New evidence suggests that cannabis may help to lower blood pressure. We take a look at the research and what it means for those who use cannabis.
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Cannabis is a plant that has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in its use to treat various medical conditions. One area of interest is its potential to lower blood pressure.
According to a 2017 review, “Cannabis appears to be an effective treatment for reducing blood pressure.” However, the authors of the review point out that more research is needed to confirm these findings.
A small 2016 study found that smoking cannabis led to a decrease in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The authors of the study concluded that “cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of hypertension.”
While the evidence is still not conclusive, there is some promising research into the potential of cannabis to lower blood pressure.
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that contains over 400 chemicals, including at least 60 compounds that are similar to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that causes the “high” that people feel when they smoke marijuana or use other products containing THC. CBD (cannabidiol) is another chemical found in cannabis that does not cause a high.
The endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system is a collection of organs, enzymes, and receptors that all work together. This system is responsible for many things, including:
-Regulating the immune system
-Regulating blood pressure
It’s thought that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in regulating blood pressure. For example, one study found that CBD (cannabidiol) — a compound found in cannabis — was able to lower blood pressure in rats.
CBD works by binding to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found throughout the body, including in the brain, liver, and kidneys. When CBD binds to these receptors, it causes a number of different effects, including lowered blood pressure.
How does cannabis lower blood pressure?
Cannabis has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure, both in the short term and over time. Short-term effects can be seen within a few minutes of smoking or consuming cannabis, and can last for a few hours. Long-term effects are seen in people who use cannabis regularly, and can last for days or weeks after they stop using it.
There are a few different ways that cannabis may help to lower blood pressure. One is by promoting relaxation. Cannabis contains a chemical called THC that binds to receptors in the brain and body, causing a feeling of relaxation. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can in turn lower blood pressure.
Cannabis may also help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a major cause of high blood pressure, and by reducing inflammation, cannabis can help to lower blood pressure. CBD, one of the compounds in cannabis, has been shown to be particularly effective at reducing inflammation.
Finally, cannabis may help to improve heart health.Heart disease is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, so by improving heart health, cannabis can indirectly help to lower blood pressure. Cannabis does this by reducing stress and anxiety, improving heart function, and reducing inflammation.
The effects of cannabis on blood pressure
cannabis has been shown to both lower and raise blood pressure. A 2004 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Pharmacology” found that smoking cannabis caused a small but significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading. A more recent 2011 study, published in “PLoS ONE,” found that marijuana increased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Overall, the evidence suggests that cannabis does not have a significant impact on blood pressure. However, there is some evidence that it may slightly lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. If you have hypertension and are interested in trying cannabis to lower your blood pressure, be sure to talk to your doctor first.