Pharmacopsychiatry 2016; 49(01): 23-25
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1565242
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Abrupt Quitting of Long-term Heavy Recreational Cannabis Use is Not Followed by Significant Changes in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

U. Bonnet
1  Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Evangelisches Krankenhaus Castrop-Rauxel, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 19 September 2015
revised 01 November 2015

accepted 02 November 2015

Publication Date:
13 January 2016 (online)


Objective: To shed more light on the role of heart rate and blood pressure during cannabis withdrawal.

Methods: Post-hoc analysis of data collected during a prospective inpatient monitoring of withdrawal symptoms of 39 (8 female) adult (median 27 year old) treatment-seeking, predominantly white cannabis-dependents (Bonnet et al., Drug Alcohol Depend 2014; 143: 189–97). Beyond tobacco smoking, the body mass index, electrocardiogram and routine laboratory results were considered to estimate the cohort’s risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Results: Abrupt cessation of recreational long-term daily cannabis use was not followed by significant changes in heart rate, blood and pulse pressure. Also, these measures were not significantly correlated with the severity of the cannabis withdrawal syndrome. The cohort’s risk for CVD was moderate (all tobacco using, overweight in 9 of 35 patients and elevation of serum C-reactive protein in many patients). Its metabolic risk for CVD was minor considering the mostly normal blood pressure, normal serum lipids and glucose.

Discussion: This merely minor metabolic risk might have contributed to the missing effects of cannabis cessation on the basic cardiovascular functions.