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What Becomes of the Broken Hearted: CBD & Heart Disease

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wisely quipped in The Little Prince, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” It seems that the heart is the resting place for all humanity. Within our hearts is the capacity for joy and sorrow, peace and unrest, and importantly, life and death.

Heart disease is called “the silent killer,” a cross-cultural phenomenon affecting those without regard to factors age, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. As medical professionals, you see this in your practices every day. It’s a human issue that basically says, “If I can’t see it, it’s not real.” But grim statistics and the casualties of the disease show that this threat is more pressing than many realize.

Based on the latest data, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the US. Staggeringly, one person dies every 37 seconds in the US from cardiovascular disease, and about 1 in 4 US deaths are heart disease-related. About 47% of American heart disease can be attributed to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Several other leading factors include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.

Since heart disease affects over half of the US population, and much of the world’s, it is worth noting any and all evolving treatments and therapies that have the potential to make a safe and effective difference in heart health. Full spectrum hemp oil extract, better known as CBD, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties which may be able to reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure.

A June 2017 study published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation found that, “A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study...We found that resting blood pressure was lower after subjects had taken CBD and that CBD blunted the blood pressure response to stress, particularly in the pre- and post-stress periods.” Researchers concluded that “CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties may be able to reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure.”

With the rise in consumer products containing CBD, from coffees to skin products, this is vital information for physicians to know. It is of particular importance for those patients that are already receiving treatment for heart disease-related symptoms. “These hemodynamic changes should be considered for people taking CBD and suggest that further research is warranted to establish whether CBD has any role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.”

Dr. Daniel Melville, MD
Dr. Daniel Melville, MD

Studies like this are crucial when evaluating CBD’s potential as a viable and beneficial addition to heart disease patients’ lifestyle changes. However, let’s not forget the importance of clinical outcome studies that are being conducted in individual offices in the US and abroad. This is where the impact counts most. Are real patients experiencing benefits when using quality, independently tested Full Spectrum CBD?

Dr. Daniel Melville, MD, of Melville Medicine in Southlake, TX, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and focuses on disease prevention and the future wellness of his patients. He was kind enough to share with us his experience introducing CBD into his practice:

Although I am a conventionally trained physician, I have been slowly evolving my medical practice using more holistic approaches over the past several years. I can honestly say that I am serving healthier patients with improved outcomes by introducing certain lifestyle modifications and incorporating very specific supplementation that their bodies need and cannot get through just proper dietary exposure.

CBD oil and the Endocannabinoid system are subjects that I have been following for several years, as it has gained traction in the medical literature and mainstream outlets. However, I am very particular about incorporating ideas with my patients until I have seen supportive evidence, as well as anecdotal observations that a certain medication or health recommendation will be of benefit for them.

Several months ago, I was having an arranged follow up with a patient to scrutinize different lab parameters, ranging from cholesterol profile to inflammatory markers to general wellness parameters. As many patients do, she put a disclaimer that she had been taking her supplements, but had not been following a specific diet or exercise advice, as she and her husband had just returned from a several weeks long cruise, ultimately taking full advantage of the vacation in all aspects of enjoyment.

I was amazed as I was presenting the material that we were looking at her most successful lab parameters, specifically in regards to inflammation. For years we had trended lab values and tried different approaches, some with variable success and some with stagnancy, but these were by far her lowest inflammatory markers that I had observed to date.

Prior to her updating me that she had just returned from the cruise with admitted noncompliance, I had prepared as if she had finally been following all of my previous recommendations. However, here she was admitting to me that she had done quite the opposite. She also was reporting that she had improved sleep and less diffuse aches and pains as well.

Naturally, I asked what variable had changed, but that I could not take credit for, and she was happy to report that she had been taking CBD oil for the past several weeks. We looked together at the timeframe of her induction of CBD oil and how she was feeling and even she had not directly correlated some of the improvements until the discussion.

Since that time frame, I have specifically observed similar improvements with certain patients and have correlated the association with CBD products. I am now using CBD oil with increasing frequency in my patient population with excellent results. I can only imagine the potential that this has for the health and wellness of my patients and yours."

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