The Effects of Weed Network covers many of the effects that marijuana has on the brain and lungs, but, up until this point, another important body component has been neglected thus far: the heart. Though the influence weed has on the brain and respiratory system overshadows the outcomes on the heart, especially the negative, the heart is certainly an organ that should not be ignored.
A Bump In Heart Rate
One immediate reaction the heart has when consuming weed is an elevated heart rate. This increase will vary in each individual, but a fair estimation is that heart rate will increase by roughly 30-40 beats per minute or BPM following use. Since a normal resting heart rate ranges from 60-80 BPM, this could be as much as a 50% increase in heart rate.
This isn’t necessarily damaging by itself since healthy exercise can achieve the exact same result. On the other hand, this fact could be very important for people who suffer from heart defects and have a hard time dealing with that sort of stress. If that type of person were to smoke weed several times a day, they could be potentially putting themselves at risk of heart attack.
Study Shows Remote Risk of Heart Attack
A study was conducted by Harvard Medical School and led by Dr. Murray Mittleman aimed at finding the effects weed has upon heart function and its potential dangers. They found marijuana users were as much as 5 times more likely to have a heart attack in the first hour after using marijuana. This was mostly attributed to the heightened heart rate that follows the use of marijuana. Dr. Mittleman stated, “Blood pressure increases then abruptly falls when the person stands up. This could precipitate a heart attack.”
When asked to explain why marijuana would have such a result on the heart, Mittleman could not give a complete answer. He felt it was possible that it could be attributed to the body’s reaction to THC, inhalation of the smoke itself, or possibly another cause not considered.
Before people get too concerned about it, they should realize that the chance of suffering a heart attack due to marijuana is remote. In fact, the study stated the possibility is as unlikely as 1 in 100,000. This risk increases gradually with age but is still extremely unlikely in any scenario.
Marijuana Minimal Risk to Heart
While marijuana certainly has an impact on the function of the heart, an individual shouldn’t be too concerned unless they have a substantial heart condition. Rationally speaking, the effect is relatively trivial.
I hope you will join me in my discussion about the positive and negative effects of weed by commenting below, joining the mailing list, or sending your questions in on a topic you would like to know more about.