Does Marijuana Cause High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a common condition that many people have, and it’s also one that is associated with many serious conditions. High blood pressure can be reduced with lifestyle changes, but what about the relationship between marijuana and high blood pressure?
Does marijuana cause high blood pressure, or can it help?
The following provides more information about high blood pressure, and then more specifically marijuana and high blood pressure.
Some of the symptoms of high blood pressure, which usually don’t appear until levels are very high, can include nausea, headache, dizziness, and blurry vision.
The problem with high blood pressure is that when it’s untreated, it can lead to serious health problems. When blood is pressing too hard on artery walls, it can cause blood vessel damage which contributes to cardiovascular disease, and it can damage the organs.
Stroke, heart attack, and heart failure are all complications of high blood pressure that can be deadly. Other complications of high blood pressure can be an aneurysm, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome and blood clots.
There are several risk factors linked to high blood pressure, including age, family history and whether or not a person is overweight or obese. Physical inactive people, smokers, drinkers, and individuals with a high salt diet are also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
Treatment options for high blood pressure depend on factors like how high it is, and other risk factors a person may have for health complications. For example, with slightly elevated blood pressure, lifestyle changes may be enough. With moderately high blood pressure doctors may prescribe medication to be used in combination with lifestyle changes and with severe hypertension, a person will often have to visit a cardiologist who will create a treatment plan.
So what about marijuana and high blood pressure? Does marijuana cause high blood pressure, or can it help?
There are some differences when it comes to marijuana and high blood pressure in the short term versus the long-term. When someone first consumes marijuana, they will often experience a moderate increase in both blood pressure and heart rate. Then, following that initial spike, they will have a decrease in blood pressure.
Once someone has a tolerance to marijuana after using it for a period of time, they often don’t experience the spike in blood pressure at all after consuming marijuana. Instead, with longer-term use of marijuana blood pressure may be reduced, and antidotal evidence shows that some people do use marijuana as a way to help them keep their blood pressure at a healthy level.
With that being said, there has also been conflicting research showing that marijuana has been associated with some cardiovascular risks over the long-term including higher blood pressure.
The research that was recently released about marijuana and high blood pressure did have some issues with methodology that should be addressed, however. First, it was an observational study looking at marijuana and high blood pressure, so there were no controls. It was also a study that used the term marijuana user loosely, and it referred to anyone who participated in the study and had tried marijuana.
There are a few other things to consider when discussing marijuana and high blood pressure. The first is that if you do use marijuana, it may increase your appetite and lead you to make poor dietary choices, so in this way, it could indirectly affect blood pressure. Also, if you are smoking marijuana as opposed to consuming it in other ways, it can be detrimental to your cardiovascular health, just as smoking cigarettes is.
To sum up, does marijuana cause high blood pressure? Probably not, but we just don’t know.
Some people believe marijuana not only doesn’t raise blood pressure but helps them maintain healthy levels, although this is primarily antidotal.
Marijuana may raise blood pressure briefly right after it’s used, but that’s a temporary situation.
No matter what you think about marijuana and high blood pressure, however, you should always follow the instructions of your physician. Don’t attempt to self-medicate with the use of marijuana, and always take any prescribed medicines as instructed by your doctor. High blood pressure can be an extremely serious situation, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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