The positive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has made it useful for treating the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. It has gained popularity among users due to the absence of side effects at normal doses, lack of mind-altering effects, and general safety profile. So, people are using it for muscle and joint pains, inflammation, wound healing, treating skin issues, and so on. Apart from this, it is also useful for reducing anxiety and stress. The purpose of this article is to investigate using CBD for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
What Is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)?
PAH is caused when the arterial walls are stiffened or narrowed, which leads to increased blood pressure in the lungs. You must know that the blood pressure inside the lungs differs from that of blood pressure in other parts of the body. Because of this, you will develop PAH even if you have overall normal blood pressure.
The pressure in the right-side chamber of the heart is lower than the blood pressure in the rest of the body. This is because the right side chamber is responsible for pumping blood to the lungs and pulmonary arteries. Because of this, the blood in the lungs can absorb oxygen. But pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) constricts pulmonary arteries, and this increases blood pressure inside them. As a result of this, the right-side chamber of the heart will be forced to work harder.
Over time, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) leads to the thickening of the right side of the heart and the enlargement of the chamber. As a result of this, the pumping of the blood becomes less efficient, and this causes inadequate oxygenation of the blood, which has dangerous health consequences.
What Are The Causes Of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?
The underlying reason for the cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is the damage of the cells lining pulmonary arteries. The exact cause of the problem is still unknown to medical professionals. It is assumed that several environmental and genetic factors contribute to this. In the heritable type, the gene BMPR2 causes the problem. But there are other mutations in unidentified genes that are yet to be found. Finally, there is no permanent cure for PAH; most treatments focus on reducing the severity of symptoms and slowing down the progress of this disease. Some of the treatments are oxygenating blood, using vasodilators, dietary changes, and exercise.
What Is The Role Of The Endocannabinoid System In Managing Blood Pressure?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network made up of chemical messengers like hormones and neurotransmitters. So, they are present throughout the body and controls various physiological functions of the body. In a nutshell, the ECS regulates homeostasis and ensures that your body stays healthy. Also, its main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2; they are distributed in varying concentrations in the body.
CB1 Receptors: These receptors are mainly found in the central and peripheral nervous systems. They have influences in the regions of the brain that regulates the functioning of the heart, adrenal glands, lungs, and blood vessels. Because of this, CB1 receptors are also involved in maintaining blood pressure.
CB2 Receptors: These receptors are mainly associated with the immune system that protects the body. They also play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure, especially when a person becomes sick, develops inflammation due to injury, during an infection, etc.
How Is CBD Useful For Treating PAH?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is useful for treating the symptoms of PAH because of its positive effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates blood pressure. It is already being used by people who have high blood pressure.
Listed below are the CBD uses for treating the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabidiol (CBD) is one of its major therapeutic effects. Studies have shown that CBD protects the blood vessels from inflammation due to increased blood sugar levels. It is assumed that CBD achieves this by regulating the activity of the enzyme cyclooxygenase that plays an important role in the inflammatory response. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen target this enzyme.
Vasodilation is one of the other important therapeutic effects of CBD. A study has shown that administering cannabidiol (CBD) reduced blood pressure by 40%. It was also found that CBD decreased blood pressure by interacting with CB1 receptors of the endothelium that lines the interiors of blood vessels and the heart. Other studies also suggest that CBD promotes the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels by inhibiting the calcium influx channel.
The anxiety-reducing effect of CBD helps to reduce the cardiovascular response to anxiety disorders. Harmful effects of anxiety are elevated blood pressure and raised pulse rate; cannabidiol helps to reduce it.
On a final note, before using cannabidiol (CBD) for treating the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), you must consult a general physician. Moreover, you should understand that CBD cannot cure this condition.