High cholesterol is a widespread issue throughout the UK. Statistics in recent years indicate that approximately 40% of UK residents have high cholesterol or cholesterol levels approaching clinically relevant concentrations.
As such, it’s no surprise that there is growing interest in using holistic supplementation to address the issue. And while we’re all about supplying the best-in-class Herbal Health CBD products to our clientele, we want you to make an informed and safe decision before adding cannabidiol to your regimen.
So, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the relationship between CBD oil and cholesterol levels. But before we answer the question “does CBD oil help with cholesterol?”, we will discuss the potential interactions between CBD and cholesterol medication. After that, we’ll address how cannabinoid intervention can impact the following factors related to high cholesterol pathology:
- Appetite and Metabolism
- Triglyceride Concentrations
- Blood Pressure
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Stress Management
CBD Interactions with Cholesterol Medication
Before adding CBD to an existing pharmaceutical regimen, we urge you to consider the following. Cannabidiol is known to inhibit CYP450 liver enzymes. These enzymes are the primary factors responsible for the breakdown of many medicines, including statins, one of the most commonly prescribed medications for cholesterol management.
When these enzymes are inhibited, the metabolization of statins may slow down, leading to an increase in side effects. The side effects of statins include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, indigestion, muscle pain, low blood platelets, and sleep problems. If the breakdown of statins is sufficiently slowed by CBD consumption, these side effects could range from mild to severe.
While there is insufficient research to prove that this combination is dangerous, many examples of CYP450 inhibition of pharmaceutical metabolization lead to life-threatening situations. Do not combine CBD with any pharmaceutical without consulting a qualified medical professional.
Cannabinoid Mediated Appetite and Metabolism Regulation
Now that we’ve gotten through the challenging part of this discussion let’s look at the promising research surrounding CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and high cholesterol management. As you know, it’s no secret that food consumption is one of the most significant factors leading to hypercholesterolemia (clinically diagnosed high cholesterol).
The endocannabinoid system (ECS), our internal cannabinoid system, is one of the primary biological networks regulating appetite and metabolism. The ECS primarily leverages cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Although, it is interesting to note that there are additional CB-related receptors that we won’t focus on today.
CB1 receptor activity is intimately linked with appetite. THC, that infamous little chemical responsible for marijuana’s buzz, is well known for its ability to induce wicked munchies. However, when CB1 receptor activation is balanced, it will likely lead to a regulated appetite.
CBD has a unique relationship with this receptor. Cannabidiol elevates levels of AEA (anandamide), which stimulates CB1 receptors. However, CBD also has a unique capability to act as an allosteric modulator of CB1 receptor activity, potentially helping to alleviate adverse effects related to excess stimulation of CB1 sites.
As such, CBD may help to produce that balanced appetite we’re chasing. If the endocannabinoid system runs efficiently, our appetite should be regulated, perhaps lowered, if we are used to excess craving. The means to balance ECS activity are as follows: healthy food choices, exercise, stress management, and natural supplementation.
Regarding metabolism, ECS activation may help convert white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT). Adipose tissue is simply a clinical way to refer to fat. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors play an essential role in the “browning” of fat tissues.
Research shows that brown fatty tissues may help to regulate sugar metabolism, restore insulin sensitivity, encourage the metabolism of triglycerides, and reduce high cholesterol while preventing arterial plaque development. These metabolic factors may contribute to improved symptoms associated with high cholesterol.
More investigation is warranted to see how cannabinoid supplementation can support the proliferation of brown fat. Still, a healthy endocannabinoid system will likely encourage a proper balance between white and brown adipose tissues.
Endocannabinoid Triglyceride Management
Elevated triglyceride levels, high LDL concentrations, and low amounts of HDL have been associated with a buildup of fatty plaque in our blood vessels. This makes triglyceride management an essential subject for individuals with high cholesterol. Arterial plaque buildup is often associated with the diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia.
CB1 receptors, leveraged by our endocannabinoid system, help to regulate triglyceride concentrations in our bodies. The over-activation of these receptors has been associated with elevated triglyceride levels. Conversely, CB1 activity reduction correlates with a decrease in triglyceride levels.
