Does Cannabis Use Really Contribute to Hypertension?

By Limus Woods

Image via Green Rush Daily

   Citizens who are in favor of the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana often shake their heads nowadays when they see reports that say there are negative medical benefits of cannabis use. A lot of these feelings of disbelief are because of what has gone on within the debate about marijuana over the last several decades, how those who were against the use of the drug always tried to make it look bad somehow in the eyes of the public. Many marijuana supporters used the drug before it was recreationally or medically legal, and feel that those who still oppose marijuana use should now begin to accept it as a common part of our society. The recent reports that cannabis use is now thought to contribute to hypertension get a thumbs-down from those who are supporters of the natural drug.

   When someone is diagnosed with hypertension, it’s basically another way of saying that they have high blood pressure. This is a condition that increases a person’s chance of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Medical professionals who have patients with hypertension suggest that they make better eating and lifestyle choices, such as consuming less salty food and cutting back on alcohol and tobacco use. Some ethnic groups develop it faster than others, and people over 60 get it at a higher rate.

In the past, marijuana has been used to treat many illnesses and ailments for the patients who need it, such as those who suffer from glaucoma. The use of it can actually reverse the effects that tobacco has had on your lungs, helps control seizures in folks with epilepsy, decreases anxiety, and slows the spread of cancer in many patients. It has also been found to reduce the risk of stroke when used in a non-smoked form.

   Fox News once ran a report featuring Dr. Dave Allen, who has operated on many hearts during the course of his career. A marijuana advocate himself, he’s saying that the opposite is true when it comes to the relationship between cannabis and hypertension.

“No medicine made by man can help in this manner,” he said to reporters. He went on,”If you eat raw cannabis, it will have great medicinal effect, and it won’t get you high at all. When you dry the plant out and heat it, it becomes psychoactive.”

   This study on the correlation of prolonged cannabis use and the further development of hypertension as a result of it was recently reported on in the New York Times and previously published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. In the study, there were over 1,200 people in all, and over 330 of them died. The study found that almost 60% of those people who died used marijuana, and that the longer a person used it, the higher their chances of developing hypertension. It wasn’t determined in the study how frequently each person used cannabis on a regular basis, and the link between cannabis use and hypertension was determined as not being “statistically significant.”