Varicose veins or spider veins can be as disturbing as they signal a larger problem in the body. The Chicago Vein Institute estimates that more than 40 million people in the United States suffer from varicose veins.
According to Dr. Eric S. Hager of the Vascular Surgery Society, “women, who have had several children and obese people are at greater risk. More interestingly, overweight women with a BMI of over 30 were three times more likely to develop veins. Also, family history could increase the risk of developing the disease by as much as 90%.
Veins are much more than a sign of aging; they signal an important problem within the body. The American Vein and Lymphatic Society explain that varicose veins occur when there is a lack of efficient blood circulation due to weakened valves that cause blood not to flow to the heart but to remain in the leg.
While varicose veins can be troublesome, treatments are available on the market in the form of vein clinics and surgery. With the introduction of CBD on the market, professionals and patients are becoming aware of the benefits of CBD for varicose veins, but does research support its use?
A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013 showed that cannabidiol showed promise as a therapy for the cardiovascular system. The study outlined the benefits of CBD and indicated that in some cases, cannabidiol could lead to a reduction in blood pressure or “vasorelaxation”.
Princeton Vascular believes that CBD has a role to play in vein health, citing that since cannabinoid is flush with omega-3 fatty acids, it can not only reduce the itching, burning, and pain of varicose veins, but it offers an option to improve their appearance, as long as patients are under the care of a board-certified vein specialist. They explain: “The use of hemp oil has been reported to decrease itching, burning and local pain of varicose veins and can be applied directly to the skin. Anecdotally, it has also been reported to improve the appearance of varicose veins”.
However, CBD appears to offer benefits for varicose veins, while a study has shown that smoking marijuana e-cigarettes can damage blood vessels after a single-use. The study, published in August 2019, indicates that in a small sample of 31 people, MRI before inhalation showed healthy blood flow and after inhalation showed reduced blood flow. Although further research is needed, the study implies that continued use could cause even greater damage.
As new research continues on CBD and THC, raising a question about the vein health benefits of CBD could be an excellent conversation for your healthcare team, opening up new solutions to a problem as old as the world.