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cbd oil and afib

“It really depends on what you use it for,” says Uma Srivatsa, MD, clinical professor of medicine at UC Davis Health. “If you use it to relieve pain, there may be a benefit because pain can trigger AFib.”

“It’s important to understand that we have legalized marijuana without knowing dose effects,” Srivatsa says. “For instance, we know what a legal blood alcohol level is. But we don’t know what the ‘legal limit’ is for marijuana.

A Bit of Good, More Bad

Uma Srivatsa, MD, MAS, clinical professor, division of cardiovascular medicine, UC Davis Health.

“I think the marijuana use is just helping identify with lower risk factors and people who are younger.”

One recent study seemed to suggest that marijuana might actually lower your risk of AFib. But Srivatsa

Scott Lundgren, DO, Nebraska Medicine.

“CBD oil may not have the same properties, and it can actually cause gastrointestinal distress like diarrhea or cause decreased appetite. CBD products can include unknown ingredients and may not be accurately labeled,” he says.

CBD oil must be studied in randomized clinical trials on people, not animals, before it can be considered safe or effective for heart failure, Lundgren says. Until that happens, he advises against buying or using CBD. “There is some evidence that CBD can cause liver injury as well as lead to male infertility issues. When consumed with alcohol, individuals may experience increased drowsiness, which can lead to household injuries.”

CBD May Have Health Risks

“Does it stimulate your appetite? Yes. Do people gain weight if they take it? Possibly true. Patients with severe heart failure do have cachexia,” or severe weight loss and muscle wasting, he says. “One could argue that people with nausea, lack of appetite, or who are losing weight could think CBD would help them. People with heart failure have a fair amount of discomfort, including edema [swelling] and somatic or pain-related issues, so you could think CBD has a role.”

But there isn’t really any evidence to prove that it will relieve heart failure symptoms or be safe to use if you have heart failure, he adds.

ClinicalTrials.gov: “Cannabidiol in Patients With Heart Failure in AHA/ACC Stages A-C (CAPITAL-AC).” NCT03634189.

It’s illegal in the U.S. to market CBD by adding it to any food or calling it a dietary supplement. Also, although the FDA has approved a few CBD drugs to treat certain diseases, don’t expect CBD sold over the counter to be safe or beneficial for heart failure, Lundgren says.