Does Marijuana Affect Blood Pressure?

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has been gaining popularity for both recreational and medicinal purposes. As its usage increases, there is a growing interest in understanding its impact on our health. One common question often asked is whether marijuana has any effect on blood pressure. In this article, we will delve into this topic extensively and provide you with all the information available.

Understanding Blood Pressure

Before exploring the effects of marijuana on blood pressure, it’s essential to have a grasp of what blood pressure entails and how it is measured. Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your arteries as it circulates throughout your body. Typically, it is measured using two numbers. Systolic pressure over diastolic pressure (e.g., 120/80 mmHg). The systolic pressure represents the force exerted when your heart beats, while the diastolic pressure represents the force when your heart is at rest between beats.

The Relationship Between Marijuana and Blood Pressure

Several studies have been conducted to investigate whether marijuana influences blood pressure and, if so, how. The findings have been varied, with some studies suggesting that marijuana may lead to a rise in blood pressure after consumption, while others indicate no significant impact.

Short-Term Effects

Consuming marijuana has been associated with a rise in blood pressure levels. According to a study published in The American Journal of Hypertension, it was found that the use of marijuana led to an increase of around 27 mmHg in systolic pressure and 15 mmHg in diastolic pressure within an hour after consumption. These increases may raise concerns for individuals who already have conditions like hypertension or heart disease. However, it’s important to note that these effects are not long-lasting and typically return to normal levels within a few hours. Additionally, not all studies have observed these blood pressure elevations following marijuana use.

Long-Term Effects

When considering the long-term impact of marijuana on blood pressure, research findings are more varied. Some studies suggest that chronic marijuana use could potentially increase the risk of developing hypertension over time. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that individuals who used marijuana daily had a higher likelihood of developing hypertension compared to non-users. However, further research is required to establish whether this correlation is causal and identify potential contributing factors.

The Role of Cannabinoids

To comprehend how marijuana affects blood pressure, it is necessary to examine its compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds interact with receptors in our body’s system and have various effects on different bodily processes. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are two known cannabinoids found in marijuana.

THC, the compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use, has been linked to increases in heart rate and blood pressure because it can widen blood vessels. Moreover, THC can increase activity in the system, which can further raise blood pressure. On the other hand, CBD seems to have an intricate relationship with blood pressure. There is evidence suggesting that CBD may lower blood pressure by promoting relaxation of blood vessels and reducing inflammation. However, more research is needed before we can draw conclusions about how CBD affects blood pressure regulation.


While some studies suggest that consuming marijuana can temporarily raise blood pressure after use, there isn’t an agreement on its long-term effects or whether these short spikes pose significant risks for generally healthy individuals. It’s important to note that many factors influence our blood pressure levels aside from using marijuana. If you have any worries regarding the impact of marijuana on your blood pressure or any cardiovascular conditions you might have, it is imperative to seek guidance from an expert who can offer personalized advice tailored to your individual health requirements. Making informed choices about your health and well-being is of utmost importance, and comprehending the possible effects of marijuana on blood pressure is merely one aspect of this complex equation.