Study: Cannabis might lower blood pressure in older adults

Researchers found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values

More US Seniors Are Smoking Marijuan

A study from 2020 found the number of Americans agea 65 and older who smoke marijuana or enjoy edibles increased 75% from 2015 to 2018. A newer study suggests that might be a good thing for some.

The study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center found medical cannabis might reduce blood pressure in older adults.

“Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,” wrote Dr. Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, one of Israel’s leading medical faculties, and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute. “This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.”

The researchers studied patients ages 60 and older who had hypertension. The subjects were prescribed cannabis, then monitored with 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure devices.

The researchers also performed ECGs, blood tests and took body measurements before the patients began their cannabis use and three months afterward.

They 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. Patients showed reductions in blood pressure during both daytime and nighttime, with more significant changes at night.

One reason for the lower BP, the researchers wrote, might be because cannabis eases any pain symptoms the older adults had.

“Cannabis research is in its early stages and BGU is at the forefront of evaluating clinical use based on scientific studies,” said Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “This new study is one of several that has been published recently by BGU on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.”

You can read the full study, which was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, by clicking here.