After surviving a rare coronary artery dissection and massive heart attack while nine months pregnant, Nefertari has devoted her life to uplifting other heart patients and promoting heart health awareness.See all posts »
Puff, Puff, I'll Pass: Marijuana and Heart Disease
Although I have never indulged in the ever-so-popular pastime, recreational marijuana has been quite a hot topic in the media lately. For the first time in our nation's history, two states in our great country -- Colorado and Washington -- have voted to legalize marijuana for recreationial use.
I have listened to commentators go on and on debating the pros and cons of this action. Because I am not a smoker, I didn't have much of an interest in the subject -- until one reporter mentioned that marijuana may increase the risk of a heart event.
This raised a concern for me. I know that if marijauna is eventually legalized across the board, it will be regulated and come with government warnings (just like with alcohol and other legal drugs) before the general public is allowed to purchase it. My concern is that, just like with alcohol, there will be some that use it unaware of the potential health complications. Because of the drug's immense popularity, many may not take heed to the fact that marijuana can have ill effects on your health. For someone with heart disease, or those who are at risk for heart disease, marijuana can increase your heart rate by 20-100 percent. This can cause irregular heart beats and other complications in an otherwise healthy person, but could be dangerous for someone with a heart condition.
Marijuana use in nothing new. Cannabis has long been used for fiber (hemp), for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. While it is generally considered "safer" than other illegal drugs (and for that matter, even some legal drugs), many people are simply uniformed about its potentially negative health effects.
Because I am not a smoker, I will not give an opinion on whether or not marijuana should be made legal for recreational use. Does legalization automatically mean that everyone will be clamoring to smoke pot? Not necessarily. However, it is my hope that if it does become legal in all states (either for medical or recreational use) that the powers that be will give the information needed so that those with heart disease and other chronic health conditions can make informed decisions before consuming.