Cholesterol is often a word that is associated with cardiovascular and heart disease, atherosclerosis, and blood clots. Starting off the article on a cheery note!
The fear of developing diseases due to high cholesterol is so high that every year millions of people around the world take cholesterol-lowering medication, even though they may not have an elevated cholesterol level at all.
We will look at the causes of cholesterol and discuss whether CBD could be useful in lowering cholesterol and why.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy type of fat, or lipid, which moves throughout the body in the blood. Lipids are substances that do not dissolve in water, so they do not come apart in blood. Your body makes cholesterol, but you can also get it from foods. Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals.
In fact, cholesterol is a vital substance for our bodies. Cholesterol helps to balance a wide range of functions in the body, which in turn helps to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Healthy cholesterol levels occur when there is a balance in the body.
Is all Cholesterol bad?
Cholesterol level is measured on the basis of three types of cholesterol in the blood: Triglycerides, LDL and HDL.
Triglycerides and LDL are the so-called ‘bad’ forms of cholesterol. Ideally, such types of cholesterol should be at the low end to protect the body against diseases. Triglycerides are found in fatty foods and sweet treats along with meats and dairy products. Both Triglycerides and LDL are not entirely ‘bad’, in small amounts as they are actually vital for our bodies wellbeing. For example, Triglycerides are used to help maintain the skin’s elasticity and natural defences against bacteria and viruses.
Our skin needs fat to function optimally, and therefore fat in the diet helps to strengthen your immune system. However, as that famous saying goes….”everything in moderation”.
Too many triglycerides can increase the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and as a result help cause cardiovascular related issues.
The best way to maintain a health Cholesterol level is by living as healthily as possible. This includes limiting those naughty unhealthy habits, doing lots of exercise, drinking lots of water, getting your 5 a day and eating as much fibre as possible.
A healthy lifestyle increases the levels of HDL (the ‘healthy’ cholesterol) in the blood and at the same time burns the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. It can be an extremely balancing act, and it can be even harder to know for sure if you are getting enough dietary fibre.
This may be one of the reasons why more and more people are using CBD oil as a dietary supplement. CBD oil contains lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals together with healthy omega fatty acids that help create balance in your cholesterol levels .
Could CBD help lower your cholesterol?
CBD can be an ideal dietary supplement for those worried about their cholesterol levels. Whilst no health claims can be made about the CBD, and it cannot replace cholesterol-lowering drugs entirely, it could however be an attractive natural alternative for those taking prescription drugs that may have unwanted side effects.
Unlike cholesterol-lowering drugs, CBD has few side effects. As CBD oil is used by many to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, it could therefore be ideal for those who feel they may be experiencing high cholesterol levels.
CBD cannot and should not replace vital medication. However, CBD oil can be a nourishing and commonly side-effect-free alternative. Because even though you may not experience the side effects of a preventative treatment with cholesterol-lowering medication, the healthiest path to good health is always the natural one; through a varied diet, exercise, and preferably combined with nutritious supplements and vitamins.
Here we will take a closer look at how CBD oil could act as a natural way to stabilize cholesterol levels.
CBD for high cholesterol and blood pressure
Cholesterol levels and blood pressure are usually intricately linked. This is because an elevated cholesterol level increases the risk of atherosclerosis. This is where cholesterol sticks to the blood vessels, narrowing them.
In order to circulate blood around the whole body, the heart needs to pump the blood around the body incredibly fast. This puts both the heart and the blood vessels under immense pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of lots of many different diseases and disorders, such as blood clots, cerebral haemorrhages, heart attacks and general body pains.
Luckily, CBD oil is used by many to help prevent the damage that an elevated cholesterol level can cause. CBD oil cannot replace blood pressure lowering or cholesterol lowering medications if you take it as treatment. It is especially important that you are seen by a doctor if both your cholesterol and blood pressure are elevated. However, if you are just at risk of developing high cholesterol, then CBD oil may be an alternative to medication to tackle the problem before it has time to develop.
CBD strengthens cardiovascular disease and stabilizes cholesterol levels
Our bodies use cholesterol to maintain and strengthen our cells. Therefore, if there is too much of the ‘bad’ LDL fat in the blood, then it risks settling on the blood vessels and increasing the risk of strokes and cardiovascular disease.
If there is plenty of the ‘good’ HDL fat in the blood, then the cholesterol levels stabilise and the fat does not settle in the blood vessels. This is because HDL cleanses our blood vessels and ensures that atherosclerosis does not occur due to built up cholesterol.
