Researchers in Israel have discovered medicinal cannabis may reduce blood pressure in older patients.
The team, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center, studied the effect of cannabis on the blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic parameters of adults with hypertension aged 60-plus.
BGU’s Dr Ran Abuhasira said: “Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce.
“This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.”
Patients were evaluated using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and body measurements before and three months after starting cannabis treatment.
In the study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the team found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, with the lowest point occurring three hours after taking cannabis as an oil extract or by smoking.
Blood pressure reduced during the day and at night, with more significant changes at night.
The researchers theorised that pain relief, the most common indication for the prescription cannabis patient cohort, may also have contributed to a reduction in blood pressure.