Among the myriad benefits cannabis can offer, herbal medicines seem to be associated with lowering blood pressure levels.
According to new data published in the journal Nature: Scientific Reports In a study evaluating the relationship between cannabis consumption and blood pressure in a cohort of over 91,000 subjects, both current and lifetime cannabis use were associated with lower blood pressure levels. These results were seen for all consumers, but “was higher for women,” according to the study.
French researcher Alexandre Vallée conducted a study, “Associations between cannabis use and blood pressure levels according to comorbidities and socioeconomic status,” which focused on conflicting evidence regarding the cardiovascular risks of cannabis use. Vallée also cites the limited sample population of previous studies, and the lack of research on cardiovascular health and cannabis that specifically looks at gender differences.
More on cannabis and blood pressure
The study used data from the UK Biobank, a prospective cohort for the investigation, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease in adults.
For this study, 156,959 volunteers from the UK Biobank who answered cannabis use questions and underwent blood pressure measurements were recruited. Of this group, the study excluded him 65,798 due to missing data. Unclassified variables; exclude participants on antihypertensive medications, antidepressants, and previous cardiovascular events.
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured twice at the evaluation center using an automated sphygmomanometer or manually using a sphygmomanometer, inflatable cuff, and stethoscope if other measurements failed. .
(Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, and diastolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.)
Cannabis use was recorded through a self-report questionnaire in which participants were asked about their cumulative lifetime cannabis use. Those who said they had never used cannabis were classified as controls, while those who said they had used cannabis, even if it was “a long time ago”, were classified as cannabis users. .
Other questions about frequency of use and last cannabis use were used to divide cannabis users into additional groups to indicate their level of cannabis use. Less than once a week, less than once a month. Users were further categorized into groups such as current and former cannabis users.
“In an adjusted covariate model, heavy lifetime cannabis use was associated with decreases in both SBPs [systolic blood pressure]DBPs [diastolic blood pressure] and PP [pulse pressure] There was a higher effect in both genders, but among women…current cannabis use was associated with lower SBP levels in men and women.The same results were observed with DBP and PP. ,” said the study.
No cut-and-dry answers
investigators have other the study It suggests a stronger association between cannabis use and systolic blood pressure than between cannabis use and diastolic blood pressure.
Among other variables, this study also notes that cannabinoid content may play a role. lower blood pressure and Shows vasorelaxant effect in arteries. THC has also been associated with vasorelaxation, but studies conducted on this topic have been inconsistent, suggesting that THC has different effects on blood vessels depending on their central or peripheral properties. increase.
“Nevertheless, the sudden cessation of cannabis use [blood pressure]’ said the discussion.
Alcohol consumption, among other variables, also demonstrated possible confounding effects on cannabis use and systolic blood pressure, although pharmacokinetic interactions have yet to be investigated in detail.
Because this study focused on middle-aged UK participants, the results could not be generalized to other age or ethnic groups. neither has been established, making it difficult to distinguish whether the relationship between cannabis and blood pressure is short-term or chronic in nature. Not.
While there are still quite a few issues to explore on this topic, one of the great strengths of this study is the large sample size of the UK Biobank cohort.
“Nevertheless, the small associations of blood pressure differences between heavy cannabis users and non-users, or between current cannabis users and non-users, remain too small for adoption of cannabis blood pressure policies in clinical practice. “Longitudinal studies in the general population and then in hypertensive patients are needed to highlight the potential blood pressure-lowering effects of cannabis in medical applications.” ”