A new study has found that using cannabis lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure for people in their 60s with hypertension. That’s an important finding, as the number of people with hypertension in the United States alone is more than 100 million.
The study found that using cannabis regularly for three months led to a five-point drop in systolic pressure (the higher number in a blood pressure reading) and a 4.5-point drop in diastolic pressure (the lower number). The decline seemed the biggest about three hours after the use of cannabis.
The researchers, who published their findings in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, found that the improvement occurred whether patients smoked cannabis or used cannabis oil. They also theorize that the reason for the blood pressure drop relates to weed’s effectiveness in helping people manage pain.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel launched the study in reaction to the increasing number of older people who are using cannabis and CBD. Most of them use cannabis to treat pain, reduce anxiety and get better sleep.
Researchers at the university point out that little study has been done on how cannabis impacts older people. Dr. Ran Abuhasira, who led the research team, said the study “is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.”
The small study involved 26 patients. Women made up 54 percent of the group. Each patient had been diagnosed with hypertension, which means a blood pressure reading that is regularly above 120/80. Each also had a new prescription for cannabis, which is legal for medical use in Israel.
Over the next three months, researchers performed several assessments. They included 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and anthropometric measurements before the initiation of cannabis therapy and three months afterward.
In addition to the lower blood pressure readings, researchers also found the percentage of patients who were “normal dippers’ – a term that refers to blood pressure dipping each day, usually at night – increased from 27.3 percent before the study started to 45.5 percent three months later.