Cannabis is bad for the heart, study says

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Scientists from the American Heart Association warn about the danger of cannabis to the heart and blood system. Therefore, they advise against its consumption.

Cannabis and cardiovascular health definitely don't mix. In a new opinion, published in its journal Circulation, the American Heart Association, which groups together doctors who specialize in cardiovascular problems, assures that the use of cannabis, whether recreational or for therapeutic purposes, is detrimental to cardiovascular health.

"The American Heart Association recommends that people do not smoke or vaporize any substance, including cannabis products, due to potential damage to the heart, lungs and blood vessels," said Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, Associate Scientific Director and American Heart Association (AHA) physician in a statement.

Experts have found that marijuana use has the potential to interfere with medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiarrhythmics, or statins, or even trigger potentially serious cardiovascular events such as stroke, stroke, or heart.

The use of cannabis, in conjunction or in other forms, can cause tachycardia, increased heart rate or cardiac arrhythmia within an hour. And in fact, people who already have cardiovascular disease are even more vulnerable than others. It is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a psychoactive molecule in cannabis, that causes these effects on heart function. Tetrahydrocannabinol may also increase the heart's need for oxygen, break down the walls of the arteries, and help increase blood pressure when lying down, according to other studies cited by the AHA.

"Cannabis smoke contains components similar to tobacco smoke," said Robert Page, professor of pharmacology at the University of Colorado (USA). Studies show that blood levels of carbon monoxide and tar comparable to those of a tobacco smoker are found in a cannabis smoker, regardless of THC content.

The authors of the opinion also indicate that the existing studies on the link between marijuana and heart health are "short-term, observational and retrospective studies, which identify trends but do not prove a cause-effect link." They believe there is an "urgent need" for carefully designed short-term and long-term prospective studies on cannabis use and cardiovascular health.

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