A new study has demonstrated that cannabis may reduce blood pressure in adults aged 60 and over.
The study, carried out by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center, is the first of its kind to look at the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic parameters in adults aged 60 and above who have hypertension.
It has been published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.
Physiological effects of cannabis over time
For the study, patients were evaluated using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood tests, and body measurements both before and three months after initiating cannabis therapy.
The findings demonstrated a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values. The lowest point occurred three hours after ingesting cannabis either orally via oil extracts or by smoking.
Patients showed reductions in blood pressure in both day time and night time, with more significant changes at night.
Dr Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, Israel, and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute, said: “Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce. This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.”
The researchers also suggest that the relief from pain provided by cannabis, which most cannabis patients are provided with a prescription for, may also contribute to a reduction in blood pressure.
Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, added: “Cannabis research is in its early stages and BGU is at the forefront of evaluating clinical use based on scientific studies. This new study is one of several that has been published recently by BGU on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.”