High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it courses through the body. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. It is also referred to as high blood pressure or shortened to HT, HTN or HPN. The word "hypertension", by itself, normally refers to systemic, arterial hypertension.

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm, and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. At severely high pressures, defined as mean arterial pressures 50% or more above average, a person can expect to live no more than a few years unless appropriately treated.

When an individual has high blood pressure, there are various treatment options. Lifestyle changes are important; a healthy diet, regular exercise, reducing sodium, and quitting smoking are all great options. Drugs may be prescribed as well. Cannabis can be an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, as it lowers pressure in the body. This was shown in the study "Acute Hypertension Reveals Depressor and Vasodilator Effects of Cannabinoids in Conscious Rats" at the University of Nottingham Medical School in England: "We examined cardiovascular responses to intravenous administration of anandamide and synthetic cannabinoid […] in conscious male Wistar rats made acutely hypertensive by infusion of angiotensin II (AII) and arginine vasopressin (AVP). […]Anandamide dose-dependently decreased the mean arterial blood pressure of rats made hypertensive by AII-AVP infusion. […] These results broadly support the literature showing that the cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids can be exaggerated in hypertension, but highlight the involvement of non-CB(1) receptor-mediated mechanisms in the actions of anandamide."

Further research was conducted at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland and it was concluded: "Selective CB2 agonists may have therapeutic value in myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, and restenosis, which should be confirmed in additional animal models and, possibly, in humans."