Lifetime Marijuana Not Associated with Increased Risk of Hypertension

Baltimore, MD: Neither the past use nor the current use of cannabis is independently associated with an increased risk of hypertension, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review

An international team of investigators from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Russia assessed the relationship between cannabis use and hypertension in a nationally representative sample. Participants were restricted to those who did not possess hypertension at baseline and their health was monitored for a three-year period. 

Researchers reported, “After adjustment for all confounders, neither lifetime cannabis use, 12-month cannabis use nor 12-month cannabis use frequency [at least monthly use and less than monthly use] were associated above chance with the incidence of hypertension.”

Prior data has shown that cannabinoids may influence blood pressure and other cardiovascular responses, though these effects tend to be short-term in duration. Most recently, Israeli data reported that elderly subjects with hypertension respond favorably to medical cannabis treatment. Investigators involved with that study concluded, “Cannabis treatment for three months was associated with a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate.”

Full text of the study, “The longitudinal relationship between cannabis use and hypertension,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Review.  Additional information on cannabinoids and hypertension is available from NORML.