More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Marijuana Tied to Hypertension Risk
by NICHOLAS BAKALAR, New York Times Well
August 21, 2017

Marijuana use may be a cause of high blood pressure, a new study reports.

Researchers studied 332 deaths among 1,213 people participating in a larger health study, of whom 57 percent were marijuana users. They had used marijuana for an average of 12 years, and the longer they used it, the more likely they were to have hypertension. The study is in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

After controlling for many health and behavioral variables, including a prior diagnosis of high blood pressure, they found that compared with nonusers, marijuana users had more than three times the risk of death from hypertension-related causes.

In addition to being a risk for heart disease, hypertension can lead to kidney disease, heart failure and aneurysm. The scientists also noted a link to cardiovascular disease and stroke, both also caused by hypertension, but it was not statistically significant.

The researchers acknowledge the difficulty of measuring frequency and quantities of marijuana use, and the likelihood that illegal use is underreported. The lead author, Barbara A. Yankey, an epidemiologist at Georgia State University, urged caution in interpreting what she called ?an exploratory study.?

Still, she said, ?There is a possibility that marijuana use is related to deaths with hypertension as an underlying cause. People who use marijuana should have regular medical checkups to assess their cardiovascular health.?

Daniel E.
Weed is not good for your heart, studies say - CNN
August 5, 2020

"The American Heart Association recommends that people not smoke or vape any substance, including cannabis products, because of the potential harm to the heart, lungs and blood vessels," said Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, the deputy chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association, in a statement...

"Cannabis smoke contains components similar to tobacco smoke," Page said, and studies show tobacco-like increases in carbon monoxide and tar in a weed smoker's blood after smoking marijuana, regardless of the THC content.

Chest pain, heart attacks, heart rhythm disturbances and other serious heart conditions are associated with both tobacco and marijuana carbon monoxide intoxication, the statement said.

For anyone with existing heart disease, risks go up. Smoking weed has triggered heart attacks, a higher risk of strokes and heart failure in people with underlying heart disease, studies show.

In comparison, CBD, or cannabidiol, one of the other 80 chemicals in cannabis, does not give the "high" typically associated with THC. Nor does it appear to cause harm to the heart...

There is one caveat to all these research findings: Existing studies on marijuana and the heart are "short-term, observational and retrospective studies, which identify trends but do not prove cause and effect," Page said...

Daniel E.
Marijuana and Lung Health | American Lung Association

Smoke is harmful to lung health. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.

Beyond just what's in the smoke alone, marijuana is typically smoked differently than tobacco. Marijuana smokers tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which leads to a greater exposure per breath to tar.

Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens found in directly-inhaled marijuana smoke, in similar amounts if not more...There is concern that it could cause harmful health effects, especially among vulnerable chilren in the home. Additional research on the health effects of secondhand marijuana smoke is needed.

Bottom Line

  • Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung, and regular use leads to chronic bronchitis and can cause an immune-compromised person to be more susceptible to lung infections.
  • No one should be exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.
  • Due to the risks it poses to lung health, the American Lung Association strongly cautions the public against smoking marijuana as well as tobacco products.
  • More research is needed into the effects of marijuana on health, especially lung health.

Daniel E.
Can Smoking Marijuana Increase Your Chances of Getting the Coronavirus?
April 29, 2020

In the United States, we seem to have a higher rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who are under the age of 50 -- much higher compared with other countries. One of the possible reasons could be that this country has higher rates of vaping and marijuana use. So, one hypothesis is that vaping or smoking cigarettes or marijuana could be one of the factors that put young people at risk of acquiring this infection.

The body is smart enough to protect us from infections that are in the air. But vaping and smoking marijuana can suppress our natural defense systems. So, it is very possible that smoking marijuana could increase someone's chances of getting infections such as COVID-19.

A lot of marijuana-derived vaping products are often modified at home to make them more intense. Because the ingredients are hard to track, this can be dangerous. We do know that smoking marijuana itself, like in a joint, can increase the risk of certain lung infections, especially fungal infections.

In general, the rule of thumb is that the lungs really need to breathe clean air. If you are inhaling a substance that contains THC or CBD for a supposed medical treatment, consider a more conventional option that doesn't affect the lungs.
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