Known for its healing properties, more and more is being discovered about CBD every day. Can it help treat Coronary Artery disease? Click here to find out.
The support for legalization of medical marijuana is getting stronger. The stigma against CBD (cannabidiol) is fading.
Over half of the states have now approved its use for medical reasons. Studies are also now cropping up suggesting its benefits in treating various diseases. At the moment, cannabis is often used to relieve pain.
Because of this, states often have laws that are specific to diseases that marijuana can cure.
But, what about heart diseases?
Many cardiovascular diseases have symptoms of pain. But most don’t have obvious symptoms for marijuana to work its magic on.
Such is the case with a coronary artery disease. If a heart attack hits a patient, can CBD save them?
We are discovering more benefits of marijuana by the day. And this includes its capabilities to treat CAD.
Dive in to learn if you can use CBD to treat a coronary heart disease.
Before we can study how CBD can help, let’s review first what coronary artery disease does to our health.
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues. Moreover, they supply the blood that the heart pumps out. A coronary heart disease happens when plaque builds up in these arteries.
The plaque can consist of cholesterol and other materials. This can narrow down the passageway of the blood, which lessens the amount of oxygen that your heart gets.
When the supply is less than what the heart needs, you may experience pain (angina) or a heart attack.
A coronary artery disease that’s left untreated will weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure or arrhythmia. In the former case, your heart won’t pump properly, and so the rest of your body won’t get the proper amount of blood. In the latter, your heart’s normal rhythm changes.
A plaque can also break, which can cause a blood clot to form. A large enough blood clot has the possibility to completely cut off the supply. And this can lead to permanent heart damage.
It doesn’t take much time for the heart muscle to die without oxygen. The damages are irreversible. You will experience its effects long after the heart attack.
If the lack of oxygen continues, it may even lead to death.
This all sounds scary; can marijuana help those suffering from plaque build-up?
According to studies, cannabis causes widening of blood vessels. This is because it causes the muscles cells in the vessel walls to relax.
People who have used marijuana also experience an increase in heart rate. Scientists believe this to be due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity. This can make a person feel anxious, similar to the effects of coffee and energy drinks.
This effect can be more pronounced to new users. But with regular use, you’ll develop a tolerance for it that may decrease feelings of anxiety after use.
Another study on the use of marijuana on coronary artery disease and angina patients also indicated a decrease in stroke index, end diastolic volume, and ejection fraction.
Fluctuations in blood pressure are also one of the known marijuana’s effects on the body. Research on whether this can induce a heart attack is inadequate at this time.
As we’ve mentioned above, medical marijuana use helps the arterial walls to relax. The permeability reduces metabolic issues due to increased glucose responses. With the widening of the arteries, blood flow is more natural.
Evidence also suggests that cannabis can limit the damage of a stroke or heart attack. The intake of the substance can protect the cells during and after such events.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and immune modulation characteristics. These, together with its antioxidant properties, can help fight against tissue damage. These also help against inflammation in heart disease patients.
A study found that administration of low doses of a cannabinoid at regular intervals prior to a heart attack can reduce infarction. And because of the reduced obstruction, the patient experienced reduced effects as well.
CBD also helps against cardiomyopathy. This is the condition wherein the heart muscles become thick and hard. Over time, this will limit the blood flow.
Marijuana helps by stopping the disease’s progression. It can block endotoxin, the pro-inflammatory cytokines that promote the disease.
But the most important property of CBD to coronary artery disease sufferers is its ability to reduce plaque. This works because marijuana can decrease the plaque’s adhesion to the arterial walls. And less plaque means your heart will get the oxygen it needs.
In a hospital setting, patients are less likely to get an intra-aortic balloon pump. Not to mention, use of marijuana also contributes to lower mortality rates and less shock.
You may have read studies that say that marijuana increases the risks of heart diseases. But don’t worry, researchers deemed these studies inaccurate.
They looked at dozens of studies on the links of marijuana to heart disease. These claim that users have higher risks for heart conditions than those who do are not.
But the researchers found their methods to be problematic. Problems include small sample sizes, short terms, and even wrong samples.
Most authors defined marijuana users to be anyone who has ever tried it. This already clouds the results, as it includes one-time users as well. This would classify over 50 percent of Americans in such a study.
Furthermore, a study followed a group of people instead of assigning specific groups. An observational study cannot conclude that one thing causes the other.
As a conclusion, the studies actually have insufficient evidence. But with the widespread legalization of marijuana, we can now expect more accurate studies in the near future.
If you’re using marijuana to treat coronary artery disease, you have to make some lifestyle changes as well.
To start, cut off your harmful habits. Smoking and alcohol consumption are usually the first branches you need to prune.
Too much alcohol can cause weight gain. This means you’ll have higher risks of increased blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Smoking increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases. It also damages the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. When this happens, it creates an opportunity for cholesterol to get in the artery walls.
Speaking of cholesterol, it’s only natural to target the main cause of the build-up. This is usually due to the unhealthy food we put in our stomachs. The obvious thing to do here is to cut out items that are high in cholesterol.
Keep in mind that people who are overweight have higher risks of developing heart diseases. If you are one of those, start by making small lifestyle changes.
Start taking a walk in the park during lunchtime. Or instead of eating fast food every day, start making healthy meals. An exercise routine will also help a lot.
Furthermore, nutritious food has overall good effects on your body. Not only will you have lesser risks of a heart attack, you’ll also enjoy a healthier life. You’ll have fewer diseases to worry about.
And make sure you avoid too much stress. This can trigger a heart attack. To keep your mental health in check, try yoga or other activities that calm you.
You can develop these new habits to get the most out of marijuana. Remember, health is a conscious decision. So it all has to do with your daily choices that impact the quality of your life.
As of the moment, there are 29 states plus DC that allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, none of these have approved its use specifically for cardiovascular diseases.
But some states will approve marijuana use for any condition. This comes with the condition that a licensed physician prescribes it to treat coronary artery disease. These states include California, Massachusetts, Washington, and more.
Its use in other states for cardiovascular diseases is still subject to approval. Oregon and Nevada still have to approve individual cases even with a doctor’s note.
To be sure you’re not breaking any laws, check with your state and ask your doctor. You usually have to have a physician’s note to be able to use it without legal repercussions.
Because the wide use of marijuana has just started, scientists need more clinical experimentation to further understand its effects, particularly on cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease.
There’s already a widespread use of cannabis to treat ADHD and other medical issues. It won’t be long until we see its effectiveness in treating heart diseases all over the country.
Because of its properties, we’ll soon see it globally accepted as a way to manage diseases. People will use it to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, and even menstrual cramps.