There is no denying that marijuana has become much more acceptable today than in decades’ past. Nevertheless, it is still classified as a drug and research has shown that it can lead to addictions in some people. On top of that, new data is tying chronic weed smoking to heart complications; which, we think, is worth addressing.
The marijuana cardio research comes via the official Harvard website, which quotes multiple doctors from their medical school. As article author, Julie Croliss, points out, consistent usage can lead to increased heart rates and a rise in blood pressure. Studies have also shown that the risk of a heart attack is several times higher in the hours following weed smoking.
One other big highlight of the piece links marijuana usage with atrial fibrillation, which is the nation’s number one heart rhythm disorder. That particular diagnosis has common connections to fatal strokes; which certainly deserves to be called out.
This latest warning pertains to any type of marijuana consumption. Though smoking it creates its own unique set of risks, eating edibles does not make your heart any safer. As writer Croliss strongly emphasizes, “no matter how you ingest it, this drug can still negatively impact your cardiovascular system.”
Harvard professor Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan was quoted in the article, offering some scientific expertise to the latest stats.
“It is common knowledge that cannabinoids like THC bind to specific receptors in the brain,” Dr. Vaduganathan explained. “But it is also worth stating that cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, including on heart cells, fat cells, and platelets, which are cells in the blood involved in clot formation,”
Dr. Vaduganathan also made a point to address the lung risks associated with marijuana smoking. An interesting call out highlights how inhaling weed may carry risks just as severe as cigarette usage.
“But when people smoke tobacco, they take frequent, small puffs. In contrast, smoking marijuana usually involves large puffs with longer breath holds,” he added. “So smoking marijuana may deposit as much or more of the chemical toxins into the lungs as when people smoke cigarettes.”
So the bottom line is: Yes, marijuana is certainly not as deadly as a drug like cocaine or heroin. But there are addiction risks to think about and now, as the Harvard article describes, dangers that can impact the heart and the lungs.
Our advice is to simply re-evaluate weed usage for yourself or someone you care about. If it starts to feel excessive, or even dangerous, please do not hesitate to reach out.