Background: In vivo studies show that cannabidiol (CBD) acutely reduces blood pressure (BP) in men. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of repeated CBD dosing on haemodynamics.
Methods: Twenty-six healthy males were given CBD (600 mg) or placebo orally for seven days in a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study (n = 13/group). Cardiovascular parameters were assessed at rest and in response to isometric exercise after acute and repeated dosing using Finometer®, Vicorder® and Duplex ultrasound.
Results: Compared to placebo, CBD significantly reduced resting mean arterial pressure (P = .04, two-way ANOVA, mean difference (MD) -2 mmHg, 95% CI -3.6 to -0.3) after acute dosing, but not after repeated dosing. In response to stress, volunteers who had taken CBD had lower systolic BP after acute (P = .001, two-way ANOVA, MD -6 mmHg, 95% CI -10 to -1) and repeated (P = .02, two-way ANOVA, MD -5.7 mmHg, 95% CI -10 to -1) dosing. Seven days of CBD increased internal carotid artery diameter (MD +0.55 mm, P = .01). Within the CBD group, repeated dosing reduced arterial stiffness by day 7 (pulse wave velocity; MD -0.44 m/s, P = .05) and improved endothelial function (flow mediation dilatation, MD +3.5%, P = .02, n = 6 per group), compared to day 1.
Conclusion: CBD reduces BP at rest after a single dose but the effect is lost after seven days of treatment (tolerance); however, BP reduction during stress persists. The reduction in arterial stiffness and improvements in endothelial function after repeated CBD dosing are findings that warrant further investigation in populations with vascular diseases.
Keywords: blood flow; blood pressure; cannabidiol; cardiovascular system; haemodynamics.
© 2020 The British Pharmacological Society.