According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. Of this group, just over half have their hypertension under control, while the rest face a high risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney damage, vision problems, and more. So, is marijuana good for high blood pressure?
As medical cannabis grows in popularity, more continue to embrace its health benefits. At LeafMed, a leading Mississippi medical cannabis dispensary, we want to help you learn how medical marijuana can ease your health conditions. Check out our guide on “What is medical cannabis?” then continue reading to learn how it affects blood pressure.
How Marijuana Affects Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a complex number to control. When your blood pressure pushes into the elevated range, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, like reducing sodium intake, exercising more, or taking prescription medications.
Learning how elevated blood pressure affects your body can help you understand the role medical marijuana plays. Read on to learn everything you need to know about using medical cannabis for high blood pressure.
Understanding High Blood Pressure Risks
High blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood against the arterial walls elevates, placing you at risk of numerous blood flow-related conditions. Blood pressure rates over 140/90 typically fall within the “hypertension” range, while figures above 180/120 are severe.
Increased blood pressure typically doesn’t cause symptoms. Instead, the body may suffer damage over time if the condition goes untreated. Chronically high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, eye damage, peripheral artery disease, aneurysms, and more, placing your overall health at risk.
Numerous factors can influence blood pressure and heart rate levels, including the following:
· Alcohol intake
· Heart disease history
· Sodium and caffeine intake
· Hormone abnormalities
· Tumors of the adrenal glands
Any combination of the above can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or prescription drugs to reduce your levels. Prescriptions work in specific ways by flushing sodium from your body, slowing your heartbeat, reducing blood vessel tightening, blocking calcium buildups, and more.
Using Medical Marijuana To Manage High Blood Pressure
So, is marijuana good for high blood pressure?
Clinical research suggests that medical marijuana consumption leads to an immediate spike in blood pressure and heart rate for around 10 to 15 minutes, followed by a mild decrease in blood pressure. Additional studies confirm that the initial inhalation may cause an increase in pressure, followed by long-lasting hypotensive effects, ultimately decreasing blood pressure over time.
Medical cannabis interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system in charge of regulating numerous critical functions, including the cardiovascular system. Your body produces anandamide, a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural version of THC, one of the compounds found in medical marijuana. Anandamide can relax blood vessels, offering increased blood flow and reduced blood pressure.
By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, medical marijuana stimulates neurotransmitters, like anandamide, ultimately allowing you to lower blood pressure levels naturally.
The 2004 study in the journal Circulation concluded that “endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension” and that “targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension.”
Medical Marijuana for High Blood Pressure Symptom Relief
Slightly elevated blood pressure rates may not cause symptoms, though extreme levels can cause the following:
· Nausea or vomiting
· Blurred vision
· Chest pain
Medical marijuana can provide therapeutic relief for many of the above symptoms. Whether you’re experiencing drug side effects or symptoms from your high blood pressure, medical cannabis may help.
Learn More About the Effects of Medical Cannabis
So, is marijuana good for high blood pressure? It can be, though you should consult your doctor first. Next, learn how medical marijuana affects your appetite, then visit a local Mississippi LeafMed dispensary or call us, (228) 382-5323, with any questions.