dose of an anticoagulant can cause serious bleeding.

However, if a reasonable synergy can be found between the CBD dose and Warfarin, it is possible to take much smaller amounts of this blood-thinning drug, with the same effect as standard doses without CBD. However, this would require coordination with the treating physician, who would measure the blood-thinning at regular intervals (about every 7-14 days) and adjust the Warfarin dose accordingly.

Taking blood thinners and CBD without consulting a doctor can be dangerous.

CBD oil interaction with antiplatelet drugs

The most common antiplatelet drug is aspirin. CBD again acts on the cytochrome P450 enzyme system in the body. This system, located in the liver, is responsible for the metabolism (breakdown) of potentially toxic compounds, including more than 60% of all drugs taken. 

Since the specific effects of combining Cannabidiol with aspirin have not been found in any scientific study, the combined use of these two substances is not recommended.

Taking blood thinners and CBD without consulting a doctor can be dangerous.

How can I take CBD and other medicines safely?

There is another way to see if CBD oil and other prescription medications will interact negatively in your body - the grapefruit test. One of the ingredients in grapefruit interacts with cytochrome p450 enzymes - just like CBD oil. If your doctor advises you to avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice during treatment, you should probably avoid hemp oil as well.



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