Cannabis is a genus (category) of flowering plants. It has one accepted species, Cannabis sativa L among 12 other species.
This plant has been used for a variety of purposes, due to the different compounds that can be extracted from it.
CBD, ie – Cannabidiol, is one of the compounds extracted from Cannabis. Unlike marijuana, it is anti-psychotic.
Due to this non psychoactive (does not cause hallucinations, delirium, etc) attribute of this compound, it is being used in many scientific pieces of research.
What is Blood Pressure?
Our body needs oxygen and energy to function properly. This is supplied by the constant work of the circulatory system.
The heart is constantly pumping blood, which is carried by the blood vessels to the various parts of the body.
As the blood vessel transports blood, the blood exerts a pressure along the walls of the blood vessel.
This pressure is what is called blood pressure.
When the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessel is too high, it is said to be a case of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure leads to strokes or heart attacks. The usual treatment for blood pressure is a daily pill, which is mostly taken early morning on an empty stomach.
What happened in the study
As explained prior, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Which means, there are no psychedelic reactions on consumption of this compound by humans.
In the study that was conducted, nine male volunteers in good health were administered 600 milligrams of CBD or placebo.
The type of study conducted was a double-blind crossover study.
This means, that some of the volunteers are put on placebos (a pill that has no physical effect on a person, usually given for psychological reasons rather than physiological reasons, in layman’s terms, it can basically be called a fake pill, or a sugar pill), and some were given CBD.
And the dosages of placebo and CBD was switched, without letting the person know.
So, for example, if Person 1 was given a placebo and Person 2 was given CBD on day 1, on day 2, person 1 was given CBD and person 2 was given a placebo, without telling them the composition of the pill being administered to them.
The cardiovascular framework was monitored by using instruments like a Finometer and a Laser Doppler.
A Finometer is a device that measures finger blood pressure, on a beat to beat basis.
The blood pressure in the arm ( Brachial pressure)is measured, and it corrects for finger pressure accordingly.
The results are displayed in the form of waves (like in an ECG exam). It is non-invasive, which means there is no skin breakage ( For Eg, an injection is an invasive procedure).
Laser Doppler, also called laser Doppler flowmetry, is a technique which makes microcirculation changes in the tissue easy to study.
Micro-circulation is the circulation of blood in the smallest of the blood vessels.
In the study, it showed that administration of CBD brought down the resting systolic blood pressure by 6 units while maintaining a p-value of less than 0.05.
A p-value is a tool used for determining if a result is statistically significant.
CBD administration also brought down the stroke volume by 8 units. Stroke volume is nothing but the volume of blood that is pumped from the left ventricle of the heart per every beat.
Heart rate increased, and cardiac output was maintained. Cardiac output is nothing but the volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute.
The volunteers who had taken CBD had a lower blood pressure ( lower by 5 units), especially before and after exposure to stress, increase in heart rate, (it increased by about 10 beats per minute) it caused a decrease in the stroke volume by 13 ml.
There was a reduced blood flow in the forearm region after exposure to isometric exercises (They are the contractions of any particular muscle or muscles).
On exposure to cold stress, (any sort of cold stimulus, usually made up of 4 components – cold temperature, cold wind, dampness and cold water ) volunteers who had been administered CBD had reduced blood pressure- less by 6 units and an increased heart rate- by 7 beats per minute.
The vascular resistance was lowered (vascular resistance or peripheral resistance is the resistance that needs to be overcome to pump blood throughout the body)
What did the study conclude?
The study indicates that small doses of CBD, when administered can reduce the resting blood pressure.
CBD also decreases the net increase in the blood pressure in response to stress, which is connected to increased heart rate.
More research is needed to ascertain whether CBD has a role in the prophylaxis (treatment) of cardiovascular diseases.
What does this mean
CBD administration showed a reduction in blood pressure up to 5 units on exposure to stress. This can be used to an advantage and can be used in a drug to fight against stress-induced hypertension.
Acute doses of CBD may even replace standard allopathic drugs for blood pressure, as acute doses did not show any side effects.
Read the research paper here-