Marijuana and heart health: What you need to know

Entry to marijuana is rising, however marijuana advantages and its dangers haven’t been rigorously studied.

h0817e16207255833623 Picture: © UrosPoteko/Thinkstock

In lots of states on this nation, you may legally use marijuana for a spread of well being advantages, together with the therapy of power ache, nervousness, and nausea. Smoking is the quickest solution to really feel the consequences of marijuana, which is derived from the Hashish sativa plant. But marijuana smoke comprises lots of the identical toxins, irritants, and carcinogens present in cigarette smoke — a identified contributor to coronary heart illness in addition to most cancers.

You Are Watching: does marijuana increase heart rate

Marijuana cultivation and use dates again some 6,000 years. Nevertheless, the cardiovascular and different well being results of hashish aren’t effectively studied. That is partly as a result of underneath federal regulation, hashish is a Schedule I substance, that means it has “no at the moment accepted medical use and a excessive potential for abuse.” That designation locations quite a few restrictions on researchers, making it tough to hold out rigorous analysis on marijuana.

See More Relate: THC Half-Life in Urine, Saliva, Blood, Sweat, and Hair

“Consequently, the whole lot we’re instructed about what marijuana does or does not do needs to be seen with a certain quantity of warning. This holds equally true for the dangers in addition to the advantages,” says Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, affiliate professor of drugs at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Heart.

Pot and ache

Among the strongest proof supporting the medical use of marijuana is marijuana’s advantages for managing power ache. Cannabinoid compounds (see “Hashish 101”) work together with receptors in nerve cells to decelerate ache impulses and ease discomfort. Cannabinoids even have been proven to be efficient in quelling nausea and vomiting. As well as, marijuana is a robust urge for food inducer. The mix of those attributes makes marijuana a therapeutic possibility for individuals dealing with the unintended effects of chemotherapy and others who’re in peril of unintended weight reduction. Nevertheless, in situations the place gaining further weight would possibly exacerbate present well being issues, similar to diabetes, urge for food stimulation can be counterproductive.

Cardiovascular results

One of many few issues scientists know for positive about marijuana and cardiovascular well being is that folks with established coronary heart illness who’re underneath stress develop chest ache extra rapidly if they’ve been smoking marijuana than they’d have in any other case. That is due to advanced results cannabinoids have on the cardiovascular system, together with elevating resting coronary heart price, dilating blood vessels, and making the center pump more durable. Analysis means that the chance of coronary heart assault is a number of occasions larger within the hour after smoking marijuana than it might be usually. Whereas this doesn’t pose a major risk to individuals who have minimal cardiovascular danger, it needs to be a crimson flag for anybody with a historical past of coronary heart illness. Though the proof is weaker, there are additionally hyperlinks to the next danger of atrial fibrillation or ischemic stroke instantly following marijuana use. In line with these hyperlinks, research by Dr. Mukamal and colleagues additionally counsel that marijuana smoking might enhance the long-term demise price amongst coronary heart assault survivors.

Questions stay on marijuana’s advantages and dangers

Read More: What Are Drug Detox Kits?

Many of the proof linking marijuana to coronary heart assault and stroke is predicated on studies from individuals who smoked it. So it is onerous to separate the consequences of cannabinoid compounds on the cardiovascular system from the hazards posed by the irritants and carcinogens contained within the smoke. As a result of hashish smoke is thought to trigger airway irritation, wheezing, and chest tightness, individuals with lung ailments shouldn’t smoke it. Different individuals who ought to simply say no to marijuana embody those that could also be susceptible to growing schizophrenia or habit.

Hashish 101

The hashish plant comprises greater than 100 distinctive chemical elements categorized as cannabinoids. These are the energetic elements that bind to particular receptors within the mind and different elements of the physique. The 2 most prevalent varieties are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is primarily accountable for the mind-altering properties sought out by leisure customers, and cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive impact. Cannabidiol may very well work to offset the psychoactive properties of THC.

The magnitude of marijuana’s psychoactive impact is dependent upon the THC degree within the specific pressure of plant, which elements of the plant are used, and the route by means of which the drug enters the physique. Legalization in some states has led to the breeding of strains which are three to seven occasions stronger than these accessible three a long time in the past.

The affect of smoked or inhaled marijuana is mostly felt inside a couple of minutes and lasts two to 4 hours. Marijuana ingested in meals or drinks kicks in additional slowly and lasts longer.

See Also: Can You Get a Contact High (and Would It Affect a Drug Test)?

Leave a Comment