Heart Health Awareness Month
Heart health is very personal topic for me! I have lived over half of my life making sure that I was doing everything humanly possible to keep my heart healthy. Why?? Because I come from a long line of “bad” hearts.
My mom passed at 49 after undergoing two heart transplants. Her first heart attack occurred in the hospital, post hysterectomy surgery at age 44, a fact learned later. It was 1988; at a time when doctors still believed “women don’t have heart attacks,” so it was dismissed. A year or so later, she suffered a second heart attack and this time the cardiologists took notice. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and a heart transplant was her only chance of survival. She was a fighter, but her strong immune system was ultimately her enemy, rejecting 2 hearts.
This was a real awakening for me. At age 46 my mom breathed a sigh of relief knowing she outlived her father who died of heart failure; I marked the day I lived longer than my mom. That was nearly 5 years ago.
Although I don’t live in fear of my heart history, I don’t take my health for granted. I try to eat right, exercise regularly, manage my weight...yada, yada, yada. But there is no guarantee, yet I do what I can. I don’t smoke, I drink red wine, I take a low dose cholesterol med and have added a daily dose of CBD to my heart disease prevention regimen.
Although the long-term research on the benefits of CBD on heart health is still in its infancy, preliminary findings are very promising! CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties may be able to reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure. It may also be able to reduce the risk of related conditions, like stroke.1
1. CBD helps relax arterial walls
Research has found that CBD relaxes the walls of the arteries, thereby reducing blood pressure, and protecting the arteries from the gradual weakening and damage caused by high blood pressure.2
2. CBD fights inflammation
There’s a strong link between systemic inflammation and heart disease, although it is not fully understood. A large body of clinical research has shown that CBD can effectively reduce inflammation throughout the body.2
3. CBD may reduce the buildup of arterial plaque
Preliminary research suggests that CBD may help with the blockage of arteries caused by arterial plaque, atherosclerosis. Patients with high “bad” cholesterol may benefit most from this effect of CBD on heart health.
4. CBD may help to suppress cardiac arrhythmia
Research conducted with animals found that CBD was very effective in suppressing cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats); a very common form of heart disease. This is very preliminary, but extremely encouraging.
While more research is needed, I don’t think it is necessary to wait for all the clinical research to be completed before starting to reap the benefits of CBD. It’s an all-natural, safe, affordable, side-effect-free, and prescription-free treatment. I take CBD daily and have found it to reduce my feelings of stress, I’m sleeping better, my blood pressure is normal, and my cholesterol is holding steady.
Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States. I owe it to myself and my family to not be a statistic and do what I can to avoid falling prey to my family genome. CBD may not be the “magic pill” ending heart disease, but all signs indicate that CBD has the potential to mitigate many of the risk factors.