“Cannabis research is in its early stages and BGU is at the forefront of evaluating clinical use based on scientific studies,” said Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
“Older adults are the fastest-growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,” said Dr Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, one of Israel’s leading medical faculties, and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute.
The study, published in the ‘European Journal of Internal Medicine’, is the first of its kind to focus on the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic parameters in adults 60 and above with hypertension.
The findings of a new study by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center, suggests that medical cannabis may help in reducing blood pressure in older adults.
Patients were evaluated using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and body measurements — both before and three months after initiating cannabis therapy.
“This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time,” added Dr Abuhasira.
The BGU researchers theorised that the relief from pain, the indication for prescription cannabis in most patients, may also have contributed to a reduction in blood pressure.
Can people without these conditions safely indulge in marijuana? A healthy individual’s body may appear as a well-oiled machine, but Bone disputes that analogy, pointing out that, “Unlike a car, where we replace the brakes or tires, the heart never gets a vacation and the blood vessels need to keep working forever. And the nervous system, which directs the show like a conductor, is on duty 24/7.”
In particular, the blood thinner warfarin was shown in a 2017 study published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports to interact with cannabidiol (CBD) in certain epileptic individuals . In line with Bone’s advice, researchers concluded that patient lab work should be monitored closely.
The bottom line is that there have been studies demonstrating a questionable association between smoking weed and having a heart attack, and more research is necessary.
People who use cannabis and are on blood pressure medications need to be mindful of the possibility of an interaction with other prescription medications. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Goldstein added, “CBD does not appear to have the same risks for the heart as THC and in fact, appears to be somewhat cardioprotective.” To support this assertion, Goldstein cited a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in which researchers concluded that CBD has therapeutic potential in treating complications of diabetes, as well as some cardiovascular disorders. Most notably, CBD could reduce inflammation, a condition that can ultimately damage the blood vessels, arteries, and vital organs. So, if you apply CBD oil to your skin or swallow a few tablespoons, the impact could differ greatly than if you smoked a blunt.
To answer this question, we should focus on two of the primary cannabinoids present in cannabis : cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both may exert an influence on blood pressure levels.
Bone, however, argued, “On careful study, many of the patients also smoked cigarettes and were obese, making it hard to draw absolute conclusions. Also, the observations were made on cannabis of unknown origin, not cannabis from a dispensary.” The fact that the cannabis did not come from a registered dispensary is significant, as there is no available lab testing to determine what other compounds may have been present.