Cannabis reduces blood pressure in older adults, research finds

On the back of medical marijuana being made legally available over the counter at the start of the month, new research has discovered that it could be a viable option for reducing blood pressure in older adults.

The study from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel is the first of its kind to focus on the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate and metabolic parameters in adults aged 60 and above with hypertension.

“Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,” says Dr Ran Abuhasira.

“This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.”

Researchers had patients undergo 24-hour blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests and body measurements before and three months after initiating cannabis therapy.

The study found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, with the lowest point occurring three hours after ingesting cannabis either orally via oil extracts or by smoking.

The patients also showed reductions in blood pressure at night and during the day with the more significant changes occurring at night.

Doctors are able to prescribe low-dose cannabidiol (CBD) for patients of all ages suffering a range of symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

As a lot of CBD use for older adults is for pain relief, the researchers believe that the successful treatment of the pain could contribute to the reduction in blood pressure.

While the study indicated a reduction in blood pressure, it recorded no significant changes in the ECG results or blood tests.

In December, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the sale of a maximum daily dose of 150mg of CBD at pharmacies without a prescription, and manufacturers are racing to deliver over-the-counter products to market. 

No CBD oil products have been approved for sale yet and it is believed that it will be at least six months before a specific product is approved for sale in Australia.

Before the TGA decision, CBD was available only through a scheme that necessitated doctors getting select permission for patients to access the product.

Will you try medical marijuana for your pain management? Have you tried the substance for pain relief?

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Written by Ben

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