Cannabis is a plant that has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for thousands of years. Its active ingredients, known as cannabinoids, have therapeutic benefits that have recently become the focus of medical research. One of the main focuses is the plant’s effect on blood pressure. The results are promising. Despite the stigma associated with cannabis, it has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure. It can help alleviate various health problems such as hypertension. The use of cannabis for medical purposes has been viewed with skepticism, but recent research has shown it to be a great treatment option. This could be a significant development in the treatment of this silent disease.
Hypertension is a silent disease that can go unnoticed for many years but has significant consequences for overall health. It occurs when the pressure in the arteries is persistently too high. This can damage the heart and blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system of receptors and enzymes that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining homeostasis in the body. Cannabis has a significant impact on the ECS, and the effects of its active ingredients on this system can have a positive impact on blood pressure.
The force with which blood is pumped by the heart against the arterial walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and expressed in two numbers: systolic pressure (the pressure when the heart is beating) and diastolic pressure (the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats). A normal blood pressure is about 120/80 mmHg, but values can vary depending on age, health and lifestyle habits.
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Hypertension occurs when the pressure in the arteries is permanently too high. It is a silent disease that can go unnoticed for many years and has significant consequences for overall health. It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and damage to the heart and blood vessels. Consequently it can increase the risk of heart attacks and heart failure. In addition, it can also increase the risk of cognitive decline, vision loss, and other health problems.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, including genetics, lifestyle, and underlying diseases. Some of the most common causes are:
- Age: Blood pressure increases with age, especially in middle-aged and older adults.
- Obesity: Being overweight puts additional stress on the heart and blood vessels.
- Physical inactivity: A sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk.
- Nicotine use: Smoking and passive smoking can increase the risk.
- Salt consumption: A diet high in salt can increase blood pressure levels.
- Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure levels.
- Stress: Chronic stress can increase the risk.
- Family history: It can run in the family, indicating a genetic predisposition.
- Chronic diseases: Certain chronic conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes, can increase the risk.
It is important to know the causes of high blood pressure and make lifestyle changes accordingly to reduce the risk. Regular monitoring in combination with medical treatment can help prevent and control it.
Importance of Monitoring Blood Pressure
Given the potential consequences of hypertension, it is important to monitor our pressure levels regularly. This can be done at home or with a healthcare provider. It can help detect hypertension so that early intervention and treatment can be provided. Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress management, can help prevent and control the high pressure in our blood vessels.
It is important to understand the effects of high blood pressure and the importance of controlling it regularly. It can have a significant impact on overall health, and early detection and treatment can help prevent these consequences. Through lifestyle changes and appropriate medical treatment, it is possible to control the levels and maintain good health.
ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system of receptors and enzymes that plays a key role in regulating a variety of physiological processes, including blood pressure. The ECS functions by producing and degrading endocannabinoids. These are naturally occurring cannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body to regulate various physiological functions.
The ECS and Blood Pressure Regulation
Studies have shown that the ECS plays an important role in the regulation. The system interacts with the autonomic nervous system, which controls the regulation of blood pressure, and helps maintain homeostasis in the body. Endocannabinoids have been shown to dilate blood vessels, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. This can help prevent and treat hypertension. In addition, ECS has been shown to play a role in regulating the renin-angiotensin system, which is involved in regulation of the pressure in our veins.
The Potential of Cannabis to Treat Hypertension
The body’s natural endocannabinoid system has been shown to have an effect on regulating blood pressure, although we don’t fully understand how it works. Studies on animals have shown that certain endogenous substances, such as anandamide and other endocannabinoids, can significantly reduce the heart’s ability to contract during hypertension. Furthermore, it can even return it to normal levels. This has led experts to believe that influencing the body’s own endocannabinoid system could be a promising new approach for treating various cardiovascular diseases.
When cannabinoids are administered to humans or animals from external sources, it can have a variety of effects on the cardiovascular system. However, the specific effects may be influenced by several factors, such as the amount of cannabinoids administered, the route of administration, and whether the body has developed a tolerance to the cannabinoids. Several studies have addressed these factors to better understand the effects of exogenous cannabinoids on the cardiovascular system.
THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS
Given the significant role of the ECS in regulating blood pressure, the use of cannabis and its active compounds, cannabinoids, to treat hypertension has been the subject of research. While more research is needed, initial studies have shown some promising results, with evidence that cannabis use can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A 2017 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study on 9 volunteers found, that CBD lowered blood pressure for individuals at rest and those under stress. The data showed that acute administration of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure increases to stress in humans associated with increased heart rate. Further research is required to determine whether CBD also has a role in treating cardiovascular disorders.
In the same year, another study was conducted, This time on mice. It found that CBD significantly reduced stress-induced increases in blood pressure and heart rate.
Opposite to previous research, a 2020 rat study did not find any decreases in blood pressure. Although it did have an antioxidant effect. CBD didn’t lower blood pressure or heart rate in these rats, but it did reduce some of the harmful effects. Furthermore, another study in 2020 had more promising results. In a research of 26 patients, who were older adults with hypertension, the 3 month treatment was associated with a reduction in 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressure values with a nadir at 3 hours after cannabis administration.
In some experimental studies in which people were administered cannabis or cannabinoids, there was a slight, short-term increase in heart rate and blood pressure. However, with repeated use, the body quickly develops tolerance to these effects. This means that the increase in heart rate and blood pressure is less pronounced. Overall, the risk of developing serious cardiovascular problems from taking purified or synthetic cannabinoids appears to be low.
Recently, studies have been conducted on the possible relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular health. Some studies have yielded conflicting results, but there have also been some promising results.
For example, a 2018 observational study found that lifetime cannabis use did not independently increase atherosclerosis risk in younger to middle-aged adults. Another 2021 study, which examined the association between cannabis use and cardiovascular disease in a nationally representative sample of 57,000 U.S. adults, found that cannabis use was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of cardiovascular events after controlling for several confounding variables.
In summary, the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining homeostasis in the body. The potential of cannabis and its active compounds to treat hypertension is a promising area of research, with initial studies indicating positive results. The limitations of most studies are the isolated use of cannabinoids, which do not reflect the true potential of a full spectrum cannabinoid preparation. As we better understand the endocannabinoid system and its effects, we may be able to develop new and effective treatments for hypertension and other health conditions.
21. 02. 2023
G. D. C.