Treating hypertension with cannabis

In February 2021, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center in Israel reported that cannabis may reduce blood pressure in older adults.

We conducted the study as a safety assessment: our main goal was to make sure that we were not causing any harm to older adults with hypertension who may suffer from a number of comorbidities.

The most common side effects that we observed – and we had seen these issues before in previous studies – were dizziness, a sensation of instability, dry mouth, and heart palpitations in some patients.

Some treatments have a diverse profile of adverse effects and some are more benign, and overall the side effect profile of cannabis is broadly benign, but of course there are still side effects which we cannot ignore.

There has been an increase in the general acceptance of cannabis-based treatments in a number of countries, which has meant that older adults are now more willing to try medicinal cannabis.

In addition to this, because older adults typically suffer from more diseases and conditions, they are more likely to be considered for trials of new and emerging treatments.

I believe that cannabis-based medicines should be viewed in the same way as any other treatment offered in the medical sector, with recognised upsides and downsides, and that we should consider the pros and the cons of cannabis-based treatment for each patient individually; but I think that many patients perceive cannabis as some kind of wonder drug which can cure many of their illnesses, without triggering any of the adverse events that traditional drugs can cause.

Almost three years ago, I published an article in the European Journal of Internal Medicine comparing the regulations and laws governing cannabis in North America, Europe and Israel, which found that the cannabis legislation in Israel is quite permissive compared to other Western countries.

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