High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a condition in which the pressure in your blood vessels is higher than what’s considered healthy. According to the American Heart Association, a normal or healthy blood pressure reading is less than less than 120/80 mm Hg. HBP is very common, affecting 1 out of 3 adults in the U.S. In most cases, there’s no clear cause of hypertension, though risk factors include age, family history, physical inactivity, stress, tobacco use, and a sodium-heavy diet. Secondary hypertension is caused by another condition, like kidney or thyroid problems.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and organs. It can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, heart failure, vision loss, aneurysm, and more. There are usually no symptoms associated with hypertension before it causes a problem, so the only way to know whether your blood pressure is healthy is to have it checked. Prevention can be fairly straightforward — eating a healthy diet, exercising, limiting alcohol use, and not smoking — but if lifestyle changes don’t work, medication can also treat hypertension.
Cannabis is promising, too: A 2017 study at Royal Derby Hospital showed a single dose of CBD reduced blood pressure in healthy people. As we learn more about the possibilities and limitations of cannabis and CBD as a treatment for high blood pressure, cannabisMD will track what you need to know to make informed decisions about your health.