Why Does CBD Make My Heart Race? (5 Reasons Why It Might)
If you have started taking CBD recently for a number of reasons (such as inflammation, anxiety or chronic pain) but found that after consuming it, you suddenly get palpitations.
This can be a very frightening experience, especially if your body hasn’t reacted this way before.
With CBD, there isn’t always a black and white explanation and this can be frustrating to say the least.
The majority of people that use CBD find it a great benefit, but others have to use the process of elimination occasionally, when it creates another problem to the one you originally started using CBD for.
Why Does CBD Make My Heart Race?
Heart palpitations are fairly common when consuming marijuana, as it is the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which causes this. However, CBD only contains a very small trace amount by law (0.3%). THC causes blood vessels to relax and open, which can make blood pressure drop. This in turn forces the heart to beat faster just to keep the usual amount of blood flowing. It’s unknown whether trace amounts of THC are to blame, or if other factors such as added preservatives, terpenes or carrier oils could be the reason? If you are on any kind of medication, had any previous history of palpitations, the consumption of anything around the time (such as caffeine) could cause your heart to race. Other complex systems such as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) or if you suffered from arrhythmia or tachycardia may be a factor too. If you have taken more than the manufacturer recommends, this too can cause your heart to race faster. CBD and its effect will vary, as the average recommended dosage of 70mg a day or below should have a calming effect. However, a very high dosage may cause an increased heart rate.
1. Heart Medication And Cardiovascular History
Some research has shown that CBD is a vasodilator. What this means is that CBD promotes the dilation of blood vessels and this can help lower blood pressure.
A 2020 study found that CBD may have vasodilatory effects in human and rat arteries. The authors suggest that CBD may improve flow because of the reason mentioned above.
Also, a 2017 studyTrusted Source looked at the effects of a single dose of CBD oil in healthy participants. The authors found that it lowered blood pressure in individuals at rest and those under stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress, stress may cause blood pressure to rise. This is due to the heart pumping faster and stress hormones constricting the blood vessels.
However, more research needs to conducted more to determine the effect of CBD on cardiovascular conditions.
If CBD causes blood vessels to relax and open, which makes blood pressure drop. This can force the heart to beat faster just to keep the usual amount of blood flowing.
Cannabis can cause what’s called tachycardia, which is an increase in your heart rate (HR).
It can also cause peripheral vasodilation, which means your veins and your arteries can dilate and drop your blood pressure.
That means that people who are using cannabis with unstable heart diseases, such as unstable angina or at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke, should really use cannabis with caution.
This also applies to alcohol and other drugs, when mixed with medication.
Depending on what type of CBD you have, this may also apply. As a massive amount of CBD on the market doesn’t contain what it states on the packaging.
You need to make sure the CBD you purchase is from a reputable source.
When you use CBD oil, your liver breaks it down. During this process, it could interfere with your medications for heart failure or other heart conditions.
True and pure CBD shouldn’t cause tachycardia or increase in HR unless low cardiac output was an issue, because CBD aids in improving circulation.
2. What Type of CBD Do You Have?
CBD is one of many chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. Unlike Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce that high feeling after use.
Companies that manufacture CBD products use different methods to extract the compound from the plant. The varying diffusions result in a range of CBD types.
There are three types of CBD, that contain different concentrations and compounds:
- Full-spectrum: Includes all parts of the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum products contain less than 0.3% THC.
- Broad-spectrum: This contains most of the cannabis plant compounds. Unlike full-spectrum, broad-spectrum products contain trace amounts of THC.
- Isolates: Only contain CBD, with no other cannabinoids or THC. Products that contain isolate CBD may not produce any notable effects.
It has been widely reported that several CBD products make misleading claims about the use of their products. People should use caution before ordering any type of CBD.
3. The Endocannabinoid System
The heart is the most noticeable member of the cardiovascular system, which is a sprawling network of veins and arteries that carry nutrient-rich blood to all parts of the body.
The cardiovascular system is also intertwined with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The full extent of the ECS is still unknown, however it is believed to regulate a range of functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility.
The ECS has three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are molecules made by your body.
While the receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the ECS needs to get involved.
There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
- CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells
Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The effects that result depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to.
Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.
The ECS is linked to the following processes:
- appetite and digestion
- chronic pain
- inflammation and other immune system responses
- learning and memory
- motor control
- cardiovascular system function
- muscle formation
- bone remodeling and growth
- liver function
- reproductive system function
- skin and nerve function
Experts believe that maintaining this balance is the primary role of the ECS, which may also be the reason you find your heart racing after taking CBD.
These functions all contribute to the stability of your internal environment. If an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body out of whack, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation.
CBD is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that works not only with ECS receptors, but also with other systems and processes to support healing and relieve pain.
4. Sativa or Indica?
All reputable CBD companies offer third party testing to authenticate the quality of the product and there will also be batch counts to ensure the quality too.
The amount of brands that don’t offer this with their products still today is shocking. Always look out for them.
Checking the strain of CBD too, is something that most people don’t think about.
Is it an indica or Sativa hemp relative? Does it have terpenes in it?
Indica is generally relaxing, whilst Sativa is uplifting. Terpenes will also steer the effect (both for THC and CBD), therefore terpenes that are uplifting will energise you and terpenes that are relaxing will calm you down.
It’s important to check the source material and terpene content of your product.
5. Could Terpenes Be To Blame?
CBD, as you perhaps already know, affects everyone differently in many different ways. There is a lot of people who are allergic to it, or your body might not like some other ingredient in the product.
Terpenes can cause this also – These are the natural compounds in the flower or bud of the cannabis plant. Terpenoids, meanwhile, are terpenes that have been chemically altered.
The process of drying and curing a cannabis flower leads to the formation of terpenes in the CBD.
Not all blends include terpenes though. Terpenes can give you a dry mouth. They are volatile aromatics that are beneficial to the body.
One method is to do the following:
Once you’ve allowed the oil to sit under the tongue between 30 seconds to 60 seconds… Immediately take a sip of water and swish around mouth, allow the oil to dilute, then swallow.
Follow with a bit more water and it should help.
A common terpene is called Caryophyllene, which is abundant in black pepper.
It is also a sesquiterpene, meaning it will still be around after de-carbing. So, If your oil tastes peppery/spicy, it’s more than likely going to be caryophyllene.
Numerous reasons play roles if you cough during CBD vaping. One major reason for making your heart beat faster could be the presence of terpenes in it or even certain types of vape juice.
Terpenes are usually present in both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD vaping liquids.
Terpenes cause itching in the throat, which can result in coughing. If you are aren’t used to vaping, then a racing heartbeat could happen until you are used to it.
Terpenes have been reported to irritate users in different way, causing an elevated heart rate.
Other components, such as Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG), might exacerbate the airways and produce allergic reactions in certain people.
It’s hard to know exactly what could be the reason why you have experienced heart palpitations after taking CBD?
The reasons above will help you narrow down why this may be. The fact we are all very different in our genetic make up, means we all react in different ways when taking substances such as CBD.
If you are on medication for anything…not just for your heart, its worth considering there might be something which is reacting with the CBD you are taking.
Think about your current health and lifestyle choices, as they could be a factor. If you are new to using CBD it may take a week or two for your body to get used to it.
The most obvious reason would be down to the product itself not agreeing with you or that its not as good a product as advertised.
Either way, stop taking the product immediately and seek the advice of a doctor.
If you are able to send the product back to get a refund, then look to do so and spend some more time researching which CBD or any other alternative may work for you.
Always seek the professional opinion from your doctor before trying CBD or any changes to your diet.