Does Marijuana Cause Strokes and Heart Attacks?

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content material. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, photos, and quotes to which Dr. Greger could also be referring, watch the above video.

Does the so-called “dark side of cannabis” embrace stroke––right here stated to be related to non-synthetic marijuana––by which I assume they imply, uh: marijuana?

There have been case studies of artery injury as a result of vasoconstrictor impact of hashish, one thing that’s been effectively documented. 

One research discovered hashish customers had 100 occasions larger odds of affected by one thing referred to as multifocal intracranial stenosis, the place the arteries inside your mind clamp down at a number of factors, however that’s a uncommon situation. What about strokes?

“The [lack] of high-level evidence regarding the adverse effects of marijuana usage on [brain artery] health has [led to this] notion that recreational marijuana [may not be a problem].” So, they determined to place it to the check. You need high-level proof, they stated. Well, how a couple of research of actually hundreds of thousands of pot people who smoke? Okay, then. And they discovered that leisure marijuana use did appear to be related to an elevated danger of being hospitalized with an acute ischemic stroke––however this may occasionally simply be amongst those that smoke commonly, not less than as soon as every week.

The motive we expect it’s cause-and-effect is that “the majority of [recorded strokes were] during or shortly after marijuana exposure.” And there are even instances by which strokes recurred after marijuana re-exposure. So put all that collectively, and it makes a convincing case––although you’d actually have to love randomize individuals to smoke pot or placebo pot to make certain. It’s like the guts illness story.

The same “temporal” relationship has been discovered between marijuana use and the event of coronary heart assaults and sudden cardiac demise––which means the guts assaults appeared to occur whereas they have been utilizing or proper afterwards. However, that is difficult by the truth that hashish is commonly utilized in mixture with different medicine, similar to alcohol or cocaine. So, you possibly can’t simply ask coronary heart assault victims in the event that they have been smoking pot on the time, and make the connection with out asking about different substance use. Within an hour of snorting cocaine, for instance, the chance of getting a coronary heart assault goes up greater than 20-fold.

That’s about 5 occasions greater than after smoking pot. The hour after you smoke marijuana, your coronary heart assault danger does seem to almost quintuple, however just for that hour; then your danger drops right down to regular. Okay, however what does that imply? Even although coronary heart illness is our #1 killer, the chance of getting a coronary heart assault each hour is barely like one in 1,000,000 in any explicit hour. So, even in case you then mild up a joint, which will quintuple your danger, however that will solely bump it to love 1 in 150,000 danger in that hour. But it’s only for that one hour. So, even in case you smoked each day, your annual danger may simply go up a number of %. But why the elevated danger in any respect?

Well, we’ve identified for the reason that 70s that inside an hour of smoking a joint, pulse price goes up about 35 %. Smoking a single joint will increase blood pressure too, in addition to carbon monoxide ranges within the blood of angina sufferers, and cuts their capability to exercise almost in half. Now is that simply due to respiratory smoke––any type of smoke? No, smoking a placebo joint, a joint with marijuana from which the THC has been eliminated, solely cuts down exercise capability like 9 %, in comparison with reducing the time they may exercise earlier than the chest ache started by 48 % with the hashish. So, it does appear to be a selected drug impact. Now, whether or not that’s as dangerous as tobacco we’d by no means know…till a yr later.

Smoking a marijuana cigarette decreased the exercise time till angina greater than smoking a tobacco cigarette, which solely reduce exercise capability 23 %, in comparison with 50 % after the joint. This could also be as a result of marijuana places extra demand on the guts. So, no shock then that it was worse than tobacco.

It might also be the carbon monoxide. Smoking marijuana results in almost 5 occasions extra carbon monoxide in your bloodstream than smoking tobacco. This is as a result of pot people who smoke inhale deeper and then maintain the smoke in, permitting extra carbon monoxide into your system. So, between that and the “cardioacceleration” (the elevated coronary heart price and pressure), that would account for the accelerated chest ache in coronary heart illness sufferers.

Does it have any power results on the arteries? Cannabis customers do appear to have comparatively stiffer arteries for his or her age, suggesting an acceleration of the getting old course of. And we’re solely as previous as our arteries.

Even second-hand marijuana smoke could also be dangerous, in accordance with this current research within the Journal of the American Heart Association entitled “One minute of marijuana secondhand smoke impairs vascular endothelial function,” which means artery operate; and so, there was a name to guard weak populations, together with the aged and disabled, and residents of multi-unit housing, pregnant women, and kids. Even only one minute of publicity to marijuana second-hand smoke in rats; so, it’s not clear how relevant that is, outdoors of maybe not smoking round your pets.

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