Cannabis and Its Impact on High Blood Pressure

 Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Today, we will be discussing what we know about the effects of cannabis on blood pressure. Some studies suggest some cannabis users may experience a mild to moderate dose-dependent increase in blood pressure and heart rate within 10-15 minutes after consumption, followed by a modest hypotensive effect, or drop in blood pressure. As consumption continues, users can develop a tolerance and reduce cannabis’ effects on blood pressure. When it comes to looking at serious adverse risks, one longitudinal study from UC San Francisco regarding coronary artery risk development in young adults (CARDIA) looked at data from 3,617 African American and Caucasian adults over to course of 15 years. In the study, no long-term causal link was established between cannabis consumption and the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. That being said, according to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, cannabis could actually increase the risk of suffering a heart attack by five times in certain individuals from at-risk populations within an hour after consumption. Within two hours, however, risk returns to normal.

Lastly, because the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating cardiovascular function, and because anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid similar to THC, relaxes blood vessels, there is speculation that certain cannabinoids in cannabis may be able to lower blood pressure. Even the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported, “endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension… targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension.” There are currently no cannabinoid-based or synthetic cannabinoid-based medications approved to treat hypertension.

We hope for further research to better understand cannabis’ relationship to blood pressure through rigorous clinical studies. This information has been sponsored by PureCBDVapors in conjunction with Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.