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high blood pressure
Feb 12, 2011

Hello Mr. Vergel, wanted to ask you a question about high blood pressure. Mines runs 140/90 when im at the doctors office but when I go somewhere else its 124/85. Dont drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes but i do smoke marijuana. Do you think that its time to put that stuff away already and can that be the problem. Been positive for 4 years on medication and CD4 is 670 35% and undetectable. Also I try to eat healthy and try to consume less sodium.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Acutely, marijuana increases heart rate but the effect on blood pressure is not clear.

I found a very interesting study that shows an improvement in dilation of the air ways with marijuana:

Acute Pulmonary Physiologic Effects of Smoked Marijuana and Oral Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Healthy Young Men

Donald P. Tashkin, M.D., Bertrand J. Shapiro, M.D., and Ira M. Frank, M.D. N Engl J Med 1973; 289:336-341August 16, 1973

Abstract

Acute pulmonary physiologic effects of smoked marijuana and oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol were investigated in 32 healthy, experienced male marijuana smokers. After smoking of marijuana assayed at either 1 or 2 per cent Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, specific airway conductance increased immediately, reached peak levels at 15 minutes and was still significantly elevated at 60 minutes. In contrast, specific airway conductance decreased after both tobacco smoking and deep-breathing maneuvers that simulated marijuana smoking. Inhalation of 1250 μg of isoproterenol caused specific conductance to rise to less than 60 per cent of the average peak increase observed after 2 per cent marijuana. After ingestion of 10, 15 and 20 mg of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in 12 subjects, specific airway conductance rose significantly as compared with placebo, attained peak levels three hours after ingestion and remained elevated for four to six hours. These findings indicate that both smoked marijuana and oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol cause definite dilatation of the airways lasting as long as 60 minutes and six hours, respectively. (N Engl J Med 289:336341, 1973)

I would ask your doctor to prescribe an ACE inhibitor or ARB as monotherapy and then reassess for the need of combination therapy with a diuretic if your numbers do not drop below 130/80 consistently.

Like with everything is life, pot in moderation (non daily smoking) is probably not horrible for cardiovascular risks since it lowers stress but the chemicals in the smoke may be problematic. Some people use vaporizers instead for that reason.

Nelson



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