CBD is not absorbed directly into the body and the effects are therefore indirect, but studies have shown that the intake of CBD can make the cardiovascular system relax. By strengthening the cardiovascular system, CBD can help stabilize cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. CBD, thus gives more than just a mentally relaxing sensation, but also a physical one.
A strong cardiovascular system is vital as it pumps blood and nutrients around to all the organs of the body. However, a strengthened cardiovascular system means more than that: when your heart is well, it also has a positive effect on, among other things, your blood sugar, digestion and the health of your brain cells.
CBD, cholesterol, and the brain
It is no secret that nature is good for us both physically and mentally. The more one experiences the benefits the natural world has to give the greater the chance you have of having overall good health.
As part of that nature, the hemp plant has proved itself to be an incredibly strong and sustainable plant, whose beneficial properties are also seen in CBD oil.
CBD oil is used by many to help prevent and counteract stress, depression, and anxiety. CBD strengthens your endocannabinoid system, which has a great impact on maintaining your physical and mental well-being. Therefore, an out-of-balance endocannabinoid system could also have a major impact on the health of your brain.
When it comes to cholesterol, your brain is actually the part of the body that contains the most cholesterol . The brain is a very sensitive organ, it makes its own cholesterol, which it uses to strengthen the function and viability of brain cells.
An elevated cholesterol level could affect brain health and, for example, increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia developing. Studies have also shown that CBD can also promote healing processes in the brain, which has been a great help for athletes to recover from brain injuries.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and at the same time it binds to the types of fat cells that can escape through the barrier that protects the brain from infections. Even a simple infection in the body can do great damage to the brain. CBD has the ability to bind to cells that reach the brain. Therefore, CBD oil is thought to be not only good for the body, but also that it is accepted by the body and that the body believes it to be safe.
CBD could help maintain a natural cholesterol and hormone balance
Even as small a foetus in your mother’s wombs, you were exposed to cholesterol. Women’s cholesterol levels change during pregnancy. This is to protect the baby and ensure their natural development.
Hormonal changes such as menopause can also affect women’s cholesterol levels, which is another reason why it is important to maintain healthy habits throughout life. Men’s cholesterol levels tend to change to a lesser extent with age, which is why an elevated cholesterol level is a greater danger signal for men than for women.
Regardless of this, both sexes should take care of their cholesterol levels. By making sure that their hormone balance is healthy and stable. Your cholesterol level is naturally linked to your hormone balance.
CBD oil for a better digestion of cholesterol
Another important area of the body, where cholesterol contributes to a normal function is the digestive system. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, including glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids convert calories, proteins, and fats into energy.
A healthy and varied diet helps to strengthen the digestive system so that it can optimally burn cholesterol thereby ensuring that it does not get stuck in the bloodstream.
As we have already discussed, a healthy diet actually contains cholesterol. It is the size ratio that is important. Be sure to eat foods with more HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ cholesterol) e.g. unsalted nuts, fruits, vegetables, and fibre than LDL (the ‘unhealthy’ cholesterol) e.g. sugars, dairy products, and meats. Exercise also increases HDL for both men and women, another key element in ensuring a healthy lifestyle.
It can often be difficult to know for sure which foods contain more HDL than LDL. And that’s why CBD oil is the ideal dietary supplement.
CBD oil contains lots of fibre, vitamins, and minerals which in turn help create balance in your cholesterol levels. Among other things, it is the citrus scent in CBD products, created by a terpene called limonene, that makes CBD oil stabilise cholesterol levels. For more information on limonene and the other terpenes present in CBD have a read of our article ‘what are terpenes and how to they affect us’
Back to digestion….When cholesterol levels are balanced, then there is a greater chance that digestion in the body is optimal. And when your digestion is good, it also strengthens your immune system and can help prevent high cholesterol. Therefore, there is also a theory that you can live longer with a balanced cholesterol level.
CBD oil is thought to contribute to a healthy digestion, some believing it could even improve it. CBD can alleviate problems with digestion, e.g. by relieving bloating, cramps, swelling and nausea. CBD oil can thus help stabilize metabolism, burn cholesterol, and generally maintain good health.
CBD is an ideal dietary supplement for a healthy lifestyle where cholesterol and disease are a thing of the past. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can increase the ‘good’ cholesterol and fight the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
CBD oil can thus help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with high cholesterol, potentially prevent high cholesterol and at the same time help maintain the many functions of the brain and body. In this way, CBD oil can strengthen the whole body and its vital functions.
CBD is sold as a food supplement, and as a result, It’s illegal to claim it treats, prevents, or helps cure an illness or disease. No health claims have been made in this article, if you are suffering from cholesterol problems always seek professional medical advice.