Vasorelaxant  means to reduce vascular tension.

CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces vascular tension.
For nearly twenty years, researchers and their work have suggested that endocannabinoids have a strong effect on blood vessels, causing vasodilation (blood vessel widening) and reducing blood pressure.

That’s what Christopher Stanley and his team at the University Of Nottingham School Of Medicine sought to discover. In the study, they activated cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, along with transient receptor potential vanilloid one (TRPV1), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARᵧ) and the novel endothelial cannabinoid receptor (CBᶒ). It was found that, out of all the receptors involved in blood vessel constriction/activation, activation of CB1 receptors on endothelial (blood vessel) tissue helped to reduce stress on vessels that were constricted; this is what happens when vessels dilate and blood pressure reduces. There was no response when CB2 receptors on endothelium were activated. The only instances when CB1 activation didn’t cause vasodilation of all the CB1 receptors was in males and in patients with type –2 diabetes or hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol).

How was the Study Performed?

After ethical approval was granted by the Derbyshire Research Ethics Committee and Derbyshire Hospitals Trust Research and Development, researchers gathered mesenteric tissue (abdominal area) from 34 patients (24 males and 10 females) who were scheduled to undergo colorectal surgery. Histological stains of mesenteric tissue with artery sections were prepared with saline solution. Artery segments were isolated, mounted on tungsten wires, and maintained at standard body temperature (37 degreesCelsius), and gassed with 5% CO2 in O2. The tension of the vessels was measured using isometric force displacement transducers and recorded.

After arteries were contracted by using U46619 (prostaglandin analogue involved in blood vessel constriction) and Endothelin(constrict blood vessels), response curves were constructed to CBD administration. CBD was added every five minutes and the measurements of relaxation were recorded.


Of the 34 patients that were used in the study, 27 had cancer and 7 had inflammatory disorder.  The CBD that was administered to pre-constricted mesenteric arteries caused a vasorelaxation of 40%. When added to un-contracted arteries, CBD had no effect on baseline tone.

This study was the first to demonstrate concrete evidence on the vasorelaxant effects of CBD on human mesenteric arteries that express CB1 activation. Furthermore, when an antagonist(ligand that inactivates CB1 receptor action) was applied to CB1receptors in two separate experiments, inhibition of CBD-induced vasorelaxation occurred. The vessels did not relax. This suggested that CB1 is a target for CBD in human mesenteric vessels. A second antagonist (LY320135) was applied to the CB1 receptors, which also found to be an inhibitor of the vasorelaxant response, also indicating CB1 receptor activation in vasorelaxation.

The results of this study (originally published in June 2015) brought further insight into the biomolecular response of CBD on the body’s internal endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid receptors proved to be an active component in blood vessel constriction and relaxation. In a constricted vessel, activation of CB1 receptors with CBD caused the vessels to relax and dilate; a desired response to increased blood pressure.Further research that builds upon this study can lead the way to providing an alternative and safer treatment for high blood pressure, an often fatal condition.

Fabian Hernandez is a Senior Writer for BioTrackTHC. He’s a published novelist and holds a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences. Sourced from LimeLifeSociety .