Israeli study: Cannabis reduces blood pressure in older adults


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A study carried out last year by a team from one of the leading medical faculties in Israel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center, suggests that cannabis may reduce blood pressure in older adults.

Moreover, according to the research team, the number of Americans aged 65 and older who consume cannabis in its smokable or edible form has risen 75 percent between the years 2015 and 2018. 

“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, who works at the of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences 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 Israeli researchers believe that blood pressure was greatly influenced by cannabis’ soothing qualities, which appeared to ease pain symptoms in subjects.

Hypertension patients aged 60 and above partook in study on cannabis for blood pressure 

In order to figure out the effects that cannabis has on blood pressure, researchers studied patients who suffer from hypertension. All study subjects were diagnosed with the condition defined as blood pressure above 140/90 before being prescribed cannabis. 

The Israeli team assessed each patient’s condition using a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure device. For three months before and after consumption, they also took individual body measurements, carried out blood tests, and used an electrocardiogram (ECG) to determine whether or not the heart was receiving adequate blood and oxygen supply.

Based on their findings, 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure values significantly reduced. The researchers noted that blood pressure levels sunk to their lowest point at around three hours post-ingestion either by smoking or consuming oil extracts orally. Patients also had lower daytime and nighttime blood pressure, with levels dipping more sharply during the night.

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

The entire study, which was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, can be viewed by clicking here.

2017 study mirrors results of recent study on cannabis for blood pressure

This Israeli study on cannabis for blood pressure wasn’t the only one that confirmed cannabis’ suitability as a potential treatment. Back in 2017, a randomized crossover study, titled, “A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers,” was published in PubMed.

The researchers used a finometer and laser Doppler to monitor cardiovascular parameters in this double-blind, crossover study, which saw nine healthy male volunteers receive 600 mg of CBD or a placebo.

What they discovered was that “acute administration of CBD reduces resting BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased HR.” However, the team noted that further research is needed.