Study finds connection between medical cannabis and reduction of hypertension in older adults

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and the Soroka University Medical Centre have released a new study exploring the effect of medical cannabis as treatment in hypertension patients 60 years old and above.

The study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, is breaking ground as a first of its kind to focus on blood pressure, heart rate and metabolic parameters in older adults who have high blood pressure.

According to the study, medicinal cannabis may help to reduce blood pressure in adults aged 60 years old and above.

Ran Abuhasira, MD of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute, gave context behind the need and significance of the study in a recent press release.

"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."

The patients in the study were evaluated both before and 3 months after initiating medicinal cannabis therapy using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests and body measurements.

The research found a significant reduction in 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, with the lowest point occurring in 3 hours after ingesting cannabis based medicines either orally via oil extracts or by smoking.

As well as improvement in blood pressure, the study also found a reduction in chronic pain.

Multiple studies have found medicinal cannabis products to be effective pain relief with little adverse effects which can be attributed to cannabidiol CBD.

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

“As the availability of medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand slowly improves, these types of studies are important and add to the ever growing body of knowledge around their therapeutic benefits, and provide the foundations for further research.” - Mark Dye, CEO at NUBU Pharmaceuticals

Read the study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine here.