CBD Oil for AFib – June 2022
Atrial fibrillation , also called AFib , is a specific condition where the heart experiences irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia) due to excess atrial contraction.
AFib can lead to heart failure , stroke, blood clotting, and other heart-related disorders. Blood thinners , such as warfarin, may help prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation .
It is estimated that at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib (4) .
There is growing evidence surrounding the use of cannabidiol ( CBD ) and its potential therapeutic effects in the cardiovascular system (5) .
CBD is one of many substances found in cannabis plants . It is not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the primary psychoactive compound also present in cannabis (marijuana).
Although CBD and THC are the two major components used in medical marijuana , it is THC that makes users high.
In 2010, a study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed that CBD reduced the total number of irregular , ventricular heartbeats ( heart arrhythmia ) in lab rats after they suffered a heart attack (6) . This kind of arrhythmia, coming from the ventricles instead of the atria, is different from AFIB, but it could be worth further investigation.
Researchers in a 2017 study learned that a single dose of CBD decreased blood pressure in male subjects (7) . They also observed that the compound reduced blood pressure response to stress in the participants, particularly when subjected to cold stress.
High blood pressure is said to increase the risk of atrial fibrillation in middle-aged men and women (8) .
Another study tested the hypothesis that CBD is capable of attenuating responses and consequences of stress in an animal model of anxiety.
Male rats exposed to restraint stress, a procedure intended to induce tension in animals, showed increased blood pressure and heart rate . The authors of the study found that these effects were reduced by cannabidiol (9) .
Meanwhile, experts in another study reported that CBD attenuated several processes associated with diabetes. They believed that, based on the results, CBD has great therapeutic potential in treating diabetes and other heart-related medical conditions (10) .
However, there are no direct studies that can prove CBD as an effective treatment for atrial fibrillation . Many trials on CBD used animal models, with only a few studies carried out on human subjects but none directly address AFib.
How CBD Oil Could Work to Help with AFib
CBD is said to engage with a part of the human body known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is a system that regulates the body by maintaining balance through its receptors.
Cannabidiol has been found to interact with cannabinoid receptors (11) , while there is growing evidence that it also binds with signaling pathways outside of the ECS (12) .
A study on lab rats revealed that CBD ’s interaction with ECS receptors allowed it to exert its cardioprotective effects in the subjects (13) .
In another study, researchers learned that cannabidiol binds and activates the PPARgamma receptor (14) . This receptor has been linked to various diseases of the cardiovascular system (15) .
The authors believed that the activation of the PPARgamma receptor is what caused CBD to exert its vascular actions in rats (16) .
It is beneficial for AFib patients to have good blood pressure control. Safe, established medications already exist for AFib and blood pressure but it is worth the continued research as there are not yet clear benefits for CBD and AFib.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for AFib
- There is evidence that CBD may help with underlying blood pressure control which could help with AFib . Based on the studies mentioned above, researchers learned that CBD has properties that may benefit the cardiovascular system and another type of irregular heartbeat but not AFib specifically.
- A study mentioned earlier on male subjects has shown that CBD reduced blood pressure , a condition that can lead to atrial fibrillation .
- Consuming cannabidiol does not cause mind-altering effects on the user. CBD is not the same as THC , since tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive .
- Most states allow people to buy and consume CBD . In places where cannabidiol is legally sold, it is possible to obtain CBD products without the need to acquire a doctor’s prescription.
- Government agencies, like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), acknowledge CBD ’s potential therapeutic applications (17) .
- The World Health Organization published a case report that reviewed several clinical trials on CBD use. They learned that CBD is generally well-tolerated, even when taken in high doses (18) .
- The majority of studies on CBD were carried out on animal subjects. Clinical trials on human participants are lacking, making it difficult to determine its efficacy in treating various health issues . CBD’s effects, if any, on AFib have not yet been studied.
- Epidiolex is the only cannabidiol product that has been approved by the FDA (19) . At this time, CBD has no other marketing applications approved by the agency.
- Using CBD, together with other medications, can result in interactions with common AFib medications like blood thinners (20) and thus may increase the risk of bleeding. Always tell your doctor before taking CBD and other medications.
- Many CBD products are mislabeled, especially those sold online (21) . People choosing to buy CBD via these channels may consume more or less of the compound than expected.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for AFib
Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant agents (vitamins C and E), and barberry are considered as alternative treatments that may benefit people with AFib (22) .
Dietary supplementation of an omega-3 fatty acid was shown to lower the risk of fatal cardiovascular events in patients who had a heart attack (23) .
