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Could CBD help with blood flow and pain caused by Raynaud’s disease?

There may be as many as 10 million people living with Raynaud’s disease in the UK



Raynaud's Disease: Hands gripping a hot cup of tea with CBD to ease blood flow and pain
Patients with Raynaud's disease may struggle with poor circulation
Home » Health » Pain » Could CBD help with blood flow and pain caused by Raynaud’s disease?

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Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects the blood flow and circulation in the body – could CBD help with easing the pain?

Raynaud’s disease can cause poor circulation in the body as a result of blood pressure. The symptoms can often occur if a person is cold, anxious or stressed then their fingers or toes can change colour. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, difficulty moving, pins and needles. It may not be serious but can be a sign of underlying conditions such as arthritis or lupus.

Other parts of the body affected can include knees, toes, nipples or ears.

CBD, Raynaud's disease, blood pressure and blood flow: A banner for the medical cannabis clinics

CBD for Raynaud’s Disease

Although there may be very little clinical evidence on CBD for Raynaud’s disease itself some of the studies on other conditions may help.

Blood pressure

The main cause of the painful symptoms of the disease is poor blood circulation. Cold, stress or anxiety triggers the blood vessels to go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. The affected area changes colour from white to blue or red as blood flow returns. This may be painful or cause pins and needles or numbness.

A study in the journal, JCI Insight revealed the effect of CBD on blood pressure. Ten male volunteers took a single 600 mg dose of CBD or a placebo. After two hours, the participants took part in a series of stressful activities while being monitored. The researchers measured the effects of mental stress, exercise-induced stress and cold-induced stress on blood pressure.

The results revealed that CBD reduced resting blood pressure and its response to stress. The results were more promising in the cold-induced stress test.

Raynaud’s and anxiety

Anxiety and stress are two of the major triggers for restricting blood flow. CBD is thought to interact with the receptors in the brain potentially sending signals to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that looks after your mental health and lower levels are sometimes associated with depression or anxiety.

A study examining the effect of CBD on people with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) found that it may help to reduce anxiety.
SAD is a social disorder where people can feel panic at the thought of social settings or speaking to groups of people. Participants in this study were given 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. The researchers reported that those in the group given the CBD recorded lower levels of anxiety.

The body showing the effects that Raynaud's Disease can have on blood flow or blood pressure. We examine if CBD could help with pain or symptoms

CBD or medical cannabis for Raynaud’s Disease?

While CBD is more easily available, there are some studies that suggest tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could help. A study revealed that THC may act as a vasodilator. This helps THC to potentially open up the arteries easing blood flow around the body easing the pain.

The terpene pinene may also help with opening up the arteries and the lungs.

The best CBD for Raynaud’s Disease

It can be confusing when it comes to choosing the best CBD to try.

Oils or edibles may be the better option for Raynaud’s disease rather than vaping. Smoking can aggravate the disease making the symptoms more pronounced or painful.  Topicals can also be applied directly to the hands or affected area.

Quitting smoking and CBD

When it comes to smoking, tobacco can cause the blood vessels to constrict which reduces blood flow further. This can cause the symptoms of the disease to become more prominent or painful.

While vaping may not be the best answer for those who do not smoke to consume CBD, it may help those who do, to quit. Quitting smoking can help with blood flow, and general health, so it is a good idea to reduce or quit.

In the study, rats dependent on nicotine and experiencing withdrawal symptoms were given products containing CBD. The three groups of rats received CBD injections with doses of 7.5, 15 and 30 mg per day for two weeks starting one week into chronic nicotine infusion. The control groups included rats with nicotine mini pumps that received vehicle injections of sesame oil instead of CBD. They also included rats implanted with saline mini-pumps that received sesame oil injections (double vehicle) or high doses of 30 mg CBD.

The results showed that CBD may prevent the animals from experiencing increased pain sensitivity and weight gain during long and short term restrictions.


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