How Might Delta 8 THC Help with Hypertension?
Hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure, is a condition that affects about 75 million Americans. Referred to as “the silent killer,” it’s a condition that may or may not be symptomatic, which means that many more Americans may have hypertension and be undiagnosed. While it becomes more of a risk to us as we get older, it can affect people of all ages and can lead to serious health complications that increase our risk of severe disease and death.
The good news is that hypertension is treatable, and many people can manage it in a way that prevents serious complications. One of the newest potentials that can have a role in treatment is delta 8 THC, a cannabinoid found in hemp that has lots of promising properties.
What is Hypertension?
It’s normal for blood pressure levels to fluctuate throughout the day, depending on the state of our bodies. Blood pressure can become lower when we’re feeling very hungry and can get higher when we are feeling stressed. But, hypertension means that a person’s base blood pressure is elevated beyond what’s considered normal.
Chronic high blood pressure is becoming one of the primary causes of death in our country, and it has many causes that are ultimately within our control. Many experts point the rise in blood pressure problems to rising stress levels that are becoming common in our society. Poor diet is another factor as the way in which we eat has changed dramatically over the years, and many aspects of the modern American diet puts us at increased risk.
There are many causes and risk factors that are associated with hypertension, and a person’s hypertension can be caused by one or more of the factors below:
- Genetic factors: Some people are naturally more prone to hypertension if it runs in the family, or if they were born with a defect within the circulatory system.
- Poor diet: Foods that are high in sodium, trans fats or saturated fats are more at risk of developing high blood pressure, as these foods directly increase the pressure within the arteries. Further, diets lacking in potassium can lead to high blood pressure.
- Stress: Stress causes the heart to work harder, which can result in increased blood pressure.
- Poor sleep: Sleep is a critical component of maintaining good overall health, and this includes the way in which the circulatory system functions.
- Lack of exercise: Regular exercise improves the cardiovascular system which in turn helps to keep blood pressure in check.
- Weight: If overweight or obese, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
- Certain medications: Some medications may increase blood pressure, such as birth control.
- Substance abuse: Abusing alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs can raise a person’s blood pressure.
- Kidney disease: Those who suffer from kidney disease are more likely to develop hypertension.
Signs of High Blood Pressure
One of the most concerning things about hypertension is that it can be asymptomatic, and this means that a person may not treat it early enough to keep it in check. Also, common symptoms of hypertension may be attributed to something else rather than the actual issue. Some of the primary symptoms of hypertension include:
- Shortness of breath
If experiencing any of these symptoms chronically, you should see a doctor. Symptoms that are less common are frequent nosebleeds and passing out, both of which can indicate more advanced hypertension. Neither of these symptoms are normal, and therefore require medical assistance.
The good news is that anyone who regularly gets a physical done by a doctor will know whether or not they have high blood pressure. A doctor always tests their patients’ blood pressure during a standard annual exam.
Complications Associated with High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a treatable condition, and treating it is critical due to the complications that can arise when not treated. Catching high blood pressure early enough can be lifesaving, as it can be managed rather than progressing. If untreated, hypertension can lead to stroke, heart disease and kidney failure, because the walls of the arteries become weaker over time when the pressure of blood against them is too high.
Hypertension can be treated through numerous means, and a doctor will determine the best treatment based on your medical history and the severity of your condition. The first thing your doctor will do is recommend changes to your daily routine, diet and lifestyle, such as:
- Drinking less alcohol
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight
- Eating more potassium
- Eating less salty, fried and processed foods
- Reducing stress levels
In addition to suggesting these changes, a doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication. The most common class of blood pressure medications out there is statins, which effectively change the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries. Statins can be extremely helpful in reducing blood pressure levels, but they are associated with certain side effects that you should discuss with your doctor.
What Can Delta 8 THC Do for Blood Pressure?
To understand what delta 8 THC might be able to offer to hypertension sufferers, we need to understand how cannabinoids work in the first place. Delta 8 once again is a cannabinoid found in hemp, like cannabidiol (CBD). All cannabinoids fulfill the same basic principle. They are processed by the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to bind to specific cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. This binding action allows cannabinoid receptors to regulate individual processes of the body that impact our overall health.
Cannabinoid receptors are found in the arteries, and we already know from studies that CBD can regulate processes of the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. But, delta 8 is not CBD. So, what can delta 8 do for high blood pressure?
Well, studies are starting to reveal that delta 8 THC may have a unique role in managing blood pressure as well. Delta 8 was found to lower blood pressure in rats, and this is because delta 8 works more effectively with CB1 receptors, which is a class of cannabinoid receptors that deal with blood pressure as well as many nervous system functions.
Also, *many users are reporting that delta 8 helps them feel calmer, and we mentioned earlier that high stress can contribute to hypertension. So, delta 8 could potentially help lower the stress levels that make high blood pressure worse.
What About Taking Delta 8 THC with Blood Pressure Medications?
A lot of people who have high blood pressure are on blood pressure medications. So, is it safe to use delta 8 THC when these medications are present in the body? That we don’t know just yet. We know that delta 9 THC and CBD can both inhibit enzymes that break down certain medications, causing them to accumulate in the body with each dose. If you’re on a medication for blood pressure, best to speak with your doctor about whether or not it’s okay to introduce delta 8 into your regimen.
How to Use Delta 8 THC for Your Blood Pressure
Now that we have established that delta 8 THC might be helpful for hypertension, it is important to know some tips for starting a routine with the cannabinoid specifically in hopes of helping with this common issue. How you take your delta 8 will have a major role in how much it could be able to impact your blood pressure.
#1: Talk to Your Doctor
The first thing that you need to do is talk about delta 8 THC with your doctor or physician. Certain medications may interact with delta 8 due to it suppressing the CYP3A4 enzyme that breaks down many drugs. You will need to go over this with your doctor as thoroughly as possible, while asking them if they have any more guidance on how delta 8 may be useful.
#2: Choose Your Delivery Method
Delta 8 THC comes in various delivery methods including vapes, tinctures, edibles and capsules. Each delivery method equally offers delta 8 to ECS, so no particular method is better than others. But, while delta-8 is active, its ability to lower blood pressure is the most pronounced. So, a delivery method that offers several hours of effects, such as an edible or a capsule, is ideal.
#3: Start Slow
Delta 8 THC is mildly intoxicating, so we recommend that you start out with a low dosage and build your way up as tolerated over time. Start with about 10-20 milligrams per day regardless of the delivery method and increase the amount as you find your tolerance increasing, and as you feel is necessary to get the desired results.
#4: Take It on a Daily Basis
Delta 8 THC, like all cannabinoids, work cumulatively, meaning, that they may become more effective when taken on a daily basis over a period of time. This is why you should consider taking delta 8 as part of a daily routine.