In the United States today, nearly 1 in every 3 adults has high blood pressure. That’s about 77 million people. But even though high blood pressure (or hypertension) is so prevalent, many people don’t understand what it is, how it affects the body, and the problems it can create in the long run. Below, we dive into what causes high blood pressure and whether CBD can reduce hypertension.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
By definition, blood pressure is the pressure by which blood is pushing against the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure measurement includes two numbers known as the systolic (i.e., pressure when the heart beats) and diastolic (i.e., pressure when the heart rests) pressures.
When in a healthy range, blood pressure will typically be at 120 over 80, but when experiencing hypertension, those numbers are higher than 130 and 89. And unfortunately, regulating blood pressure can be difficult, as its causes aren’t cut and dried.
Common Causes of High Blood Pressure
Keeping blood pressure at a level of 120/80 or below is a matter of living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding heavy drinking and smoking can prevent blood pressure issues; however, it’s not a perfect solution.
In many cases, high blood pressure is a genetic predisposition. Risk factors attributed to high blood pressure include:
- family history
- inactive lifestyle
- stress & anxiety
- tobacco or alcohol use
Some of these factors cannot be controlled, but all of them can lead to high blood pressure risk. When properly managed, high blood pressure may not cause as much stress as it would with inadequate care or attention. But when mismanaged, it can create potentially life-threatening problems.
What Problems Can High Blood Pressure Cause?
It may not seem like much of an issue that just 10 millimeters of mercury (i.e., how blood pressure is measured) can create big problems. But for anyone living with high blood pressure, there are numerous health concerns to be aware of that can have lasting effects on overall health.
More commonly, high blood pressure can lead to…
Constantly having to move blood around the body at a high pressure can lead to the weakening of arteries. As arteries weaken, this pressure can cause a section of its wall to enlarge and bulge. This is what’s known as an aneurysm. When left untreated, aneurysms can be life-threatening.
With high blood pressure, blood vessels within the brain can weaken, which may cause them to narrow, rupture, or leak. When this happens, it can cause a stroke. During a stroke, areas of the brain are deprived of oxygen, killing large swaths of brain cells and leading to life-altering outcomes.
Just as with any muscle, prolonged periods of strenuous activity can be damaging, and the heart is no different. Eventually, the heart can weaken and become less efficient at pumping blood. This can lead unfortunately lead to heart failure.
The kidneys play a vital role in the body, helping to filter out impurities in the blood stream. But with high blood pressure, kidneys experience a lot of strain, causing them to slowly weaken and fail as a result. Though it’s possible to live after partial kidney failure, dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant may be required to help the body continue to function as intended.
Typically more common in men—although it happens to women as well—high blood pressure can lead to sexual dysfunction, including erectile issues and a decrease in sexual desire. While sexual dysfunction may not lead to long-term health issues, it can lead to an increase in feelings of anxiety.
Can CBD Help with High Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that small doses of CBD can help to lower blood pressure among individuals under stress. While there’s still more work to be done to determine if CBD has a true role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, it’s understood ability to alleviate feelings of anxiousness, help people get to sleep and stay asleep, and even reduce inflammation could lead to improved blood flow.
Is CBD a Viable Alternative to High Blood Pressure Medicine?
At the moment, CBD should only be used as a supplement rather than an alternative method of care. As more research is conducted, more definitive evidence of CBD helping with hypertension may come out. But until then, CBD is best as an addition to any current treatment plans.
If you’d like to try CBD for yourself and begin a new journey with your body’s natural cannabinoid production, Frontier Jackson is here to help. Let us guide you toward a more balanced lifestyle with one of our great CBD products. Find yours today in our CBD shop.