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Cannabis is associated with blood pressure reduction in older adults – A 24-hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring study
Background: Medical cannabis use is increasing rapidly in the past several years, with older adults being the fastest growing group. Nevertheless, the evidence for cardiovascular safety of cannabis use is scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic parameters in older adults with hypertension.
Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients aged 60 years or more with hypertension and a new prescription of cannabis. We have performed the following assessments: 24-hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ECG, blood tests, and anthropometric measurements prior to the initiation of cannabis therapy and 3 months afterward. The primary outcome was change in mean 24-h blood pressure at 3 months.
Results: Twenty-six patients with a mean age of 70.42 ± 5.37 years, 53.8% females completed the study. At 3 months follow-up, the mean 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced by 5.0 mmHg and 4.5 mmHg, respectively (p<0.001 for both). The nadir for the blood pressure and heart rate was achieved at 3 hours post-administration. The proportion of normal dippers changed from 27.3% before treatment to 45.5% afterward. No significant changes were seen in the different metabolic parameters assessed by blood tests, anthropometric measurements, or ECG exam.
Conclusion: amongst older adults with hypertension, cannabis treatment for 3 months was associated with a reduction in 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressure values with a nadir at 3 hours after cannabis administration.
Meet Dr. Ran Abuhasira
Department of Internal Medicine B, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus.
Dr. Abuhasira completed his PhD at the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute (CCRI) under the supervision of Prof. Victor Novack. The CCRI is part of the Clinical Research Center at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel. His study focused on assessing the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly population.