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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Thinking of chilling out in your middle age by kicking back and lighting up a joint?

    Think again. A new study from Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School says marijuana increases the risk of having a heart attack within the first hour of smoking to five times that of non-smokers.

    Within the second hour, the risk declines to 1.7 times normal; and returns to an average risk after 2 hours.

    The study, lead by Beth Israel director of cardiovascular epidemiology Dr. Murray Mittleman, is reported in this week's issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

    Marijuana Like Sex Risk

    Mittleman and colleagues interviewed more than 3,880 men and women aged 20 to 92 who had suffered heart attacks to determine what activities were most likely to happen just before a heart attack, during a time frame the doctors call the "hazard period."

    One-hundred-and-twenty-four subjects said they had smoked marijuana within the year before their heart attack

    The scientists say that this five-fold marijuana risk is a little higher than the risk for sexual intercourse, about the same as that for other types of strenuous exercise, and much less than the risk caused by cocaine, which increases one's chance of having a heart attack 25-fold.

    These risks are compounded by other lifestyle conditions that affect heart function, such as such as smoking cigarettes, being overweight, and not participating in physical activity.

    Risk Increases With Age

    The study also points out marijuana risk could be even higher because the survey did not include people who had heart attacks after smoking who did not survive.

    Moreover, Mittleman emphasizes that the five-fold marijuana risk statistic is an average, and that risk levels for young people are probably much less than five times and the risk levels for older people are probably much greater.

    "As with any risk factor for heart attack, or for heart disease in general, the risks become more pertinent as we grow older. Marijuana use is no exception," Mittleman says. "As baby boomers enter the age at which coronary disease is the most important cause of death and the leading cause of morbidity [death], we may see an increase in marijuana-associated heart attacks."
    What About Pot’s Calming Effect?

    But isn't marijuana suppposed to be relaxing?

    Well, yes and no. Marijuana seems to have a wide range of effects on people and can be quite different for each individual. Many regular smokers report feeling relaxed, high, happy, and peaceful, along with sleepiness and "the munchies' — extreme thirst and hunger.

    But numerous other people, especially those who smoke only occasionally, report feeling depressed, anxious, and paranoid, along with a number of physical symptoms including tremors and breathing irregularities.

    Scientists believe smoking marijuana puts a strain on your heart although are not sure whether it is the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) itself or other substances within the inhaled smoke, such as carbon monoxide and burnt plant particles, that have negative effects on the heart.

    Previous studies have shown marijuana causes increased heart rate, fluctuations in blood pressure, and a decreased ability for the blood to carry oxygen. The heart is both working harder and getting less oxygen, a situation that increases heart attack risk.

    Marijuana could also trigger a heart attack by disrupting the cholesterol plaques that line the blood vessels of people with artery disease. If pieces of plaque break off they can clog the vessels that carry oxygen to the heart and ultimately cause a heart attack.

    ABC News.com /June, 2014


    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. natey7
    Unless you're talking about synthetics, there hasn't actually been one death caused from Marijuana itself to date as far as I know..
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Nope. We're talking regular weed. Here's two different looks at a recent study on marijuana's affect on the heart one from WedMD and one from NORMAL. There's a ton of article--boasting both viewpoints--on this online. I guess the real answer is still up for grabs, but it's still always good for indulges to stay informed for the sake of their health. ;)


  3. natey7
    Are we talking about Crack??

    All in all I would say it depends where the person is grabbing from. Pots stronger these days and can have who knows what in it.
    Anxiety or a racing heart can be a bit confusing to some.
    If you got a reliable or trusted source, or "medical marijuana" for that matter than you don't really have anything to worry about in my opinion (unless you're someone who shouldn't be smoking Weed or are doing something you shouldn't be).
    First time I've heard about that risk though.
    I wouldn't be surprised with all the new "stronger" shit they've been bringing out for who knows how long now though. I can't even imagine how it is now.
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    I fully agree. Now, if we can only get the actual facts based on accurate trial tests, we'd all be happy campers.
  5. natey7
    I bet people have been debating over this for years.
  6. hookedonhelping
    People have heart attacks all the time. People also smoke cannabis all the time. It would be really difficult to make the case that cannabis was the cause of an attack of a heart that was already vulnerable to cardiac issues.

    Let's be logical here. If you have a heart condition, don't use drugs.
  7. JackARoe
    Agreed. What if a person has fried foods that day that tipped the scales on the clogged arteries? Or the stress type of heart attacks (Takotsubo) that hit perfectly healthy people who may even exercise. That type of heart attack builds from stress. It is too difficult to point and say without a doubt cannabis has caused a fatal heart attack.

    Besides, the emotional heart that cannabis has brought to music, art, and all other human creations as well as heartfelt laughs with friends and emotional bonding more than makes up for the slight chance that cannabis may cause a stress heart attack. :thumbsup:
  8. Beenthere2Hippie
    Hey guys- Of course it's going to be tough--maybe near impossible at this time in medical history--to determine whether pot smoking is tied in any way to heart health. But sooner or later we need to know any and all possible dangers associated with recreational pot use. You aren't suggesting that we don't strive to seek valid and proven knowledge on the subject, are you?

    I'm a recreational pot smoker and have been for many years. Of course I don't want any new science coming around to rock my down-time boat, but I equally want to know about any and all the legitimate facts that may come to light on the subject for my and other's health's sake. Otherwise, how else can we make informed decisions?

    FYI - I post news stories whether they match my personal viewpoint or they don't so that we can all be aware of what is being said around the world. Knowledge is power, regardless of whether we agree with all of it or not.
  9. Gallama
    I agree with Beenthere, it seems as if there is a bit of denial here because nobody wants to believe that marijuana can be dangerous. However we should look at this issue without bias and analyze the facts. I'm not saying this study is conclusive, but it certainly raises questions. I hope further studies are done on the relation between heart attacks and marijuana use.
  10. hookedonhelping
    Of course I want sound evidence to support such claims, I just know that at this time that would be a very difficult connection to make scientifically and that is why they need to legalize it so professionals can provide that evidence if it does indeed support the matter at hand.

    I also want to point out that I have seen a good deal of documentaries showing people in their 80's smoking cannabis to ease arthritis and other ailments so it may be that people with high cholesterol, blood pressure are more vulnerable to issues like this. Again, pure speculation as the science has not proven this.
  11. prescriptionperil
    Since burned marijuana contains more toxins than heart attack causing cigarettes, perhaps smoke is the culprit. Nicotine could be a factor, but nicotine cessation products aren't as toxic. Studies on vaping conducted by NORML showed a drastic reduction in toxins. Eating cannabis is likely safest.
    Since this study was conducted on marijuana smokers the delivery system isn't the safest.

    Tachycardia from cannabis was noted back in 2001. Unless your heart rate is exremely high, tachycardia
    is not a medical emergency.
  12. natey7
    I still believe actual "medical marijuana" can definitely be helpful for some people (if they are going through enough that is), rather than prescription pain pills for example. But obviously there are dangers to smoking pot, psychologically for sure (just like using any other drug).
    They do say it effects everyone differently.
    Marijuana's probably one of those things that people can actually debate about for hours.
  13. Fidget247
    I think organically grown outdoor weed is still the best option!
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