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Does Marijuana Help AFib?

Wondering if marijuana may need a soothing impact in your atrial fibrillation? Studies present that medical marijuana may also help with signs of some circumstances like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS.

But for atrial fibrillation, the consequences are extra of a combined bag.

A Bit of Good, More Bad

“It really depends on what you use it for,” says Uma Srivatsa, MD, medical professor of drugs at UC Davis Health. “If you use it to relieve pain, there may be a benefit because pain can trigger AFib.”

On the opposite hand, she says, low ranges of marijuana flip in your “fight or flight,” or stress response. This means there’s a better likelihood that your racing, irregular heartbeat will worsen. In truth, marijuana can elevate your heart rate for as much as 3 hours after you utilize it. It additionally makes stroke and heart disease extra possible. That’s important as a result of when you’ve got AFib, your likelihood of a stroke is already 5 occasions larger than somebody who does not 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 is dangerous information for AFib. When your blood strain goes down, your coronary heart fee can go up. This is very true in older individuals who produce other heart issues.

Another tough piece of the puzzle is how a lot marijuana is OK to take.

“It’s important to understand that we have legalized marijuana without knowing dose effects,” Srivatsa says. “For occasion, we all know what a authorized blood alcohol stage is. But we don’t know what the ‘legal limit’ is for marijuana.

“How do we determine what makes you high vs. calm?”

Olujimi A. Ajijola, MD, PhD, a cardiologist at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, says the overwhelming effect of marijuana on your heart is harmful.

“We advise against it from a cardiovascular standpoint, in general,” he says. “I would definitely caution against people with AFib using it.”

What the Studies Show

Most 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 agents and other irritants that make it harmful.

There aren’t as many research but on the guts results of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), two of the active ingredients in marijuana. Ajijola says that’s likely part of the reason why there aren’t any official guidelines on marijuana use from American College of Cardiology or the American Heart Association yet.

But he’s pretty sure they’re coming.

“Inevitably, people will study this,” Ajijola says. “I think guidelines won’t come out until there’s enough data to suggest one way or another, or enough people ask that the society make a statement.”

One thing he says is clear, though, is that smoking — of any type — is dangerous to heart health.

“Any sort of smoking includes risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” Ajijola says. “Smoking marijuana carries many of the same cardiovascular health hazards as smoking tobacco.”

One current research appeared to counsel that marijuana may truly decrease your danger of AFib. But Srivatsa

says it’s essential to look extra carefully on the folks within the research and the way the researchers discovered their outcomes. “I don’t think we can generalize this study to all populations,” she says.

Ajijola agrees.

“It’s a very specific study looking at people who have just suffered a heart attack in the hospital,” he says. “The marijuana users were younger, mostly male, and they didn’t have the usual risk factors that caused people to have heart attacks.”

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

“I think the marijuana use is just helping identify with lower risk factors and people who are younger.”

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