Heart Disease - Can Marijuana Help You? | cannabisMD

Heart Disease – Will Medical Marijuana Help You?


Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States today. In fact, heart health, in general, has become a major concern for most men and women in the western world. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and processed food packed diets aren’t helping. It is estimated that approximately 610,000 people pass away as a direct result of heart disease each year in the US. Of this group, 370,000 die as a result of coronary heart disease. Each year an estimated 750,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. These statistics are very worrying and paint a poor picture indeed of a nation with a very serious heart failure problem.

As a result of the dramatic rise in heart disease, both in the US and globally, there has been a real effort to raise awareness of the condition. While some strides have been made, there is still a relatively low level of understanding among the general population. One common misconception of heart disease is that it is just one condition, always resulting in a heart attack. On the contrary, there are a number of different types of heart disease. Each presents its own signs and symptoms and has different risk factors.

In order to prevent heart disease, or treat it effectively, it’s crucial to understand the different types and what signs to look out for.

Types of Heart Disease:

  1. Congenital Heart Disease
  2. Cerebrovascular Heart Disease
  3. Ischemic Heart Disease
  4. Hypertensive Heart Disease
  5. Rheumatic Heart Disease
  6. Inflammatory Heart Disease

Common Symptoms of Heart Disease:

  • Nausea
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dyspepsia, otherwise known as indigestion
  • Pain in the arm (most people think the pain must be in the left arm to indicate a heart issue, but it can radiate to the right arm too)
  • Neck or throat pain
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Perspiration or excessive sweating
  • Irregular or racing heart beat

Some of the risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a lack of physical activity, age (over the age of forty) and a family history of heart disease. All of these risk factors can lead to sudden cardiac death, heart disease or stroke if not managed carefully over time. If lifestyle changes aren’t put in place in time, the risk of heart disease for anyone who ticks these boxes is very high indeed.

As the numbers of people suffering from, or at risk of, heart disease has become so high, it’s no surprise that the range of heart medications seems to be doubling every day. However, many contain harsh chemicals that cause unpleasant and sometimes harmful side effects themselves. In fact, it’s common for patients to have to take medications specifically aimed at countering the effects of heart medications. For this reason, many people are turning to medical marijuana for the hope of a better alternative.

Unfortunately, the amount me know about the medicinal properties of medical marijuana is still relatively low. Although studies have been conducted, those studies haven’t been of a high enough scientific standard to result in hard and fast conclusions. This is largely down to the legal status of marijuana in The US. Its status as a Schedule 1 Substance has limited researchers hugely. As a result, the release a potential medication for heart disease which has little or no side effects is being stalled.

Thankfully, attitudes toward both the recreational and medical use of marijuana seem to be shifting. Twenty-eight states in The US have now legalised marijuana. The districts of Guam, Puerto Rico and Columbia have followed suit, as has Canada. Hopefully, this change will make it easier to study the natural healing properties of the plant in general and their effect on heart disease in particular.

There is currently some debate about whether or not heart disease patients should be allowed to use medical marijuana for pain relief and its other clinical benefits. The difficulty is, neither side of the debate has any concrete evidence to support their claims. For this reason, the decision about whether or not to use medical marijuana to treat heart disease largely lies with the patients themselves.

However, this is anything but a straightforward choice. There are a few things to consider when making this decision.

  1. Legality
  2. Medical marijuana has not been legalized in every state, or indeed in much of Europe. When considering the use of the drug, it’s important to figure out whether or not it is legal in your area. Of course, we cannot recommend using any illegal substance, even for the benefit of your health. This is for two reasons:

    • If you do choose to use marijuana illegally, it is likely that the production of the product will have been illegal, underground, and of infinitely lower quality. You can’t regulate an illegal product, so by using one you really have no idea what you could be doing to your body.
    • You need to keep your physician up to date with all medications and home remedies that you are taking. If you tell your doctor that you’re using an illegal substance, he or she may be obliged to report you to the authorities. Medical marijuana is not worth jail time. Please don’t risk it.
  3. Quality
  4. Like any other product that you use for your body or your health, quality is really important. Because the legal medical marijuana industry is relatively new, it still isn’t regulated as well as it needs to be. This puts the onus on the consumer to ensure the quality of the product they buy. Look for products from reputable dispensaries that has been tested by a third party lab. Check out reviews online, and take your time when making your choice.

  5. Consult Your Physician
  6. Remember if you are suffering from heart disease, your physician needs to be informed at all times of any home treatments you may be using.

Learn more about the symptoms of a heart attack here!

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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