D17: Effect of Cannabinoids on the Human Circulatory System

Cannabinoids and the Cardiovascular System

Once absorbed into the bloodstream, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are distributed by the heart. This distribution plays a significant role in various physiological functions, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Specifically, THC has been associated with transient increases in heart rate and alterations in blood pressure [Korantzopoulos et al., 2018, Journal of the American Heart Association].

Vascular Impact: Blood Flow and Vessel Dilation

As cannabinoids journey through the vascular system, they influence blood flow and the dilation of blood vessels. CBD, in particular, has been studied for its vasodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects on blood vessels [Stanley et al., 2013, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology].

Interactions with the Endocannabinoid System

Beyond the circulatory system, cannabinoids are distributed to various tissues and organs where they interact with the endocannabinoid system. This system is composed of CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located throughout the body. The interaction between cannabinoids and these receptors can result in a range of outcomes such as mood alteration, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory effects [Pertwee, 2008, British Journal of Pharmacology].

Concluding Thoughts

As the therapeutic applications of cannabinoids continue to be explored, it’s crucial to understand their distribution patterns and their diverse impacts on the human body. This knowledge is essential for both medical professionals and patients alike.


  • Korantzopoulos, P., Liu, T., Papaioannides, D., Li, G., & Goudevenos, J. A. (2018). Atrial fibrillation and marijuana smoking. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 62(2), 325–328.
  • Stanley, C. P., Hind, W. H., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2013). Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(2), 313–322.
  • Pertwee, R. G. (2008). The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153(2), 199–215.

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