Marijuana and heart health are not compatible. “The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that substances such as cannabis products should not be smoked or vaped because of the potential risks to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels,” Rose Marie Robertson told CNN. In the magazine of the AHA “Circulation”, a study addressed the links between cannabis use and the heart.
Direct effects on the body
According to scientists, not only can smoking marijuana interfere with medical treatments, but it can also cause heart failure and strokes. A few hours after smoking cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, there is a cardiac risk: Some people may suffer from tachycardia or atrial fibrillation. The heartbeat can accelerate which increases oxygen consumption and causes the walls of the arteries to be damaged. If people already suffer from heart disease, the risks associated with cannabis use are even greater.
The need for more research
Pharmacologist Robert Page believes there is an urgent need for scientific studies on the links between cannabis use and heart health. Currently, most research focuses exclusively on the short-term effects of cannabis and is often retrospective. “This shows trends, but does not prove a causal link,” says the scientist.
The risk of taking illegal products
He also recommends that people who want to use marijuana should discuss this with a healthcare professional. “If someone chooses to use cannabis because of its medicinal or recreational properties, the forms of cannabis taken orally, whose doses can be measured, could reduce some of the potential risks. He also reiterated the importance of using legal cannabis in countries where it is legal. “There is no control over the quality or content of cannabis products sold in the street,” he says.