Hypertension is a serious condition that leads to heart attacks, strokes and other problems for millions of people worldwide. Evidence shows cannabis might be of help in treating high blood pressure. Could this be a little light at the end of the tunnel for many?
Hypertension is caused by the pressure with which the blood presses against the walls of our blood vessels – if this pressure constantly is too high the condition is called hypertension.
We all can have high blood pressure at times when we get excited, nervous, angry or anxious. But that’s not the problem millions of people worldwide are suffering from; constant high blood pressure is the problem.
Hypertension is a highly risky and unwanted condition. In the US and other modern western countries this is becoming a bigger and more worrisome subject everyday. This is mainly because the lifestyle and the amount of physical exercise have been on a downward spiral for many years for a high percentage of the population.
Blood pressure is measured in two ways, the pressure during the pumping stroke of the heart (systolic), and the at rest pressure (diastolic). This is considered normal at 120/80. Anything over 140/90 would be considered high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to problems with heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and may be linked to dementia. Anyone suffering from high blood pressure should not take this for granted and visit a physician to receive advice on what can be done against this.
This could involve changes in lifestyle, diet, exercise and possibly medicines. This is also where the use of marijuana for those people who prefer not to use processed chemical industry based drugs may prove invaluable.
HYPERTENSION AND CANNABIS
To understand why cannabis could have a positive effect on hypertension, it is necessary to understand a little more about what is involved. To begin with, the body involves an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is comprised of receptors within the brains and the central and peripheral nervous systems of mammals.
The ECS is involved in appetite, pain perception, mood and memory. It is responsible for the effects that take place after consuming cannabis. Two primary reactors have been identified within this system, the CB1 receptors, first found and cloned in 1990, and the CB2 receptors, first cloned in 1993. The ECS has the potential to affect many aspects of our body functioning. In particular our responses to anxiety, stress, exercise and other stimulation.
As hypertension may be a physical manifestation of symptoms, rather than an illness itself, it could be the case that the positive effects cannabis has on this suffering are due to the altered way it makes the ECS perform – this may enable the body to control hypertension more effectively. And be chilled about it.
Marijuana has two main active ingredients. THC, which is psychoactive, and CBD, which is not psychoactive. Both, however, have effects on the bodies systems. It is also worth noting that the means of ingestion can possibly affect the results.
HYPERTENSION AND MARIJUANA: WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?
It seems to be generally agreed amongst researchers that casual users of marijuana, tend to have a slightly increased heart rate and therefore higher blood pressure shortly after using marijuana. These symptoms are typically noted within fifteen minutes after smoking the plant matter. This then changes usually quite quickly, within a matter of minutes, to a gradual lowering of heart rate and pressure.
The original surge, experienced by casual users, seems to disappear if the use of cannabis becomes more regular. The body adjusts and the overall effect then seems to be lowering the heart rate and pressure as soon as the marijuana takes effect.
The question arises here as to whether all the physical effects on heart rate and pressure are caused by the body’s physical reaction, or whether in fact getting a little high, mellowing out, causes our anxiety and stress levels and heart rate to drop? This is really a very subjective issue and hard to answer, as one user will have a completely different reaction to another and it’s almost impossible to categorize all the factors involved.
THE FUTURE OF WEED AND HYPERTENSION
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding cannabis and how it may affect people with hypertension. As we do not know enough in this regard there is a high demand for research and studies to be made. And the good news in this case it that in recent years the stigma around cannabis has slowly been changing and will continue to change on a global level, so there’s light on the horizon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
HOW CAN HYPERTENSION PATIENTS ACCESS CANNABIS?
Medicinal cannabis laws vary from place to place. In 2017 in the US, cannabis is legal for medicinal use in 29 states and Washington DC. Outside of the US, medicinal cannabis is legal in Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Croatia, and more.
At the moment Hypertension is not yet an approved condition under any medical marijuana law anywhere.
Note: We have taken the utmost care and precaution whilst writing this article. That being said, please take note of the fact that we are not medical professionals of any kind. Cannabis.info is strictly a news and information website. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.