High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a disease that affects 1 in 3 American adults. With this fact in mind, and the number of states who are legalizing recreational and medicinal cannabis, many people are asking what kind of effect that cannabis has on blood pressure. Smoking tobacco raises blood pressure, but does cannabis have the same effect? The answer largely depends on who you ask or which study you find to read.
What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Each time a person’s heart beats, blood is pumped through their circulatory system. Blood pressure is created by the amount of force that this process places on the walls of their arteries and veins. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when this pressure is higher than it should be. Hypertension is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because it often does not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is generally only when hypertension has increased to life-threatening levels.
Hypertension increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity, poor diet, stress, tobacco, and alcohol use all can be factors that can increase the risk of developing hypertension.
Does Smoking Weed Lower Blood Pressure?
The short-term, acute effects of cannabis on blood pressure are well documented and understood. Immediately following the consumption of marijuana, there has been a noted spike in blood pressure and heart rate. However, the long-term effects of cannabis use on blood pressure are not as well understood. Faulty studies and the fact that lab results tested on animals sometimes do not transfer well to humans are factors in the lack of long-term studies on the long-term effects of cannabis on blood pressure.
Additionally, after that initial increase in blood pressure, there is also a noted a hypotensive effect and relaxed heart rate. Anecdotally, many people report cannabis as a means of maintaining healthy blood pressure, something that is backed by some research studies.
Smoking Is Riskier Than Other Methods of Using
When it comes to risky behavior as it applies to high blood pressure, the act of smoking anything may be a major risk factor. Combustion releases dangerous carcinogens that are not healthy. However, vaporization of cannabis is a viable alternative for those looking to utilize medical marijuana to help regulate blood pressure. Using a dry herb vaporizer or perhaps another portable vaporizer such as a vape pen along with a cannabis concentrate may be healthier than smoking.
Cannabis Strains for Hypertension
- Super Sour Diesel
This sativa dominant strain has as much as 20% THC. It is known for being uplifting and boosting creativity, but it also helps to alleviate stress, a factor in high blood pressure.
- Black Larry Bird
This relaxing strain has THC levels up to 28%, so it is a prime choice for those needing a strain that is calming and helps to relieve stress.
- Green Crack
Originally called simply “Cush,” Snoop Dogg sampled this strain and dubbed it “Green Crack” and the name stuck. It is useful in treating depression but is also used to maintain all-day relaxation. However, despite being relaxing, it is not ideal for bedtime use.
While cannabis may be useful in treating high blood pressure, it is important to note that most studies have been concerned with the effects of THC on blood pressure. There have been few studies into the effects of cannabis’ other primary cannabinoid, CBD on high blood pressure. As with any medical condition, it is important to discuss with your doctor any medications, including cannabis, that you choose to use.
Author Bio: Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points