Objective—Pre-clinical studies have reported acute cardiovascular effects of cannabis including a dose-dependent increase in blood pressure while orthostatic hypotension may follow as a result of decreased vascular resistance. In case reports, evidence links cannabis with acute cardiovascular events in young and middle aged adults. Here, we offer epidemiologic estimates on cannabis useblood pressure levels association from the United States (US) National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2005–2012 (n=12426).
Methods—Computer-assisted self-interviews assessed cannabis use. Blood pressure was determined by an average of up to four measurements taken during a single examination. Regression modeling was used to examine cannabis use– blood pressure association.
Results—Recently active cannabis use was associated with increase in systolic blood pressure (β = 1.6; 95% CI: 0.6, 2.7) in the age-sex adjusted model. Additional covariate adjustment did not affect the positive association. No association between cannabis use and diastolic blood pressure was detected.
Conclusion—A modest association between recent cannabis use and systolic blood pressure was detected among a relatively large nationally representative sample of US adults. With the legalization of cannabis, there a need for pre-clinical, clinical and prospective population-based research on the cardiovascular effects of cannabis use.