iCBD Blog

Can CBD Lower Blood Pressure?

Oct 11, 2021Posted by: brian sorel

Can CBD Lower Blood Pressure? | iCBD

As it has been proven to be a worthy companion of daily aches, pains, and mental duresses, can the effects of CBD go even further? Can CBD lower blood pressure? To understand this, we have to understand the main functions of CBD as well as its secondary effects caused by its molecular interference with your body.

CBD is known for its therapeutic effects, especially felt in isolation from THC, and has even been administered as a main ingredient for a prescription drug by the FDA. As research concerning CBD’s health benefits continues to unfold in droves, scientists have discovered that it has a much wider effect on your overall well-being than initially thought. The compound targets many pain-regulating receptors in your nervous system including serotonin, which is why users have recounted their reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression from the experience. 

What can CBD do?

As mentioned before CBD has a wide variety of effects on your nervous system. It binds to a receptor that mediates pain perception and inflammation called TRPV-1. This means burning or shooting pain that you may feel around your body will be controlled and regulated by CBD. It also activates adenosine receptors, which are receptors that have significant roles in regulating oxygen consumption and blood flow as well as contributing to anti-inflammation.

In the brain, CBD works to suppress depression by activating a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A. This plays important roles in processes that regulate anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting. CBD therefore induces an antidepressant effect.

While it can stimulate many regulatory processes in your body, it also has the ability to inhibit certain receptors like GPR55, which in overactivity can lead to rapid increases in cancer cells and osteoporosis. GPR55 is a receptor that also contributes to the regulation of blood pressure. This is probably why certain studies have concluded that CBD’s effects on these receptors actually has a part in lowering blood pressure in a variety of stress-induced situations. Check out this blog to know more about the benefits of CBD oil on a stressful life.

Can CBD lower blood pressure?

Case studies from 2017 have conducted tests with a single dose of CBD oil on patients which were induced with different kinds of stress. The resting blood pressure in patients, as seen below, was reduced by the presence of CBD in the same person. This continued when patients’ blood pressures were subjected to mental, exercise, and cold stress.

Three kinds of blood pressure were measured with each kind of stress. One kind is the pressure your heart exerts on your arteries in between beats (diastolic) as well as each time it beats (systolic). The mean arterial blood pressure also decreases. The studies went further to show that CBD also has an effect on increasing the heart rate and cardiac output over time as well. 

These dips in blood pressure stay consistent across the board meaning that these studies prove that CBD reduces the cardiovascular response to stress. These effects should be taken into consideration in users who have high blood pressure associated with kinds of stress, especially cold stress and even mental stress which can contribute to anxiety. 

A more recent study in 2020 continues to demonstrate the relaxant effects that CBD has on the body, except this time on the circulatory system. The method they used was to constrict blood vessels using certain inhibitors, and then give the patients CBD to observe its effects. What they concluded was that CBD has strong vasorelaxant (vein-relaxing) efficacy and that these results heighten its potential to be used as a therapy for a seriously under-treated condition called pulmonary hypertension. 

Both of these studies show that CBD still has more ability to benefit your health in many ways yet to be uncovered. Although they answered the question “can CBD lower blood pressure?” with a yes and then some, more studies need to be done to truly ascertain that CBD can treat serious negative cardiovascular conditions like hypertension. Make sure to be on the lookout for more recent studies about CBD because more CBD-infused treatments might be around the corner. 

Safe use of CBD

CBD’s effects on your nervous and circulatory system are ample enough to show results of lower blood pressure, and in turn lower levels of stress, but you should still have some reservations about CBD products. CBD, like every therapeutic or medicinal substance, comes with its own side effects. There is also the chance that your CBD product has trace amounts of THC or other compounds and can react with blood pressure medications in an adverse way.

This is why you should not try to mix CBD products or medicines with anything else. If the individual is concurrently taking anti-anxiety or stress medications or even sleep medication, the addition of CBD can cause unwanted drowsiness or sedation. There is an increased risk of diarrhea and a subsequent loss of appetite. CBD’s effects on mood and perception receptors in your nervous system can also cause irritability and agitation, especially if combined with other medications. Since the liver is what breaks down cannabinoids, additional medication may overwork the liver and cause liver injury.

The FDA recommends that you see a doctor if you combine CBD with any related medication. However, if you understand that CBD is not particularly administered as a medication, but only produces certain effects on your body in isolation, you should only use it in isolation. Always make sure to check the label on your CBD product and take the right strength for your conditions.

