Jerusalem, Feb 8 (IANS) A team of researchers has found that cannabis therapy may help reduce blood pressure (BP) in older adults.
The study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, with the lowest point occurring three hours after ingesting cannabis either orally via oil extracts or by smoking.
“Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,” said researcher Ran Abuhasira from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
“This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time,” Abuhasira added.
For the study, the research team evaluated 26 patients aged 60 years or more with hypertension and a new prescription of cannabis.
The team performed the following assessments — 24-hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and anthropometric measurements prior to the initiation of cannabis therapy and 3 months both before and three months after initiating cannabis therapy.
Among older adults with hypertension, cannabis treatment for three months was associated with a reduction in 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressure values with a nadir at 3 hours after cannabis administration, the study said.
The research team theorize that the relief from pain, the indication for prescription cannabis in most patients, may also have contributed to a reduction in blood pressure.
“Cannabis research is in its early stages and BGU is at the forefront of evaluating clinical use based on scientific studies,” said researcher Doug Seserman from the varsity.