Bethesda, MD: Endocannabinoids (naturally occurring chemicals in the body that mimic marijuana's cannabinoids) play a role in cardiovascular regulation in hypertension, and may offer "novel therapeutic strategies" in the treatment of high blood pressure, according to clinical findings published this month in the journal Circulation.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that "endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension and ... can normalize blood pressure" in animals.
Previous research conducted in Britain on the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide found that it relaxed blood vessels, which can reduce blood pressure by allowing blood to flow more freely.
"Targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension," the NIH researchers concluded.
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