Whether cannabis use has an effect on a user’s blood pressure has until recently not been at all clear.
Seeking to find an answer to the question, scientists from Toronto’s Institute Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in collaboration with researchers from the USA, Russia and Germany examined nearly 27,000 Americans who were part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. All of the investigated group had their health monitored for three years and all had normal blood pressure at the beginning of the study.
What the researchers found was very reassuring, indicating no cause for any blood pressure concerns. Indeed at first look, the results revealed that “cannabis use was associated with a decreased incidence of hypertension in the unadjusted analyses,” the researchers wrote. However, more analysis revealed that the relationships were confounded by age and that “after adjustment for all confounders, neither lifetime cannabis use, 12-month cannabis use nor 12-month cannabis use frequency were associated above chance with the incidence of hypertension.”
These results chime with separate research published last month that showed cannabis use may actually be beneficial for blood pressure in older adults. In this study, summarized here, 26 elderly participants, who either smoked cannabis or consumed it via oil extract for three months showed drops in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate.
The researchers, who were from Ben-Gurion University in Israel, noted that the lowest blood pressure readings were recorded three hours after cannabis use.
"Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,"said author Dr. Ran Abuhasira of this piece of research. "This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time."