Diseases that affect the heart and circulatory system are grouped together under the term cardiovascular diseases, also commonly known as heart diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are related to atherosclerosis, heart failure, arrhythmia, heart valve problems, and hypertension, and they can result in life-threatening heart attacks and strokes. Cannabis not only lowers blood pressure by dilating arteries, but it also reduces damage caused heart attacks and strokes, so it could be a powerful ally in combatting cardiovascular diseases.
The cannabinoid CBD found in cannabis limits cell damage and offers both cardio and neuroprotective effects after heart attacks and strokes. After strokes, CBD protects neurons and astrocytes from damage, improving functional, histological, biochemical, and neurobehavioral recovery. It also has benefits when administered prior to one of these ischemic events, and in animal trials, it reduced infarct size (cell death), oxidative stress, inflammation, fibrosis, and it preserved the performance of the left ventricle. Another cannabinoid, THC, when administered in low doses continuously for hours or weeks prior to a heart attack, has the ability to reduce infarct size. One study found recent marijuana consumption in hospitalized heart attack patients reduced mortality rate and the risk of intra-aortic balloon pump replacement and shock. Animal and human studies have found cannabinoids, especially CBD, cause blood vessels to vasodilate, facilitating blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
It is important to note that while these findings are extremely positive, there are a few studies in which cannabis use was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular complications. This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.