Senior citizens with hypertension may want to take a hit from the bong every so often. A recent study conducted by researchers in Israel shows that medical marijuana may reduce blood pressure in older adults. The study is the first of its kind to focus on the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate and metabolic parameters in adults 60 and older with hypertension.
The research comes from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Soroka University Medical Center and it was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.
Marijuana consumption has hit an old time high among senior citizens who are consuming it for various potential health benefits including chronic pain. The researchers say that pain relief may help explain why cannabis use is associated with lowered blood pressure.
The study focused on adults ages 60 and older who were diagnosed with hypertension. Using data from ECG, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and more, the study found that marijuana use was associated with a ‘significant’ drop in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure over a 24-hour period, with the lowest point occurring three hours after use.
The golden oldies who took part in the study consumed marijuana in the form of smoking and oil extracts, the study notes. The study showed that while blood pressure decreased during both the day and night, the nighttime decrease was more significant.
BGU Faculty of Health Sciences’ Dr. Ran Abuhasira noted:
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.