Antioxidant agents, such as vitamins C and E, have been observed to protect against the development and progression of atrial fibrillation (24) .
Meanwhile, the compound extracted from barberries is said to have properties that can help with irregular heart palpitations (25) .
Compared to these alternative medications, cannabidiol is also believed to have cardioprotective qualities that may benefit patients with AFib .
A study has shown that CBD ’s cardioprotective abilities are due to its interaction with various receptors in the body (26) .
How to Choose the Right CBD for AFib
The three forms of CBD products available today are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
Full- spectrum CBD oil is the most well-known of the three. This CBD variant contains all of the natural compounds of Cannabis sativa plants, such as THC , terpenes, and flavonoids.
Quality full- spectrum CBD products are high in cannabidiol , with only trace amounts of the other chemical compounds present.
The next type of CBD is called broad-spectrum, a variant quite similar to full-spectrum. The primary difference between the two is that broad-spectrum does not have THC .
Since tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive compound, some individuals choose not to consume it. They prefer to purchase broad- spectrum CBD products to benefit from CBD and the other cannabis compounds.
The last type of CBD product is called isolate. CBD isolates are usually sold in crystalline or powdered form.
Due to its purity, a CBD isolate product does not have a distinct smell or taste.
Perhaps the most potent form of CBD oil is the full-spectrum variety. Full- spectrum CBD is known for the synergism called the “entourage effect.”
This effect is a proposed mechanism of action in which cannabis compounds are said to be more effective when taken together (27) .
Whichever type of CBD one plans to buy, users must always choose the highest quality product available.
- Obtain a laboratory report or a certificate of analysis (COA). This document is the content analysis report of a CBD product showing the exact specifications described on its label.
- CBD obtained from hemp plants are the best. Purchase from brands that use industrial hemp for their CBD products .
- Be sure to read up on shop and product reviews before purchasing from an online CBD shop. If buying from a physical dispensary, make sure that the establishment has the proper authorization to sell CBD .
- Know the legalities concerning the purchase and use of CBD in the various states, especially where one plans to consume it.
- Talk to a health care expert, especially someone with past CBD experience, before purchasing any CBD product .
CBD Dosage for AFib
At this time, there are no approved FDA guidelines for CBD dosing. This predicament makes it difficult for people to know the right dose that could benefit patients with AFib .
However, looking at a past clinical trial and the dosage that was used may help to identify a suitable amount of CBD to take.
In one study, nine healthy male participants took 600 mg of cannabidiol (28) . The subjects reportedly did not experience any adverse events during the trial and even a week after taking CBD .
How to Take CBD Oil for AFib
Two of the fastest ways to administer CBD to those with AFib are through sublingual tincture and vaping.
Sublingual administration has shown to be a quick method of applying substances in the body (29) .
Meanwhile, inhaling CBD allows the compound to be delivered immediately and effectively due to high bioavailability (30) . Bioavailability is the amount in which a substance enters the body successfully for it to take effect.
However, not everyone is comfortable with vaping. Consuming CBD by way of edibles or capsules is a straightforward way for non-users to take CBD oil . The most common edibles sold by CBD brands are gummies .
Some brands sell CBD in the form of topicals. These products can be used for massage therapies, which may help people relax and feel at ease.
To measure their cannabidiol dosage accurately, users may choose to purchase CBD tinctures . These products allow individuals to correctly apply the right amount of CBD they need to take.
Massaging with CBD topicals may help those with AFib deal with minor discomforts. To avoid complications, visit a doctor for medical advice before using cannabidiol .
What is Atrial Fibrillation ?
Atrial fibrillation is considered to be the most prevalent type of erratic heartbeat that a person can experience. A few of the risk factors of AFib include age, existing heart disease , high blood pressure , and obesity.
Although often linked with irregular electrical impulses, the exact cause for AFib is relatively unknown.
- Rapid and abnormal heartbeat
- A feeling of fluttering in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
The Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation
- Paroxysmal fibrillation is when a person’s heart returns to normal with or without intervention within a week after its start. Individuals with this type of AFib may experience episodes a few times each year or daily.
- Persistent AFib can be defined as an abnormal rhythm of the heart that lasts more than a week. This variant of atrial fibrillation does not return to normal without treatment.
- Long-standing AFib is a type of atrial fibrillation wherein the heart is continuously in an erratic rhythm, lasting more than twelve months.
- Permanent AFib happens when the disorder lasts indefinitely, with the patient and doctor deciding not to continue its treatment.
- Nonvalvular AFib is the form of AFib that is not caused by an issue with the heart valve.
