Does Cannabis Prevent Heart Disease?

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Research suggests cannabis could be used as a preventative for heart disease, a condition that kills over 600,000 people annually in the U.S. alone. The disease is so substantial in the United States that it is the leading cause of death in both men and women, constituting 25% of all deaths. While there is little research regarding cannabis and heart disease prevention, what research does exist points to the efficacy of various cannabinoids in combatting heart disease.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Biochemical Pharmacology and conducted in Israel at the Felsenstein Medical Research Center found that when mice received small amounts of cannabis, 5 percent experienced an improvement in the efficiency of their heart ventricles. It was revealed that the cannabinoid THC in particular reduced Troponin T, a protein that leaks from cardiac muscles into the bloodstream as a result of cardiovascular damage. THC also decreased the sizes of infarctions, which are areas where the tissue dies due to the lack of sufficient blood supply, by six percent. Another study published in the journal Pharmacological Research and conducted by Dr. Saoirse O'Sullivan in 2014 at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine revealed "cannabinoids affect blood vessels by causing them to relax and widen," which in turn lowers blood pressure and improves circulation, both of which are responses that are helpful in preventing preventing heart disease and heart attacks.

With such a high number of annual fatalities as a result of heart disease, we hope medical marijuana research barriers are swiftly lifted so that researchers can take a more in depth look on how cannabis may be able to prevent the condition and therefore save lives. This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.