Apr 26, 2016 4:20 PM

Marijuana and High Blood Pressure: What Should We Expect?

High blood pressure is a very common condition. Only in the United States, every third adult has problems with blood pressure, and the annual cost of treating this disease reaches $46 billion in America. Studies investigating the effects of smoking weed have discovered that medical marijuana can potentially benefit hypertension sufferers. Keep on reading this article to find out what you should expect from cannabis if you have to struggle with high blood pressure.

Why Is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Though high blood pressure does not lead to instant health impairment, this condition is often referred to as the “silent killer.” Chronic high blood pressure can be dangerous to the heart and blood vessels. The constant undue pressure on the heart can eventually cause a stroke, a heart attack, and a fatal outcome. Hypertension in the eyes can lead to visual deterioration and blindness. High blood pressure may also be the reason for heart or kidney failure and aneurysm eruption. Thus, if you have noticed first symptoms of hypertension, do not leave them unattended.

Conventional Treatment Options

Conventional methods of treating high blood pressure include special diets and exercises, monitoring the sodium intake, avoiding stress, and taking drugs. The latter is often used to control hypertension, but medication usually has many side effects that may lead to weakness and even impotence. Patients that take diuretics often complain of extra urination, general weakness, and fatigue. Hypertension sufferers treated with beta-blockers may experience depression, lack of sleep, and cold hands and feet. Other traditional drugs for high blood pressure may result in headaches, changes in heartbeat, and dizziness.

Is Cannabis Effective for Hypertension?

Scientists that investigated the effects of smoking weed on high blood pressure have discovered that marijuana can interact with the human internal cannabinoid system, which is crucial in regulating blood pressure. Studies on animals have revealed that endocannabinoids restrain hypertension, while studies on cannabis patients have confirmed that regular weed consumption can decrease blood pressure to normal levels. Though scientific studies on this topic are still limited, the conducted research demonstrates how medical marijuana can positively influence the blood pressure.

How Does Cannabis Work for Hypertension?

According to the recent studies, the body's internal cannabinoid system is extremely important for regulating our blood pressure, but researchers have not investigated how exactly the process works yet. The findings of animal studies have revealed that medical cannabis contains anandamide and other endocannabinoids that lead to blood pressure normalization. According to a study conducted at National Institutes of Health, the investigation of the endocannabinoid system and medical cannabis may reveal novel methods of treating different cardiovascular ailments.

However, there is a controversy in the findings received from animal and human studies. During cannabis experiments on humans, researchers have noticed a mild increase in blood pressure and heart rate. However, cannabis patients quickly developed tolerance to these effects, and they showed minimal risks for their health. Animal studies found that the control over synthetic cannabinoids helped reduce high blood pressure. Moreover, a 1997 study did not confirm the link between cannabinoids and cardiotoxicity in humans.

Though more profound studies still have to be conducted, the researchers at Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, discovered that regular marijuana intake can activate CB1 receptors in cardiovascular tissue that result in hypotension and reduced cardiac contractility. Thus, the long-term effects of smoking weed can be connected with normalizing blood pressure and even symptomatic hypotension.

If your local marijuana doctor has recommended you to treat high blood pressure with cannabis, consider such well-known weed strains for hypertension as Northern Lights, Strawberry Cough, Grape Ape, AK48, Headband, White Haze, or Black Domina.

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