Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the US? According to this recent study, only about half of women recognize this unfortunate number one killer. Heart disease accounts for about one in every five female deaths. Approximately one in 16 women over the age of 20 have coronary heart disease which is the most prevalent type of heart disease. There are numerous risk factors that can increase heart disease. However, the good news is that many of these are in our control and can be managed through healthy lifestyle habits. With many different self-care techniques available, it’s important to understand your risks and the best ways to optimize your cardiovascular health. 

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Heart Disease Risk Factors for Women

There are many traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease like obesity and high blood pressure which impact both women and men. Other factors can play an even more significant role in the development of heart disease among women, including:

  • Diabetes: Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart disease than men with diabetes. Since diabetes can impact how people experience pain, there’s also a larger risk of having a silent heart attack with no symptoms.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Being physically inactive is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Some studies have found that women are less active than men.
  • Stress and depression: Women and men experience stress and depression differently. These conditions can impact women’s heart health more, putting them at higher risk for heart disease. They can also make it difficult to instill and keep up with healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco is a higher risk factor for heart disease in women when compared to men.
  • Menopause: Having low levels of estrogen after menopause can increase the risk of developing smaller blood vessels.
  • Pregnancy issues: Diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy can also increase the long-term risk of these two conditions. These two conditions significantly increase the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Inflammatory conditions: Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory chronic conditions increase the risk of heart disease among both women and men.
  • Family history of early heart disease: This risk factor seems to be more prevalent among women than men.

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The Symptoms of a Heart Attack 

The most common symptom of heart attacks in both women and men is some type of chest pain, discomfort, or pressure that either comes and goes or is persistent for more than a few minutes. Women are more likely to experience tightness or pressure but it’s also possible to have a heart attack with no chest discomfort. 

Women are also more likely to experience heart attack symptoms that aren’t related to chest pain. These symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Jaw, neck, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
  • Pain in both or one arm
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion

Women may experience these symptoms more during a heart attack because they tend to have blockages in both the main arteries as well as the smaller ones responsible for supplying blood to the heart. Interestingly enough, women often experience these symptoms during rest or when sleeping more so than men. Emotional stress can also play a critical role in triggering heart attacks among women.

How Do Women Decrease Their Risk of Heart Disease?

Living a healthy lifestyle is crucial for reducing the risks of heart disease. These self-care management tools should be an important priority and part of your overall wellness plan for optimal cardiovascular health. 

  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise offers so many incredible health benefits from natural mood boost to reducing your risk of heart disease. If you’re looking for some workout motivation, learn more about how you can start implementing your fitness routine here
  • Quit smoking: Smoking tobacco is one of the more significant risk factors, especially for women. Try avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke as well which can also damage your blood vessels. 
  • Eat a healthy diet: Avoid trans fats, added sugars, processed foods, and limit carbohydrates. Focus on whole, nutritious foods for heart health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is another major factor for heart disease. Work on keeping an ideal BMI and losing weight if you are overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight can also lower your blood pressure and minimize your risk for diabetes. 
  • Manage your stress: The physical response to stressful stimuli can cause your arteries to tighten, ultimately increasing the risk of heart disease. Unmanaged chronic stress can wreak havoc across the body and also predisposes you to coronary microvascular disease.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Moderation is important with everything in life. Excessive alcohol use is another key risk factor for heart disease. If you’re drinking more than one drink a day, it’s a good idea to cut back for your cardiovascular health.
  • Manage other health conditions: High blood pressure and diabetes both increase the risk of heart disease. Keeping these conditions managed is important for reducing the risk of heart disease as well as your overall health and wellness. 

How Can CBD Help Women With Heart Health?

While there still needs to be considerable clinical research done before we can make any conclusions, the existing preclinical data available is very promising. Research shows that CBD may help maintain healthy cardiovascular function while preventing heart disease. It may offer comprehensive therapeutic value for heart disease by defending against hardening arteries, reducing high blood pressure, and lowering the occurrence of potentially dangerous arrhythmias.      

CBD and Arterial Health 

When the linings of the artery walls become injured, plaque build up can cause the arteries to narrow. This is referred to as atherosclerosis, which is a preventable heart disease. The leading cause of this condition is inflammation and high blood pressure. Preclinical studies showcase CBD’s promising vasodilator properties and ability to slow the progression of atherosclerosis

CBD and High Blood Pressure

Other studies have also displayed CBD’s potential for reducing high blood pressure. According to one of the researchers of this study, “The reduction of arterial stiffness, and improvements in internal carotid artery blood flow and endothelial function after chronic CBD treatment, indicate a positive effect in vascular function that warrants further investigation in relevant patient populations.” 

CBD and Cardiac Arrhythmias

CBD may also offer therapeutic promise for cardiac arrhythmias. Arrhythmias refer to irregular heart beats which can be caused by long-term stress. Chronic unmanaged stress introduces high cortisol levels that can lead to high blood pressure, blood sugar, and other risk factors for heart disease. CBD’s potential stress-relieving properties may help combat this by lowering cortisol levels and addressing the root causes of cardiac arrhythmias. 

CBD’s Antioxidant Properties

Studies have shown CBD’s antioxidant properties and promising ability to fight off free radicals. Its antioxidant nature may help to prevent heart disease by lowering cellular damage that occurs when we’re exposed to free radicals from things like environmental toxins and processed foods. 

How to Use CBD for Heart Health

All cannabinoid therapy varies from person to person and is also true in terms of cardiovascular health. The results and effectiveness highly vary on the person, the administration method, product cannabinoid profile, timing, and dosage. For heart health, it’s recommended to take CBD consistently for potential preventative and overall wellness benefits. We also recommend taking CBD as-needed to combat stress which is a significant risk factor for women and heart disease. Remember, you should never solely rely on CBD for improving your cardiovascular health– it should be one of many self-care management tools you utilize in addition to healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits.

We recommend self-experimenting with dosage and timing to find what works best for you. When it comes to understanding the effects of any new supplementation, it’s also wise to keep a journal where you track your dosage, timing, and any risk factors you have. This can give you a clear set of data points for creating the proper CBD regimen for heart health, stress, and other contributing factors, allowing you to better understand how it affects you. 

If you are taking any medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other heart diseases, it’s vital to speak to your doctor before trying CBD. CBD can cause potential drug interactions and may also further lower blood pressure. 

Tip: Try incorporating our Pause Capsules into your daily wellness routine for overall cardiovascular support.

Press Pause CBD for Heart Health

As women, we understand the complicated nuances of our body chemistry and how it impacts our search for optimal heart health. That’s why we’ve handcrafted our high-quality CBD products just for you. We’re always happy to help you find the right products for improving cardiovascular health and addressing the underlying causes. Please contact us for more information!

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