Sunday June 16, 2019

Edible Marijuana May Affect Heart Health in Elderly, Says Study

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death

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Israel, Marijauna
An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel, Nov. 1, 2012. Late Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Israel's parliament unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana. VOA

With marijuana legalisation sweeping the US, an increasing number of people believe that “weed” is the safest recreational drug, and carries health benefits that outweigh its risks.

However, according to a new study, each marijuana formulation may affect and sometimes even compromise the cardiovascular system in older adults.

“Marijuana can be a useful tool for many patients, especially for pain and nausea relief. At the same time, like all other medications, it does carry risks and side effects,” said Alexandra Saunders from the Dalhousie University in Canada.

Cannabis flower (marijuana).

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, examined the case of a patient who developed crushing chest pain and myocardial ischemia after consuming most of a marijuana lollipop.

The “inappropriate dosing and oral consumption of marijuana resulted in distress that caused a cardiac event and subsequent reduced cardiac function,” Saunders said.

The report describes a 70-year-old man with stable coronary artery disease, taking the appropriate cardiac medications, who ate most of a lollipop that was infused with 90 mg of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) to relieve pain and aid sleep. The lollipop caused him to have a potentially serious heart attack.

According to the report, he consumed a much larger dose than the 7 mg that is typically ingested by smoking a single joint or taking the 2.5 mg starting dose of a synthetic THC.

Marijuana, Canada, israel
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The patient’s ingestion of an unusually large amount of THC caused the unexpected strain on his body from anxiety and fearful hallucinations and likely triggered the cardiac event, the researchers said.

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death.

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While previous research on marijuana-induced myocardial ischemia has mostly focused on younger patients, healthcare providers need to understand and manage cannabis use and its complications in older patients, particularly in those with cardiovascular disease, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Drinking Even 25 Cups of Coffee in a Day Not Bad for Heart, Says Study

The study was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in the UK

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Starbucks coffee
Starbucks coffee. Pixabay

There is good news for those who like their cup of coffee every morning. Drinking coffee, even up to 25 cups a day, is not as bad for arteries and heart as previously thought, says a study.

The researchers found that drinking coffee was not associated with stiffer arteries as previously thought.

Arteries carry blood containing oxygen and nutrients from heart to rest of the body. If they become stiff, it increases heart’s workload and raises the chance of heart attack or stroke

“Despite the popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it. While we can’t prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn’t as bad for arteries as previous studies would suggest,” said Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis for the research at the Queen Mary University of London.

For the study, involving 8,000 people in Britain, coffee consumption was categorised into three groups. Those who drink less than one cup a day, those who drink between one and three cups and those who drink more than three.

“Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and a lot is known about its physical effects,” said Sam Maglio, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada. Pixabay

No increased stiffening of arteries was associated with those who drank up to this high limit when compared with those who drank less than one cup a day, said the researchers.

“Although the study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake among the highest coffee consumption group was five cups a day. We would like to study these people more closely in our future work to help advise safe limits,” Fung said.

Also Read- Usage of Anti-depressants Raise Hip Fracture Risk in Elderly

“This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries,” said Metin Avkiran from British Heart Foundation.

The study was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in the UK. (IANS)