What We Know About Medical Marijuana’s Effect On Heart Disease
Research into cannabis and coronary health is its infancy, but findings so far are profound.
Almost everyone knows somebody that has been effected by heart disease—statistics show that coronary artery disease is the most fatal disease in the United States. To put this statistic into perspective, on an annual basis, one quarter of all deaths (or 600,000 yearly fatalities) in America are due to heart disorders. For the most part, individuals contract heart disorders due to unhealthy life styles and bad habits including: fatty foods, smoking, drinking, and sloth.
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The term “heart disease” is an umbrella phrase generally used to describe symptoms related to atherosclerosis, which arises with the gradual amassing of fats on the walls of arteries and veins. Over time, with a consistently unhealthy diet and lifestyle, these fatty deposits can eventually restrict blood flow in the arteries to the point of heart attack. However, there are a few other forms of heart disease including “heart failure, arrhythmia, heart valve problems, and hypertension”. While the causes of atherosclerosis (lifestyle, etc.) can also be attributed to these other heart maladies, there are a plethora of other sources for them, including stress and genetic disorders.
As with a majority of medical applications for cannabis, legitimate scientific research into the herb’s potential as a medicine for victims of heart disease is in its infancy—but findings thus far are quite profound. For the most part, studies into the potential use of cannabis as a medicine for heart disease are related to both CBD and “abnormal cannabidiol”. For starters, studies have shown that CBD can be beneficial for heart disease victims as both a preventative and restorative medicine. Secondly, abnormal cannabidiol is potentially a “wonder drug” which can greatly help reduce the chances of heart attacks for atherosclerosis patients. Each of these fascinating compounds are worth exploring in more detail.
CBD has various theoretical medical applications for heart disease. To begin with, CBD “has been shown to cause blood vessels to vasodilate, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure”. Point being, CBD can possibly be utilized as a preventative medicine for heart attacks, as it has the potential to help blood vessels restrict and move more efficiently. Doctors also feel that CBD can be used as an “anti-arrhythmic” which can reestablish normality in one’s heart beat post heart attack.
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Abnormal cannabidiol is a synthetically derived chemical which is related, on a molecular level, to the cannabinoids found within the marijuana plant. Also, abnormal cannibidiol shares the non-psychoactive properties of CBD, meaning that it does not get users “high”. The British Journal of Pharmacology reports that the application of abnormal cannabidiol in lab rats led to “the widening of blood veins and arteries by relaxing muscles on their walls”. Point being, findings show that abnormal cannabidiol, like CBD, can help lessen the chances of heart attacks by opening up blood flow within veins and arteries that would be otherwise restricted by atherosclerosis. It goes without saying that these findings warrant far more research into the potential uses of medical marijuana in relations to heart disease.
TLB republished this article by Kent Gretzmacher from where it appeared at AlterNet.org with our thanks for the coverage. TLB recommends a visit to AlterNet.org for other interesting articles and information.