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Does Marijuana Assist AFib?

Medically Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on April 01, 2020

Questioning if marijuana might need a soothing impact in your atrial fibrillation? Research present that medical marijuana may help with signs of some situations like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS.

However for atrial fibrillation, the consequences are extra of a blended bag.

A Little bit of Good, Extra Unhealthy

“It actually is dependent upon what you utilize it for,” says Uma Srivatsa, MD, scientific professor of medication at UC Davis Well being. “In the event you use it to alleviate pain, there could also be a profit as a result of ache can set off AFib.”

However, she says, low ranges of marijuana flip in your “combat or flight,” or stress response. This implies there’s the next likelihood that your racing, irregular heartbeat will worsen. In actual fact, marijuana can elevate your heart rate for as much as 3 hours after you utilize it. It additionally makes stroke and heart disease extra probably. That's important as a result of when you’ve got AFib, your likelihood of a stroke is already 5 instances increased than somebody who doesn't have it.

Marijuana additionally relaxes your blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure. Srivatsa says this could kick off a response out of your heart that's dangerous information for AFib. When your blood strain goes down, your coronary heart fee can go up. That is very true in older individuals who produce other heart issues.

One other difficult piece of the puzzle is how a lot marijuana is OK to take.

“It’s necessary to grasp that now we have legalized marijuana with out understanding dose results,” Srivatsa says. “As an illustration, we all know what a authorized blood alcohol stage is. However we don’t know what the ‘authorized restrict’ is for marijuana.

"How can we decide what makes you excessive vs. calm?”

Olujimi A. Ajijola, MD, PhD, a heart specialist at UCLA Well being in Los Angeles, says the overwhelming impact of marijuana in your coronary heart is dangerous.

“We advise towards it from a cardiovascular standpoint, on the whole,” he says. “I might positively warning towards folks with AFib utilizing it.”

What the Research Present

Many of the analysis linking marijuana to coronary heart issues like heart attack and stroke is predicated on individuals who smoke it. Smoke has cancer-causing brokers and different irritants that make it dangerous.

There aren’t as many research but on the center results of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), two of the lively substances in marijuana. Ajijola says that’s probably a part of the explanation why there aren’t any official pointers on marijuana use from American Faculty of Cardiology or the American Coronary heart Affiliation but.

However he's fairly certain they're coming.

“Inevitably, folks will examine this,” Ajijola says. “I believe pointers received't come out till there's sufficient information to recommend a method or one other, or sufficient folks ask that the society make an announcement.”

One factor he says is obvious, although, is that smoking — of any type — is dangerous to heart health.

“Any type of smoking contains danger components for cardiovascular disease,” Ajijola says. “Smoking marijuana carries most of the similar cardiovascular well being hazards as smoking tobacco.”

One latest examine appeared to recommend that marijuana would possibly truly decrease your danger of AFib. However Srivatsa

says it’s necessary to look extra carefully on the folks within the examine and the way the researchers discovered their outcomes. “I don’t suppose we are able to generalize this examine to all populations,” she says.

Ajijola agrees.

“It’s a really particular examine individuals who have simply suffered a coronary heart assault within the hospital,” he says. “The marijuana customers have been youthful, principally male, and so they didn't have the standard danger components that brought on folks to have coronary heart assaults.”

They fared higher after their coronary heart assaults, however Ajijola says that’s probably as a result of that they had fewer danger components for coronary heart issues within the first place.

“I believe the marijuana use is simply serving to establish with decrease danger components and people who find themselves youthful.”

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