CVD (#1 Killer) & Phytocannabinoids

CVD (#1 Killer) & Phytocannabinoids

CVD (#1 Killer) & Phytocannabinoids


One of the biggest drivers behind our poor health here in America is metabolic syndrome. While we may not be familiar with the words “metabolic syndrome”, we are too familiar with all the metabolic abnormalities that come along with metabolic syndrome that affect our health negatively. Metabolic syndrome can head to things that negatively affect our cardiovascular system, leading to cardiovascular disease, which is the #1 killer in the US and worldwide.  The problem with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease is the ongoing series of inflammation that affects our whole body, but more specifically our heart. 


Things like hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of fats accumulating), insulin resistance, arrhythmias, pericardial disease (inflammation of the sac that encases our heart), valvular heart diseases (affects the valves in our heart), cardiomyopathies (disorder affecting the heart), and heart failure all stem from this ongoing series of inflammation (1). 


According to BioMed Central, a peer reviewed open access medical journal, recent studies suggest that controlling acute inflammation reduces cardiovascular related events from forming, progressing, and as a possbile treatment option to combat cardiovascular disease (1). While CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are the reasons for this topic, the best approach to addressing heart disease starts lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and stress management, but it  sure is nice to know that we can take CBD daily to protect our cardiovascular system.


The first steps to combating inflammation that has the potential to reduce and eliminate heart disease is a diet rich in antioxidants, which provides much of the anti-inflammatory properties that we need to combat systemic inflammation (2). Yes, you can reverse all stages of heart disease through diet and lifestyle measures. Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D. Proved this in the 90’s (2).


The importance here is eating food that is rich in antioxidants to address inflammation, but recent research puts emphasis on phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from cannabis) and the excellent antioxidant properties that these plant compounds hold for us. 


As always, the real hero here is our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS modulates and controls immune response (inflammation) and cannabinoids offer such a high antioxidant profile that has the potential to protect our healthy cells from the destructive effects of inflammation and oxidative stress. What a better target receptor system to use to address cardiovascular related diseases than this system that can protect in multiple ways simultaneously. Check this out.


According to Sage, an open access peer-reviewed journal, since the ECS was shown to modulate immune response and offer a great deal of protection for the heart through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the ECS was  proposed as a treatment option for cardiovascular disease (3). The goal is to address the very things that cause cardiovascular disease and this amazing, yet very complex receptor system seems to hold the answers to that on a cellular level. 


The ECS consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors (G-protein coupled receptors), for which these receptors are present in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), peripheral nervous system, adipose (fat) tissue, liver, cardiac muscle, and blood vessels, which gives us much hope for improving the destructive and progressive effects of CVD. 


CB1 receptors in the heart can offer negative inotropic (force of hearts contraction) effects, lowering the hearts contractility, dilating the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure (3). CB1 receptor activation also helps with the proliferation and migration of vascular smooth cells, which paired with the antioxidant profile of cannabinoids, can protect the inner lining of our blood vessels from fatty plaque formation, deposition, and excess oxidative damage (3). oxidative damage is something we want to avoid at all costs! It  damages us down to our DNA.


CB2 receptors are mainly expressed in immune tissues and blood cells and can help regulate immune function and control the damaging effects that inflammation causes (3). CB2 receptors are how we can control immune response and immune cells directly! We are bio hacking our system using something natural and health promoting, how cool! (for me anyway 😂). 


Excess inflammation is very destructive to our healthy cells, thus limiting immune response, especially when over played, can reduce this destructive process. Through the immune modulatory property when acting on CB2 receptors, we can control acute inflammatory response, improving heart health, offering cardioprotective role (3). This cardioprotective role is so profound that we can use the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these plant compounds to preserve damage to our cardiac muscle and brain tissue following a heart attack and stroke by improving oxygenation and blood flow to ischemic (dead) tissue (3). Talk about some powerful benefits! 


It is important to note that CBD strongly acts on CB2 receptors and partially (indirectly) acts on CB1 receptors. Which means we are activating both of these receptors, which was shown to protect our heart from inflammation and the negative side effects that come along with inflammation. What is even better to note is that cannabis contains 120+ known cannabinoids all working together. CBD is just one of these compounds! The potential to address different diseases similarly to CVD has given cannabinoid medicine a huge spotlight when discussing the therapeutic potential of this natural, safe, and effective herb.


If these kinds of benefits (similarly to the ones discussed here to address CVD) were found in a patentable medication, this would hit the front page news for conventional medicine and possibly even win a Nobel Prize, but unfortunately no matter how health promoting this plant can be when it comes to our health and wellness, there is no money to be made off this plant. Which means big ph@rma isn’t interested in it, regardless of the health benefits it has to offer. This isn’t anything new, as we see this with all herbs out there. 


What I will say is that never in human history have we ever been deficient in metoprolol, propranolol, metformin, or simvastatin. Taking the medication approach, without addressing inflammation and oxidative damage at a cellular level, will keep us doing what we have been doing the whole time, which is nothing. Even with all the blood pressure, cholesterol, and type II diabetes medications out there, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome are continuously on the rise today! In other words, it's not "fixing" us.


Which brings us to the conclusion that these medications aren’t helping us fight disease at the cellular level. Modern medicine has us simply chasing a symptom while the root cause of the disease still spirals out of control. We are turning off our oil light warning but never actually changing our oil. They have us right where they want us, but now that we know better, we can do better. In order to improve CVD we need to acquire a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management (another plus of CBD). It is nice to know that we can include CBD in our daily routine whether you are using it  pain, stress, mood, appetite, sleep, etc. and still get the heart protecting benefits. 


Now that's what I call medicine!


Bee Well,

Brandon Farless


*This information is for educational purposes only and simply sharing information pertaining to these studies. No medical advice or claims are being made on my behalf. 




1.     Boyalla, V., Gallego-Colon, E., & Spartalis, M. (2023, March 23). Immunity and inflammation in cardiovascular disorders - BMC cardiovascular disorders. BioMed Central.


2.     Ornish, D., Scherwitz, L. W., Billings, J. H., Brown, S. E., Gould, K. L., Merritt, T. A., Sparler, S., Armstrong, W. T., Ports, T. A., Kirkeeide, R. L., Hogeboom, C., & Brand, R. J. (1998). Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA280(23), 2001–2007. 


3.     Dziemitko, S., Harasim-Symbor, E., & Chabowski, A. (2023). How do phytocannabinoids affect cardiovascular health? An update on the most common cardiovascular diseases. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease14, 20406223221143239.

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