If you’re wondering how hemp works for blood health such as blood pressure, blood infections or to support the liver's ability to filter the blood you’re in the right place as in this article we’ll be covering all of that and much more.
Blood is incredible. It carries oxygen, fights infections, stops bleeding, can be transfused into another person’s body, and is converted into milk by breastfeeding mothers. It’s quite extraordinary.
Blood is responsible for carrying oxygen via red blood cells and fighting infections via white blood cells. Without oxygen being carried throughout our body, we would cease to function rapidly. Without our white blood cells fighting the good fight for us, we would be overrun by our foreign micro enemies in minutes.
Blood platelets spring into action when there is an injury to stop bleeding by clotting. Without the ability to clot, we would bleed out in seconds depending on the severity of the injury.
Plasma carries hormones, proteins and nutrients throughout the body. Kinda like the transport train taking all the good stuff to the town next door so they can thrive, not just survive.
Because blood directly affects everything in the body, it’s crucial to make sure all blood-related aspects of one’s health are functioning optimally.
Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are also important in cardiovascular health. They improve blood pressure, promote liver health, and fight serious blood infections. You can learn more about the ECS in our article, What Is The Endocannabinoid System.
Cannabinoids assist in lowering blood pressure through their ability to activate the ECS and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
When you’re able to feel calm and relaxed, you reduce your heart rate and subsequently, your blood pressure. Cannabinoids help to maintain a calm state by helping to keep blood pressure stabilized.
Cannabinoids, specifically CBD, are vasodilators. Meaning, they open up blood vessels and allow blood to flow more freely throughout the body. This is kinda like digging out the local stream and turning it into a river allowing water to flow more freely.
High blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries and the heart, causing issues like an enlarged heart or coronary artery disease.
Cannabinoids minimize issues caused by damaged blood vessels. That’s ultimately how cannabinoids work for blood pressure.
Hemp works to support the liver’s ability to filter the blood. This is important, as the liver is responsible for filtering all of the blood coming from the digestive tract before it travels through the rest of the body.
Since digestion is a major function of the body, and of our survival, the liver helps to ensure this process is functioning optimally. Blood is constantly being pumped into the digestive system to assist in the digestion and optimal nutrient uptake (absorption) of the foods we are eating.
The liver purifies chemicals from the blood and metabolizes medications or drugs. If the liver is struggling due to being overloaded by chemicals and drugs, it won’t filter blood effectively, and this puts pressure on the entire system.
The liver also produces proteins that are utilized in blood clotting, which is crucial to stop bleeding associated with injury. Without these special proteins, we would all bleed out in a matter of minutes, or require advanced blood clotting technology. Our bodies really are incredible, when you think about it!
If the liver begins to fail, its filtrating and detoxifying functions will decline in conjunction.
The ECS activates when the liver is unhealthy, protecting the tissue from inflammatory responses to infection or injury. The ECS is like the liver’s guardian angel. Always looking out for it, but allowing the liver to do its job unless it becomes exhausted, then the ECS will come down to help out.
Cannabinoids have been shown to cause death in hepatic stellate cells, which cause liver scarring. This is important, it’s a process known as apoptosis, which is a form of programmed cell death. When this process malfunctions, rogue cells (like cancer) begin running around wreaking havoc and chaos.
The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study that credited cannabinoids with improving hepatic encephalopathy, a disorder associated with liver failure where cognitive and motor function are diminished. Mice dosed with cannabinoids resulted in restored liver function and normalized brain function.
Sepsis is a serious life-threatening bacterial infection that affects the bloodstream. The immune system releases excessive proinflammatory molecules to fight the bacterial pathogens. This excessive release can cause damage to tissue and organs in the patient.
The immune system uses inflammation to destroy invaders. Not all inflammation is necessarily “bad”, but chronic inflammation most certainly is. Just as not enough inflammation is troublesome.
The immune system regulates the balance of inflammation, though, if the immune system itself becomes unbalanced, this can result in an under-active immune system (a lack of cell death, and a proliferation of rogue “cancerous” cells), or an overactive immune system (leading to auto-immunity and chronic inflammation).
Luckily, the endocannabinoid system has the ability to bring back order and balance to the immune system. This is why the ECS is so powerful, and changes people’s lives who activate it.
Cannabinoids interact with the ECS’s receptor CB-2, which assists in regulated immune function. Whole plant hemp products, especially those rich in cannabinoids, are capable of fighting viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.
It is very effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is especially dangerous to human life as it is what scientists classify as a superbug. Wikipedia describes MRSA as:
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus refers to a group of Gram-positive bacteria that are genetically distinct from other strains of Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
A 2013 study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy at Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China showed that when the cannabinoid receptors in the body are activated by cannabis, this can protect against sepsis. The study used mice subjects, and researchers found that activating CB2 receptors can “significantly extend the survival rate and decrease serum proinflammatory cytokines” in patients of sepsis. The study also concluded that “All data together showed that CB2R provides a protection and is a potential therapeutic target for the sepsis.”
Another study found, “All five major cannabinoids (cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, Delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, and cannabinol showed potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of current clinical relevance.
Extensive research is being conducted on cannabinoids and terpenes on this topic and more medical sources are recognizing its importance in patient’s treatment.
We hope this article covered for you how hemp works for blood health and how cannabinoids help with blood infections and against superbugs like MRSA. If you would like to learn more about hemp, cannabinoids and how they work for other conditions, you can visit our Blog.