Two things are rising at the same time in America: blood pressure and cannabis legalization. More states in America are legalizing cannabis because there is an increased amount of data on its benefits and medicinal properties. But hypertension is also increasing in America, with more people experiencing blood pressure issues yearly.
Does cannabis lower blood pressure? There are no definite answers to this question because there is so much to understand about the impact of cannabis on your blood pressure. So let’s learn!
High blood pressure issues
The high blood pressure crisis in America is going through the roof, survey shows one in three adults in the U.S deal with hypertension. Do you know that high blood pressure contributes to cardiovascular disease if it is left unmanaged. A person could face the risk of stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. All of these risks explain why people are actively seeking solutions.
Unlike most health conditions, high blood pressure is caused by a variety of factors. Some contributing factors include
A poor diet
Excessive alcohol intake
Physical inactivity, etc.
Now smoking a joint gives people a deep feeling of relaxation and calmness, which makes a lot of people wonder if it affects blood pressure. Can it lower blood pressure, or can it manage it?
Does marijuana have an impact on high blood pressure?
As mentioned earlier, the answer is multi-faceted because there are certain factors to consider. Some important factors include:
The kind of cannabis strain used.
The person’s underlying health condition
The person’s experience with THC
The way cannabis is administered
A recent study was conducted to shed light on this subject. Two different strains were used, one strain was high in psychoactive cannabinoid THC while the other strain had higher levels of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD.
When participants took the cannabis strains, the THC made them experience an increase in heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure. Some others used THC while lying down and had slightly elevated blood pressure, but when they stood up, their blood pressure dropped.
The low blood pressure that happened while standing is called “Postural hypotension which is not good as it can cause the individual to feel faint. So the study by Dr. Melanie Bone suggests that the positive impact of cannabis on blood pressure happens when the person lies down while taking it and lies for a while before standing up.
CBD also relaxes the blood vessels and decreases anxiety which ends up lowering blood pressure. This experience with CBD for lowered blood pressure is more favorable because it is connected with reduced levels of anxiety.
Both THC and CBD can lower blood pressure in different ways but based on recent research, neither CBD nor THC is a medical treatment for high blood pressure. So what’s the difference?
Well, the difference lies in understanding one of the root causes of high blood pressure: anxiety. Some people experience heightened blood pressure when they are anxious, worried, or full of fear. In that anxious, worrisome, and frightful state, their blood vessels start to contract and tighten, which may lead to a heart attack.
Now when they take cannabis in that state, the CBD relaxes those blood vessels such that the person lies down and feels relaxed, thus preventing the potential for high blood pressure. But this realization doesn’t mean that someone who has a long history of high blood pressure can suddenly start taking cannabis for healing.
If you have been dealing with high blood pressure for a long time with a challenging history, please always speak with your doctor and stick to your medication. You can take cannabis (with your doctor’s permission) but don’t expect instant relief.
Yes, cannabis can minimize your risks, reduce inflammation and decrease anxiety, thus keeping the blood vessels stable. But it is NOT a standardized treatment for high blood pressure yet.
Cardiovascular effects of cannabis
Herat attack is often a result of unmanaged high blood pressure, so it poses the question, “Can weed cause a heart attack?” Well, we have first to understand the distinguishing features between cannabinoids THC and CBD.
CBD oils contain trace levels of THC, which varies in the effects it has on cardiovascular health. CBD is beneficial for the heart as it treats cardiovascular disorders. CBD reduces inflammation which is a condition that damages the blood vessels, arteries, and other vital organs.
However, the way you take it also matters. For example, if you apply CBD oil to your skin, you will enjoy the benefits it offers the skin. So if you want the CBD to impact your heart and improve heart health, you will have to take it orally or through vaping.
Smoking cannabis while dealing with heart issues is not advised because smoke contains carbon monoxide. The gas will bind the hemoglobin in your red blood cells ad displaces oxygen from it. So your body’s tissues have less oxygen going to the heart, which can lead to a heart attack.
This realization is the reason why people with heart diseases or high blood pressure quit smoking. Hence the reason other methods of taking cannabis are recommended: sublingual tinctures and edibles are also healthier alternatives to smoking, especially for individuals with heart problems.
Remember to monitor your blood pressure regularly and report any sign of dizziness you may feel while taking cannabis to manage high blood pressure. If you inform your doctor early enough, he/she will adjust your cannabis doses to match your needs.
Cannabis has proven itself a vital and essential aspect of the health sector because of the abundance of medicinal properties it embodies. Yes, you can use CBD to manage your blood pressure levels, but it is not meant to act as a particular drug.
More so, if you have a long history of blood pressure challenges and vulnerability to heart attack, you may have to discuss with a doctor first before taking cannabis. The way you take cannabis also matters as it determines how effective or ineffective the regimen will be. Don’t smoke it, and always seek a doctor’s approval before using it.