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Circadian Medicine: Cannabinoid Chronotherapy for Treatment of Hypertension

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Title: Circadian Medicine: Cannabinoid Chronotherapy for Treatment of Hypertension
Author: Murray, Aidan
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Biomedical Sciences
Advisor: Martino, Tami
Abstract: The circadian system is essential for daily cardiovascular rhythms in diurnal blood pressure (BP), which are often disrupted in hypertension. Cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are known to affect BP, however whether cardiovascular responses cannabinoids are affected by time of day is unknown. Here I investigate the effects of cannabinoids on cardiovascular physiology, the involvement of the circadian mechanism, and whether there may be chronotherapeutic implications. First, I show that cannabinoids have different BP effects at sleep time, compared to wake time. Time-of-day responses parallel diurnal variation in expression of known cannabinoid molecular targets. Furthermore, circadian disruption abolishes time-of-day BP responses to CBD. Lastly, I show that co-administration of CBD with antihypertensive medication is more effective for lowering nocturnal BP. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that cardiovascular responses to cannabinoids are regulated by the circadian system, and that CBD has chronotherapeutic potential to benefit patients with hypertension.
Date: 2020-09
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