CBD Oil, Stress, And Hypertension: Can Stress Affect Your Blood Pressure?
Stress does not cause hypertension/high blood pressure directly. What happens is repeated episodes of elevated blood pressure coupled with nervous system stimulation trigger the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels, resulting in hypertension (if it goes on for too long).
Consequently, temporary spikes in blood pressure are normal.
But you must make effort to manage or prevent stress to keep it from escalating into hypertension or something else. Remember, stress hinders immunity, and affects all systems and functions of the body.
Stress management, according to multiple studies, expert opinions, and anecdotal evidence, encompasses
(1) Getting enough sleep, or at least six to seven hours of sleep daily.
(2) Finding balance in life, relationships, and work. (3) Improving time management.
(4) Asking for help when you need it.
(5) Taking better care of yourself.
Our stressors are often situations or occurrences that we have no control over. That can lead to self doubt, ruminating thoughts, mood swings, or, in some cases, risky behavior. In that state, you may notice increased panic, anxiety, and stress attacks.
In short, stress, if left unchecked, can escalate into hypertension. The question is, how do you manage stress to prevent high blood pressure?
CBD oil is an anxiolytic cannabinoid that, according to studies, can improve mood and confidence, fight inflammation, and improve sleep. You may incorporate different variations of CBD and hemp extracts in a stress management strategy, as explained below.
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Stress can occur in one of three ways (1) you may experience stress episodes triggered by encounters, negative or positive experiences, and so on. Episodic stress can occur at any time and may be triggered by thoughts or environmental factors.
(2) if you cannot find a solution or resolve for what ails you, be it medically, financially, relationship-wise, and so on, you may develop chronic stress. A long-term mental condition that may affect relationships, work, school, and the mind and body.
(3) Acute stress is normal and quickly dissipates once the stressor is removed or if you remove yourself from the situation.
All forms of stress can escalate into not only hypertension but also depression.
What happens to the heart and body during a stress episode or long periods of stress is:
- When stressed, the body releases adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, hormones that increase heart rate, raise blood pressure, narrow arteries, and release glucose to the muscles. The body cannot sustain that state for extended periods, meaning the longer you stay stressed, the higher the likelihood of damage or development of hypertension.
- For the body to work as it should while stressed, it requires more oxygen, prompting organs, including the lungs, blood vessels, and the heart, to work harder than usual. Left untreated that may lead to irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest and abdominal pain, and a disruption in electrical impulses.
All these factors may combine to cause:
- High blood pressure, heart palpitations, and increased heart rate.
- Blood vessel damage.
Remember, the changes described above will also affect the mind. Complications that may result from extended periods of stress include depression, anxiety, changes in appetite and body weight (some may gain weight, and others may lose it), irritability, and insomnia.
The problem with hypertension is it may not cause any symptoms until damage to the heart or other organs is done. Meaning that regular blood pressure checks are advisable, especially if you are going through a stressful period.
When stressed, you may go through a range of emotions, including fear, anger, hate, anxiety, irritability, or impatient. As they say, “Stress fogs the mind.”
In that state, it is easy to damage relationships, lose opportunities, embarrass oneself, and so on.
Your heart is beating out of control, causing high blood pressure, and the mind prepares to defend itself.
How do you keep that state from escalating into hypertension?
Some thoughts are difficult to “shut down.” The more you try not to think about something, the more you will think about it and that may result in fear, anxiety-induced behavior such as hair pulling, and a spike in blood pressure.
A coping mechanism is something that keeps the mind preoccupied and off your stressor.
As a coping mechanism for stress, depression, and anxiety, what CBD oil can do, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine:
“CBD has also been shown to act in 5-HT1A-receptor-dependent ways to reduce stress-associated anxiety behaviors, heart rate, blood pressure, and fear expression.”
From the linked study’s findings, we know that:
- CBD does not have an abuse or dependence potential when administered to humans or animals.
- Administering CBD may cause mild drowsiness and fatigue.
- CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to trigger its effects.
The study concluded, quote:
“On a combined total of 232 participants and one partially controlled study on 120 participants. All showed that CBD was effective in significantly reducing the stress response and its manifestations (anxiety, fear, depression, and burnout).
We therefore recommend administering CBD oil when, before, or after you encounter a stressful event to control your reaction. But that is not enough.
According to mental health specialists, you should also:
Make Realistic Expectations.
What stresses the mind most is not achieving what you have set out to accomplish or your expectations not becoming reality. Realistic expectations are centered on:
- Making peace with the fact that you cannot control everything and you do not always get what you want. That way, if something disappointing occurs, your heart rate will not go up for longer than is necessary.
- Be your person, have boundaries, learn to say no, and avoid putting too many expectations on yourself and the people around you. Remember, disappointment can come from anywhere.
- Face your problems and find solutions if possible. If the situation does not have a solution, remember that there is no benefit in dwelling on it.
- Identify your triggers, your mind, and your body’s reaction to triggers, and choose to avoid or confront them.
- Build a support system for your mental health.
Hypertension is the body’s indirect reaction to long-term threats. The primary reaction to stress is anxiety, mood changes, increased heart rate, and racing thoughts.
As an anxiolytic medicine, you may administer CBD oil or hemp extracts to manage the physical symptoms of stress and keep them from escalating into hypertension or something else.
- Henson, J. D., Vitetta, L., Quezada, M., & Hall, S. (2021). Enhancing Endocannabinoid Control of Stress with Cannabidiol. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(24). https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245852