As mentioned in the last section, CBD stimulates CB1 receptors by promoting AEA concentrations in the body while simultaneously acting as an allosteric modulator of this receptor site. This modulation may lead to the limitation of adverse side effects associated with stimulation.
So, can CBD oil lower triglyceride levels? At this time, it cannot be stated that cannabidiol will directly reduce triglyceride levels. However, the endocannabinoid system does play a pivotal role in triglyceride management. Once again, our readers are encouraged to care for this system through natural supplementation and healthy lifestyle choices for the best results.
CBD and Blood Pressure Reduction
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are closely related. As cholesterol levels rise, fatty plaque builds up in the blood vessels, which leads to the vessels’ hardening and narrowing. This impact on our blood vessels culminates in higher blood pressure.
A randomized study with healthy volunteers showed that a single CBD dose may lower blood pressure. Additionally, a 2020 Journal of Hypertension article showed that CBD can reduce blood pressure associated with high stress and obesity.
This research is very promising. And while this factor may not directly impact cholesterol, it does address an essential element associated with this diagnosis.
Insulin Sensitivity and the Endocannabinoid System
Insulin resistance has a documented association with increased cholesterol. Our endocannabinoid network is known to play a role in reducing this resistance. A decrease in insulin resistance is linked to lowered amounts of atherosclerotic plaque. This plaque, a fatty buildup that leads to obstruction in the arteries, can lead to heart attacks, elevated bp, and strokes. As mentioned above, this plaque buildup goes hand in hand with high cholesterol, making the restoration of insulin sensitivity an essential goal for individuals with hypercholesterolemia.
Research shows that CBD may be able to modify the structures of fat throughout the body. Specifically, we are referencing a change to the structure of the fat under the skin (SAT ~ subcutaneous tissues) and the fat surrounding the organs (VAT ~ visceral adipose tissues). This modification of fatty tissue structure helps to restore insulin sensitivity.
Additionally, the endocannabinoid system regulates the secretion of GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1). Both GIP and GLP-1 are potential targets in the reduction of cholesterol-related issues. GIP aids in insulin production, release, and activity, making it relevant to the ECS regulation of insulin sensitivity and regulation.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of CBD and the ECS
Long-term inflammation can lower HDL (“good” cholesterol) and elevate LDL (“bad” cholesterol). This skewed cholesterol balance is one of the primary factors that doctors use to diagnose a patient with high cholesterol.
CBD is often touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. So naturally, our endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in managing inflammation in the body. This anti-inflammatory activity is primarily mediated by CB2 receptor activation.
Cannabidiol does not have a strong affinity for CB2 receptors. But it does help to improve the overall tone of the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, CBD increases circulating levels of anandamide in the body. As concentrations of the endocannabinoid AEA begin to rise, levels of the other primary endocannabinoid, 2-AG, are likely to rise. This is because AEA and 2-AG help to regulate one another.
Both of these endocannabinoids are shown to display anti-inflammatory properties, although 2-AG has a strong affinity for CB2 activation. Therefore, to fully leverage the anti-inflammatory aspects of the endocannabinoid system, it is highly recommended to implement lifestyle choices that promote endocannabinoid health along with cannabinoid supplementation.
Cannabinoid Mediated Stress Reduction
Chronic stress can affect the body in several ways, most of which contribute to disease pathology. For example, when we experience stress, our body releases higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals increase blood sugar levels and raise cholesterol concentrations.
Apart from managing blood pressure related to stress, CBD helps to elevate that critical endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) that we mentioned earlier. Conversely, when our body has lowered levels of AEA, this often leads to an increase in anxiety due to stress. As such, restoring healthy levels of this endocannabinoid has become a promising target for combating stress.
Additionally, CBD directly activates 5HT1-A serotonin receptors. The activation of these receptor sites has been shown to decrease anxiety-like behaviour and provide stress relief. These factors clearly illustrate how CBD has become one of the most popular herbal supplements for mental clarity and well-being.
Herbal Health CBD
Herbal Health carries premier cannabidiol for all of your holistic needs. Our first-class catalogue has everything from CBD oils, gummies, and capsules to an extensive range of CBD skin care products.
Don’t hesitate to order our lab-tested, THC-free cannabidiol today. We guarantee you’ll feel the difference our incredible, all-natural CBD delivers.