Cannabis and Blood Pressure
Smoking tobacco raises blood pressure, but does cannabis have the same effect?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a disease that affects 1 in 3 American adults. With this fact in mind, and the number of states who are legalizing recreational and medicinal cannabis, many people are asking what kind of effect cannabis has on blood pressure. Smoking tobacco raises blood pressure, but does cannabis have the same effect? The answer largely depends on who you ask or which study you find to read.
What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Each time your heart beats, blood is pumped through their circulatory system. Blood pressure is created by the amount of force that this process places on the walls of their arteries and veins. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when this pressure is higher than it should be. Hypertension is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because it often does not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is generally only when hypertension has increased to life-threatening levels.
Hypertension increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity, poor diet, stress, tobacco, and alcohol use all can be factors that can increase the risk of developing hypertension.
Does Marijuana Lower Blood Pressure?
The short-term, acute effects of cannabis on blood pressure are well documented and understood. Immediately following the consumption of marijuana, there has been a noted spike in blood pressure and heart rate. However, the long-term effects of cannabis use on blood pressure are not as well understood. Faulty studies and the fact that lab results tested on animals sometimes do not transfer well to humans are factors in the lack of long-term studies on the long-term effects of cannabis on blood pressure.
Additionally, after that initial increase in blood pressure, there is also a noted a hypotensive effect and relaxed heart rate. Anecdotally, many people report cannabis as a means of maintaining healthy blood pressure, something that is backed by some research studies.
Can CBD Lower Blood Pressure?
While more extensive research needs to be done in this area, according to a study done in 2017, there is evidence that CBD for blood pressure has the potential to reduce stroke volume (–8 ml; P < 0.05) and resting systolic blood pressure (–6 mmHg; P < 0.05).
Subjects who had taken CBD in the study experienced lower blood pressure (–5 mmHg; P < 0.05) and decreased stroke volume (–13 ml; P < 0.01).
While this data is based on just one study, we’re excited to see more of the data on CBD for blood pressure when more comprehensive studies are conducted in the future.
What Effect Does CBD Have on the Heart Rate?
Based on the same study referenced above, there is evidence that CBD may have an effect on heat rate. In particular, the study demonstrated that individuals who were administered CBD experienced a +10bpm increase in their heart rate.
A 2009 study, on the other hand, which was carried out on a pack of rats, showed that in stressful situations, a dose of CBD for blood pressure has the potential to reduce the heart rate in mammals.
In a subsequent study in 2017, individuals who were subjected to stressful stimuli were administered CBD. Compared to individuals who were given a placebo, medical marijuana had an effect on lowering their heart rate.
Again, further research will be required to support these findings and inform doctors on how to treat patients with heart conditions using CBD.
Smoking is Riskier than Other Methods of Consumption
When it comes to risky behavior as it applies to high blood pressure, the act of smoking anything may be a major risk factor. Combustion releases dangerous carcinogens that are not healthy. However, the vaporization of cannabis is a viable alternative for those looking to utilize medical marijuana products to help regulate blood pressure. Using a dry herb vaporizer or perhaps another portable vaporizer such as a vape pen along with a cannabis concentrate may be healthier than smoking.
While cannabis may be useful in treating high blood pressure, it is important to note that most studies have been concerned with the effects of THC on blood pressure. There have been few studies into the effects of cannabis’ other primary cannabinoid, CBD on high blood pressure. As with any medical condition, it is important to discuss regarding with your cannabis doctor any medications, including cannabis, that you choose to use.
Source: The Weed Blog