What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is an essential program for individuals recovering from heart muscle failure or surgery (32) . This program is supervised to include physical activity, education about healthy lifestyle choices, and counseling to improve mental health.
Anyone with cardiovascular disease is an ideal candidate for cardiac rehab.
- Strengthening the heart and body after a heart attack
- Relieving the symptoms of heart problems , such as chest pain
- Reducing stress
- Developing healthier habits
- Improving mood
- Increasing energy and strength
- Staying motivated to take prescribed medications that help lower the risk of future heart problems
- Preventing future cardiovascular disorders
It is possible to sign up for cardiac rehabilitation in a hospital or health center. Some programs allow rehab to be performed in the patient’s home.
A team of experts can guide individuals through cardiac rehabilitation. Professionals, such as nutrition specialists, physical therapists, and counselors, may take part in the program.
Cannabidiol may help with atrial fibrillation as it is believed to exert therapeutic effects ( antiarrhythmic ) that can benefit general heart health.
Studies have shown that CBD reduced blood flow pressure and the total number of irregular, venticular heartbeats (arrhythmia) in study subjects who had heart attacks. Abnormal heart rhythm and high blood pressure are conditions linked and related to AFib . However, ventricular arrhythmia is a different type of rhythm from AFib and requires emergency medical care. No discernable benefits can be said about CBD and AFib at this point.
CBD is said to engage with receptors of the endocannabinoid system , which researchers believe is the reason for its cardioprotective effects. The compound’s interaction with receptors outside of the ECS has also been observed.
Despite the positive outlook, there is a lack of clinical trials regarding CBD and its effectiveness in treating atrial fibrillation or blood pressure . Most of the studies on cannabidiol were performed on animals.
Cbd oil gummies for afib
We saw a question similar to this in the past. I have copied/pasted a very thorough answer from Dr. Sank of HelloMD.
Cannabis consumption in a systemic form such as smoking has been associated with heart palpitations and fast heart rhythms. Smoked cannabis should likely be avoided in your case for this reason. Some studies suggest the negative cardiovascular effects of smoked cannabis are related to THC. There has not been enough research on CBD extract products to determine if they are safe for those with atrial fibrillation. There have not been any studies associating localized forms of cannabis with harmful heart rhythms. It is likely safe, from a cardiovascular standpoint, to use topical cannabis infused patches, balms, salves, massage oils, etc. in limited quantities for localized pain control.
You should discuss your particular case closely with your cardiologist and cannabis-recommending physician before use.
A growing number of case reports have demonstrated an association between smoked cannabis consumption and adverse cardiacvascular effects. This includes cardiac dysrythmia including atrial fibrillation and increased cardiac work, which can precipitate cardiac chest pain and even heart attacks. Smoked cannabis has also been associated with low blood pressure upon standing which can increase the risk of fainting. These effects are likely mediated by an effect in which THC triggers the sympathetic nervous system in intermittent users. Chronic users appear to develop tolerance to triggering of the sympathetic nervous system; however, they may suffer from microscopic damage to the arteries that supply the heart.
Interestingly, a recent large case-control study from Denmark demonstrated that NSAID type medications (Ibuprofen/Advil and Naproxen/Aleve etc) are also associated with increased incidence of atrial fibrillation. This is in addition to prior literature that shows NSAIDs can aggravate hypertension. A series of two studies published in 2015 additionally show that opiates are likely associated with a higher risk of heart attack and atrial fibrillation. Unfortunately, there is no ideal option for chronic pain control in the setting of atrial fibrillation.
Korantzopoulos P. Atrial fibrillation and Marijuana Smoking. Int J Clin Pract. 2008;62(2):308-313
Jones RT. Cardiovascular system effects of marijuana. J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 42 (11 Suppl.): 58S-63.
Sidney S. Cardiovascular consequences of marijuana use. J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 42 (11 Suppl.): 64S-70.
Rezkalla SH, Sharma P, Kloner RA. Coronary no-flow and ventricular tachycar
associated with habitual marijuana use. Ann Emerg Med 2003; 42: 365-9″
Hello, Great news!
CBD appears to have benefits to cardio-vascular health. This is because the common fibrillation definition is irregular twitching, which is related to inflammation.
I found a general article where you can learn more about cannabis treatment and heart complications, along with causes. I’m not a medical health practitioner, but there have been recent studies which may relate to your condition.
CBD may be used to ease the symptoms of atrial fibrillation causes, such as blood pressure and anxiety.
CBD comes in your favorite variety of consumption methods such as tinctures, capsules, and even transdermal patches!