Medical Marijuana and the Heart

Posted on April 27th, 2022 to Uncategorized by

Marijuana is a popular drug in the United States. While some see it as safe, others view it as a harmful drug. It’s essential to understand how marijuana affects heart health, especially for individuals with heart conditions. As with most other health conditions, there is a need for more studies to fully understand the potential risk and benefits of using cannabis.

High blood pressure is a common condition that leads to issues like heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. Surprisingly, high blood pressure can be regulated by changing your habits, diet, exercise, and medications. If you’re a high blood patient who uses marijuana, you may wonder how cannabis influences heart health.

Does Marijuana Affect Blood Pressure?

Researchers note that cannabis may mildly increase blood pressure and heart rate. This is highly linked to the dosage used. Higher amounts of cannabis can cause severe impact than lower amounts. Therefore, individuals with high blood pressure should consume cannabis moderately.

While cannabis leads to high blood pressure, it can also lower blood pressure when a person changes position (orthostatic hypotension). You can experience orthostatic hypotension when changing positions and still have high blood pressure.

Research on medical marijuana and the heart

There is little research on the impact of marijuana on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. One large study discovered no relationship between marijuana and cardiovascular disease. However, other studies show that individuals experience chest pain when exposed to marijuana and that the drug may increase the chances of a heart attack.

Using marijuana can strongly affect an individual’s blood pressure. Immediately after smoking cannabis, your systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure increase, which increases the risk of a cardiac event within the first hour of smoking cannabis.

While some recorded cases of this do exist, the blood pressure increase from smoking marijuana falls within what an individual might experience on a regular day, because of excitement or conducting an exercise.

An increase in pulse pressure signals a stiffening of the arteries that prompt heart failure in the long run. However, there it’s uncertain that pulse pressure resulting from cannabis use indicates something similarly harmful.

Another study shows that a person’s blood pressure may reduce over the long run if they engage in regular marijuana usage. The key verdict from this is that marijuana notably affects blood pressure, and unstable blood pressure results in heart events, especially in patients with existing heart issues.

Federal data shows a 455 percent increase in cannabis use among U.S. adults aged 55-64 years. There is also a 333 percent increase in consumption in individuals over 64 years between 2002 and 2014. In fact, out of eight Americans, at least one smokes marijuana. Results of previous studies show a relationship between cannabis use and increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

Bottom line

While some physicians recommend medical marijuana for seizures, chronic pain, or other diseases, the risk to the heart is still unknown. We need more research to fully understand the effect of marijuana on the heart. If you are a cannabis consumer with heart disease or other medical conditions, we recommend you consult your local physician about your marijuana use.

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