Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in North America. According to Stats Canada a 2012 study revealed that 2.4 milliuon Canadians live with heart disease. However, there are several  different types of cardiovascular conditions. In this article we will be focusing on how CBD can be a safe therapeutic aid in treating conditions such as Atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia and reperfusion.

Atherosclerosis, a common form of heart disease is characterized by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, cutting off blood flow to the heart and brain caused by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. As plaque builds up , an inflammatory response from the immune system will cause even more damage to the arteries. 

 

Cannabinoid receptors in the cardiovascular system play a crucial role in the regulation of  blood circulation and heart function.  Since atherosclerosis is largely caused by inflammation and plaque buildup, research suggest that CBD can be helpful  in counteracting  the progression of the disease, which  can lead to a heart attack, stroke or in some cases death.

CBD causes blood vessels to widen and relax. It has been proven effective in protecting the integrity of endothelial cells in the coronary artery and their overall endothelial function. CBD has also been proven to reduce cardiac fibrosis, myocardial dysfunction, inflammation, cell death, oxidative-nitrative stress and inner-related signaling pathways. All these provide therapeutic benefits to individuals suffering from atherosclerosis.

 

Cannabidiol exerts its anti-inflammatory activity mediated by enhancing adenosine signaling.. Considering that adenosine receptors are promising pharmaceutical target for ischemic heart disease, a study published in 2007 tested the effect of CBD on ischemic rat hearts. The study showed that CBD induces a substantial cardio protective effect from ischemia. Also found in another study, administration of CBD immediately after a person suffers a heart attack has been proven effective in the reduction of infarct size as well as myocardial inflammation.

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