Written by Gabriel Anton

Does CBD Show Up On Drug Tests? Here's What You Need To Know

Oct 06, 2021Posted by: brian sorel

Does CBD Show Up On Drug Tests? Here's What You Need To Know | iCBD

This is the golden question in the CBD community. The skirmish of drug testing is a prerequisite to virtually every professional endeavor today. Whether something as seemingly innocent as CBD can deter you from a possible chance at employment is very important to consider. It's important to recognize that drug tests are most commonly used for cannabis, which is the plant of which cannabidiol (CBD) is another primary ingredient of. So if you’re tested for cannabis then does CBD show up on drug tests? In order to understand how CBD is involved in all this, you first need to understand how these drug tests actually detect cannabis by using your urine.

How do drug tests work?

When discussing drug tests for cannabis, the key elements to focus on are the cannabinoid THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and the metabolites that it’s broken down into. However you ingest it, whether it's by smoking, eating, or even applying your skin, the liver will break down the compound into some inactive molecules and some linger within your bloodstream for up to 7 days.

The metabolite carboxy THC (11-COOH-THC), derived from hydroxy THC (11-OH-THC), is often the molecule detected in your urine samples. THC can also be detected through hair, oral fluid, and sweat and there it can last for much longer. In hair it’s up to 90 days.

THC vs. CBD

THC is just one of the hundreds of different compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is the main active ingredient and is where most of the psychoactive effects stem from. Another main ingredient, which is non-psychoactive, is our own CBD. They both share many similarities including their molecular structure and attachment to the same endocannabinoid receptor called anandamide. But it is the way they interact with our metabolic processes that differs.

A major metabolic enzyme called FAAH breaks down anandamide, which is known to induce the calming effects you are familiar with. THC prevents FAAH from breaking it down, so the THC remains unaffected and abundant in your system to produce its psychoactive effects. CBD however prevents FAAH from breaking down anandamide, and the calming effect remains to create a larger impact without the psychoactivity.

 

I know this sounds like a lot of science talk, but the main idea is that CBD and THC are different arrangements of the same chemicals that affect your metabolism in different ways. One induces psychoactive effects while the other induces the calm feeling so often used to reduce anxiety and aches and pains. In a way, they balance each other's effects in the body. Once either substance enters your bloodstream it will be filtered through your kidneys and trace amounts will be found in your urine sample. CBD can last up to 5 days, but 

Does CBD show up on drug tests?

As mentioned before, drug tests detect a metabolite broken down from THC. Since CBD has a different chemical arrangement that affects your body differently, it shouldn’t be detected right? Normally you are correct, however you have to be wary of the small traces of THC in your CBD products. This is because CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant, which can have a trace amount of THC still inside of it.

Usually CBD comes from the hemp plant, which is used as an alternative to cannabis due to its non-psychoactive effects. Before you ingest your CBD product, make sure you check from which plant it was derived from; hemp or cannabis. 

There are various ways of determining this. CBD products can fall into three different categories that indicate what kinds of compounds might be included in the product. 

The full-spectrum CBD extract includes all of the natural compounds from the plant it was derived from. This may include THC. Not all companies indicate what the source plant is in full-spectrum products so expect a good chance of THC to remain. These can include oils, edibles, topical creams, tinctures, and serums.

The broad spectrum extracts may contain some additional cannabinoids, but none of the THC. It is specifically extracted from the CBD for these products, however it doesn’t completely eliminate the chance that even the smallest trace is still left. This is why CBD isolate is the best bet for you if you want to pass the drug test. This is the purest form of CBD, derived from either plant without any additional compounds. Isolate CBD products are usually derived from hemp and sold as oils.

There are other possible hazards, however, that can put a crick in your confidence, even if you’re dealing with pure CBD. The possibility of cross-contamination of these two compounds during the manufacturing process is still real, especially if the company is selling both kinds of products. Although the packaging might indicate that there are no levels of THC, the contents might prove otherwise. The packaging itself might also be mislabeling the product.

There are always outliers to a predicted outcome, and these small probabilities might be all it takes for you to fail your drug test. All in all, the best way to answer the question “does CBD show up on drug tests?” is to read the label, do the research, and you will come to find out that more than likely, you are fine!

Written by Gabriel Anton

Does CBD Help with Depression?

Oct 04, 2021Posted by: brian sorel

Does CBD Help with Depression? | iCBD

According to the SingleCare, over 264 million people suffer from depression, making depression one of the most common disabilities in the world. Many patients seeking treatment will resort to taking prescribed antidepressants, but some have begun to wonder, does CBD help with depression?

