The cannabidiol CBD, which performs an opposing function to the element THC that is behind cannabis’ psychoactive effect, is growing in popularity across the globe.
It is now used relatively widely to treat anxiety and other disorders, and is available in high-street stores throughout the UK.
Scientific research has established that CBD has many benefits, including lowering blood pressure and risk of suffering a stroke.
But there are several claims about other potential health reasons to take the product, and in some circles it has been suggested that the compound can decrease resting heart rate, so we’ve taken a look at the findings of studies over the years.
There’s certainly evidence that CBD can lower resting heart rate in stressful conditions, although it’s unclear if it has the same effect in non stressful circumstances or normal day-to-day life.
The research into this area goes back over a decade, with a study in 2009 finding that rats’ heart rate and blood pressure was decreased when they were exposed to a stressful situation and had been given a dose of CBD.
Then, two years later, researchers carried out a human study. They gave participants either a large dose of CBD or a placebo before a public-speaking event, and found that the group given CBD had lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels.
However, a later study in 2017 found that CBD actually raised the resting heart rate of healthy males in normal conditions despite lowering blood pressure.
So although studies do indicate that CBD causes heart rate to remain lower when individuals are exposed to stressors, the evidence suggests it fails to decrease resting heart rate. Bear this in mind when you see claims the product can reduce heart rate.