There are only a few studies that looked at the effects of CBD on blood pressure in humans.
While one recent 2017 study found that a single dose of CBD does reduce both resting blood pressure and blood pressure response to stress, earlier studies found CBD had no effect on various measures of blood pressure.
Based on the current scientific literature, we can’t say with 100% certainty whether CBD lowers blood pressure or not, and if it might, under what circumstances exactly.
However, if CBD has any effect on blood pressure, it probably has a bigger chance to lower blood pressure as a response to stress.
Today, you’re going to learn what the studies that looked at the effects of CBD on blood pressure found.
The best part?
Let’s get started.
Studies That Looked at The Effects of CBD on Blood Pressure
As explained in the introduction, the study results that looked at the effects of CBD on blood pressure are mixed.
While there are only a few human studies, there are more animal studies. And while the study results of animal studies can’t directly be translated to how CBD affects humans, they still matter.
Study 1: CBD Reduces Blood Pressure in Healthy Volunteers
This is the most recent study that looked at the effects of CBD on blood pressure. This study was done in 2017 and found that CBD both lowered (1):
- Resting blood pressure, and;
- Blood pressure response to stress.
Nine healthy male volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study.
The results showed that a single oral dose of 600mg of CBD lowered resting blood pressure, and blunted the blood pressure response to stress. Blood pressure was especially lowered in the pre-and post-stress periods.
The researchers are aware that these findings contrast earlier findings of studies that looked at the effects of CBD on blood pressure, and found no effect.
Some reasons they give as to why they came to different findings are:
- They continuously measured blood pressure parameters. In the earlier studies that found no effect, measurements were only performed manually, and a few hours after CBD administration.
- Their study subjects had no history of cannabis use or cannabinoid use. In the earlier studies, the study subjects might have had a tolerance because all had used cannabis in the past.
In any case, this is currently the only study with human study subjects, that found CBD lowered blood pressure both in:
- A rested state, and;
- A stressful state.
Study 2: Effects of a Single, Oral Dose of (CBD) in Healthy Volunteers
This 2012 study looked at the acute pharmacological effects of CBD and THC on healthy volunteers (2).
The volunteers were given an oral dose of 10mg THC or 600mg CBD three times, one month in-between each dosing session.
After CBD consumption various physiological measures were assessed, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
The researchers found that neither THC nor CBD had a significant effect on systolic or diastolic blood pressure.
Important to note here is that blood pressure was measured after the volunteers had been sitting for 15 minutes, thus this would be categorized as the ‘resting blood pressure’ measure from the previous study.
W don’t know if the results would’ve been different if blood pressure was measured after a stressful event.
Another interesting finding of this study was that:
Although THC did not affect blood pressure, it did raise heart rate, while CBD didn’t.
Study 3: Effects of CBD on Neural Activation During Emotional Processing
This study was done in 2009 and looked at the effects of both THC and CBD on regional brain function during emotional processing (3).
To assess the effects of both compounds, the volunteers either got:
- 10mg of THC,
- 600mg of CBD,
- Or a placebo,
before an anxiety-inducing event.
While the assessment of regional brain function during emotional processing was the main purpose of the study, what’s interesting to us is that:
The researchers also assessed certain physiological measures, including blood pressure and heart rate.
They found that neither THC nor CBD significantly affected blood pressure or heart rate.
Study 4: A Review-Study of the Haemodynamic Effects of CBD
This review study looked at the study results of 25 mostly animal studies that among other things measured the effects of CBD on blood pressure (4).
Without diving into every specific study, the general findings of the study were that:
CBD has no significant effect on blood pressure or heart rate under normal conditions. ‘Normal conditions’ refers to the ‘resting blood pressure’ measure from the first study.
The more interesting finding, that was in line with the first-mentioned study, was that:
When it comes to blood pressure and heart-rate response to stress, CBD did significantly decrease both of them.
Again, important to mention is that most of the reviewed studies were animal studies.
The Bottom Line:
Study results are highly mixed.
While there’s one study that found CBD could lower blood pressure both in a rested and stressful state, most studies found no significant effects of CBD on blood pressure in a rested state. There are several (mostly animal) studies that found CBD can significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate after a stressful event.
Keep in mind that none of these studies can be categorized as ‘clinical trials.’ When it comes to evaluating the effects of a drug, clinical trials are the gold standard in the medical world. This means that even the positive study results don’t imply that you can use CBD products to lower blood pressure.
That being said, these studies justify further research into CBD’s effects on lowering blood pressure. Hopefully, we’ll see clinical trials that look at CBD’s effects on lowering blood pressure somewhere in the near future.
What These Study Results Mean for You as a CBD-User
First, it’s important to mention that the CBD dosages used in the human studies were 600mg.
When it comes to over-the-counter CBD products, 600mg CBD is an extremely high dose.
The average recommended (as recommended by the manufacturer) dose of over-the-counter CBD products is between 20mg and 50mg of CBD.
Currently, there’s no scientific evidence supporting the idea that an average dose of a commercial CBD product (that hovers between 20mg and 50mg) will lower your blood pressure.
Based on these study results, you would need considerably more CBD to even have a chance of lowering your blood pressure.
Keep in mind that the currently known maximum safe dose of CBD is 1500mg of CBD.
CBD’s interaction with clinically prescribed drugs
CBD can interact with approximately 60% of clinically prescribed drugs.
If you’re already using prescription drugs for your blood pressure (or any other prescription drugs), consult with your doctor before you try out any CBD product.
CBD’s Side Effects
Besides possible interactions with clinically prescribed drugs, CBD can produce several other mild side effects including:
- Decreased appetite, and;
Full-Spectrum CBD vs Isolate
Although we don’t recommend trying CBD to lower your blood pressure without consulting your doctor, if you want to try CBD, there are three different types of CBD products:
- Broad-spectrum, and;
Although isolate is much cheaper, and thus much easier to use to get to a dose of 600mg CBD…
The type of product we highly recommend is a full-spectrum oil/tincture.
Various studies indicate that CBD has synergistic effects when taken together with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
While full-spectrum CBD products are more expensive purely from a CBD per dollar perspective…
In our experience, they produce the best effects with the lowest dose and thus provide significantly better value for money than any other type of product.
Go to our CBD Hub to learn more about CBD-related topics.
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, 2(12). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.93760
Martin-Santos, R., A. Crippa, J., Batalla, A., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Borgwardt, S., . . . K. McGuire, P. (2012). Acute Effects of a Single, Oral dose of d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) Administration in Healthy Volunteers. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 4966–4979. https://doi.org/10.2174/138161212802884780
Fusar-Poli, P., Crippa, J. A., Bhattacharyya, S., Borgwardt, S. J., Allen, P., Martin-Santos, R., . . . McGuire, P. K. (2009). Distinct Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol on Neural Activation During Emotional Processing. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(1), 95. https://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.519
Sultan, S. R., Millar, S. A., England, T. J., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Haemodynamic Effects of Cannabidiol. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8. Published. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00081
- Pamplona, F. A., da Silva, L. R., & Coan, A. C. (2018). Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis. Frontiers in Neurology, 9, 1. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00759