Depression is Serious

Depression can distort a person’s perception of the world without warning and often impact one’s quality of life. SingleCares states that depression is also known to be a silent killer as 1 percent of women and 7 percent of men diagnosed with depression end up committing suicide. 

Scarily enough, suicide is also one of the leading causes of death in teenagers, so it’s justified to seek other treatment plans for something as impactful as depression. This iCBD blog has provided insight as to how CBD oil can alleviate anxiety symptoms which brings optimism as to whether or not CBD is an optimal choice for treating depression.

Similar to anxiety, there are several different types of depression with varying degrees of severity. In order to thoroughly determine whether or not CBD does help with depression, let’s recognize some types of depression and how some of the symptoms align with anxiety-related symptoms. 

    • Major depressive disorder: MDD is the most common form of depression. Some symptoms include decreased appetite, sadness, guilt, loss of concentration, helplessness, and suicidal ideation. 
    • Bipolar depression: bipolar depression is associated with extreme “high” and “low” moods. Manic episodes are coupled with high energy, overstimulation, racing thoughts, or euphoric behavior while depressive episodes include lack of energy, sadness, loss of concentration, and helplessness.
    • Season affective disorder: depression that lingers during the colder months when sunlight is more scarce. Symptoms will usually dissipate after the winter months ends. People located in cooler climates also have a higher chance of developing SAD. 
    • Perinatal depression: depression that occurs after giving birth. According to Healthline, hormone irregularities from pregnancy impact your mood and end up being the culprit to shifting moods and depressive thoughts.
    • Situational Depression: everyone can experience situational depression from significant events in one’s life. Specific situations that cause this type of depression can be shaky relationships, illnesses, problems at work or school, or environmental changes.

Does CBD Help With Depression?

While there have been a handful of studies conducted on whether or not CBD is good for treating depression, more preliminary studies are required in order to make a proper conclusion, but fear not, for CBD has still shown promise. 

Depression and Studies

CBD oil has been proven to help people suffering from overexertion by providing pain relief, enabling better sleeping habits, and acting as a fast-acting antidepressant. The article introduces a rat study that determined that a dose (7-30mg/kg) dose of CBD produced antidepressant-like effects when rats were forced to do a swim test. 

Because depression is often associated with feeling helpless, this study shows optimism that CBD may have therapeutic effects when treating people with depression. Though the study states that more clinical studies are needed to further support their findings, with more research, CBD could maybe become a suitable treatment for MDD.

Another study, released in 2020, revealed that medical cannabis users reported a 50 percent decrease in depression symptoms and a 58 percent decrease in anxiety and stress. The study reports that “high CBD (>9.5 percent) /low THC (<5.5 percent) cannabis was associated with the largest changes in depression ratings.”

According to Healthline, low levels of serotonin can lead to depressive thoughts, anxiety, and insomnia, which is why doctors may recommend selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to help combat this imbalance. 

A 2014 study performed forced swimming tests, elevated plus mazes, and Vogel conflict tests on animal subjects to observe the effects of CBD on the brain. The study concluded that most of these tests have shown promising results between CBD and the E-HT1A neuro-receptor - a subclass of serotonin receptors.

5-HT1A receptors are located in areas of the brain that control mood, which is no surprise since serotonin plays a big role in a person’s mood. The Psychopharmacology Insitute website reported that lower amounts of these receptors have been found in suicide victims. 

Since a large number of suicide victims have an underlying mental illness, it makes sense why doctors may want to target these receptors when treating depression.

The Takeaway

So, does CBD help with depression? Based on the trials conducted so far, it’s hard to give a definite “yes” answer as more research must be done, but as CBD gains more traction, more studies will be organized. If you’re a person seeking treatment for a mental disorder, please remember that there is no singular product that can cure depression.

While there are medications out there that have helped others, everyone’s body is different as one treatment regimen may not work for another person. If CBD does help a person with their depression, that doesn’t mean it will for sure help you. Not only does CBD - possibly - help with depression, but it also has been shown to subdue anxiety that is often intertwined with depression symptoms. 

When seeking proper treatment, remember to be patient and transparent with your doctor in case any of your symptoms worsen. If you do want to incorporate CBD into your treatment plan, be sure to prioritize your health and ask a doctor for permission. If you’re interested in learning about CBD and its possible side effects, check out this iCBD blog.
 

If you're feeling upset with no warning and losing joy in things you used to love, talk to people you trust, whether that's family, friends, online support groups, or a therapist. Depression is serious, and it is never something you should feel guilty about addressing, whether that's with medication, rest, comfort, or maybe CBD.

Written by Brianna Borik