Marijuana heart disease:

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a drug, which is smoked and can also be eaten. It is commonly known as pot, hash, ganja, Mary Jane, reefer or weed. It is made from the leaves of cannabis plant. Marijuana can be rolled in a cigarette and also can be smoked in a water pipe called "bong". Many people use it in food or to brew tea. It also has the ability to control severe nausea or vomiting caused by chemotherapy or certain drugs such as morphine. It also has depressant effects. Also used as a psychotic drug called THC.

How does marijuana affect heart?

The inhalation of marijuana smoke through a pot or a cigarette can increase the heart rate from 20% to 50%. Once smoked, the heart rate increases within 2 to 3 minutes and becomes higher within 15 to 30 minutes. This may remain elevated for up to two hours. This brings complex changes in blood pressure, which depends on the posture of the person. This means that blood pressure increases when the person is sitting or lying and it decreases when the person is standing. This sudden change from sitting position to standing position might trigger hypotension often causing fainting. Clinical and experimental studies have shown that tolerance cardiovascular effects develop within 7 to 10 days in persons taking high doses daily.

Marijuana and cardiovascular system.

The research indicates that there is a small risk that affects cardiovascular system however there have been a number of reports showing myocardial infarction in young men who were heavy cannabis smokers but had no personal history of heart disease. Though marijuana has subtle effects on cardiovascular system, other drugs taken with it might create heavy damage to the system. Some cannabis smokers are also cigarette smokers. So there is the possibility that there may be adverse interactions between nicotine and cannabinoids in their severe effects on the cardiovascular system.

Effects on patient are with heart disease:

Use of cannabis may adversely affect patients with pre-existing history of heart disease. THC increases the production of catecholamines which stimulate the activity of the heart, thereby increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. It increases the heart rate causing chest pain and myocardial infarction. Marijuana smoking increases the level of carboxyhaemoglobin, thereby decreasing oxygen delivery to the heart due to which it stresses the work of the heart by forming atheroma. Marijuana or cannabis use may create unpredictable changes in blood pressure thereby causing hypertension that leads to any cardiovascular diseases.

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