cannabis and heart abnormalities
cannabis and heart abnormalities

Cannabis Not Linked to Heart Abnormalities among Middle-Aged People Says New Study

No, marijuana use is not messing with your heart muscle

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday Jan 31, 2022

cannabis for heart abnormalities

If you do a quick research on Google about cannabis and heart health, you’ll be hard pressed to find studies that link any cardiovascular benefits when using cannabis.

However, that is not the case. The studies do exist, and there are numerous anecdotal evidences out there to support it.

In 2020, a study conducted by researchers from the United States and Switzerland revealed promising results that show, occasional and lifetime use of cannabis wasn’t linked to a rise in heart abnormalities when one reaches middle age. Specifically, they found “no evidence that current or lifetime cumulative use of marijuana was associated with a higher prevalence or incidence of major or minor ECG abnormalities,” they said.

For the study, the researchers controlled for other confounders including tobacco use, alcohol consumption, body mass index, sex, age, and physical activity among 2,585 middle-aged participants located in four communities in the US. They either currently consume marijuana or have done it throughout their life at intermittent frequencies. Additionally, 85% of the participants were exposed to cannabis while 11% of the were current users. Given those, “ECG abnormalities seemed to be less frequent in current marijuana users,” they write.

Out of the participants, 173 possessed major heart abnormalities while 944 had minor ones. “This adds to the growing body of evidence that occasional marijuana use and cardiovascular disease events and markers of sub-clinical atherosclerosis are not associated,” said the researchers.

However, given that middle aged people are more prone to heart disease, it would be wise for individuals in this age group to consume cannabis carefully. Many people do claim that cannabis can cause heart problems especially if you consume products that are high in THC, but this is not true. You do have to be careful if you already have existing heart conditions when you consume THC products, and you could be better off with CBD instead.


Cannabinoid Therapy Reduces Atherosclerosis Progression

In 2005, a study in Geneva, Switzerland revealed that consuming low-THC cannabis was helpful in reducing atherosclerotic disease in animal subjects.

“We have shown that relatively low doses of THC initiated after manifestation of clinically detectable artery lesions significantly inhibit atherosclerosis progression in mice,” writes Dr. Sabine Steffens, of the University Hospital of Geneva. “This antiatherosclerotic effect is probably mediated by the CB2 receptor, as it is strongly expressed by macrophages and T lymphocytes within atherosclerotic lesions. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of THC on atherosclerosis progression are abolished in the presence of a CB2-receptor antagonist,”


Other Studies

There are also other studies that prove, cannabis use has not been linked to an increased risk of heart problems.

A study released in January 2021, conducted by researchers at the Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, showed that a history of cannabis consumption wasn’t found to be associated with an increased risk in heart disease. For this study, they analyzed the link between the diagnosis of heart disease and cannabis use in a national cohort of almost 57,000 adults. They also adjusted for confounders as well, including tobacco use, body mass index, and alcohol consumption.

“After controlling for several confounding variables, we found that there was a decrease in the prevalence of cardiovascular events with marijuana use (Odds Ratio: 0.74).”

“Our study found that there is no link to marijuana use and an increase in cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, there may be a link between marijuana use and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, but the data was not statistically significant when adjusting for confounding variables. This study does, however, implicate the need for future studies with other methods and/or larger sample sizes to provide more insight into this potential association,” they concluded. 


How Cannabis Works to Benefit the Heart

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a better alternative compared to THC for those who want to treat heart conditions. It has been shown to be immunomodulating, which enables the immune response to improve while slowing down the atherosclerosis progression that is caused by high glucose levels. Because of this, CBD can help prevent ischemic disease as well as the dangerous impact on the heart caused by metabolic syndrome.


When cannabis is consumed for heart disease, THC reacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. When cannabinoids bind to the CB2 receptors, it can prevent atherosclerosis by changing how the brain receives messages while stabilizing blood circulation and regulating cardiac function.


Additionally, CBD and THC have anti-inflammatory properties but people can react to them differently, especially middle aged and older since their heart health is more sensitive compared to young adults. But since studies show that CBD is more powerful in treating inflammation, choosing strains rich in CBD is best for people who want to avoid inflammation. Both cannabinoids can also decrease the body’s production of cytokines, which speed up inflammation in the body for certain processes.


Consuming Cannabis for Heart Health

If you want to start medicating with cannabis to improve heart health, there are many ways you can do so. It is always best to start your route by talking to a medical provider who can examine your medical history and make recommendations on the best product to use, as well as the dosage.


Cannabis, including CBD, is widely available in many forms including beverages, patches, tinctures, oils, capsules, edibles, vaporizers, and so much more. Talking to your physician can help you make the right decision on which method of consumption is best for your needs.








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