The elevation of blood pressure above normal limits. The normal blood pressure for adults should be less than 120/80 mmHg. There are several devices that can measure blood pressure, but the most common device is the blood pressure cuff. High blood pressure is a systemic condition that is often correlated to obesity, stress, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. However, high blood pressure can also be a pregnancy symptom in which case it is termed preeclampsia. Elevated pressure affects small cells within blood vessel walls which in turn causes a variety of systemic problems such as hypertensive retinopathy and neuropathy. Treatment for high blood pressure depends on the extent of the elevation. In some cases, a diet and exercise regimen may be sufficient. In other cases, however, a variety of pharmacotherapeutics may be prescribed to help decrease blood pressure to a non-damaging level. Malignant hypertension is described as blood pressure that is at or above 180/120 and is considered a medical emergency. Hypertension can also result from a variety of medical conditions or as a side effect of some medications. Patients who suffer from hypertension should work to control their blood pressure and follow up regularly with their primary care providers.
Cannabis has been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients.