People With Heart Conditions Should Not Be Taking Marijuana

The last quarter of the previous decade proved very fruitful for marijuana (and even its cousin plant, hemp), with more and more state laws allowing dispensaries to operate and distribute cannabis products. Canada, a first world country, even took a big leap by fully legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, with its medical marijuana sector following just behind.

Nevertheless, the world has been kinder to the drug that it is being seen at a more positive light than it was many decades ago.

In fact, a new report published this Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that more than 2 million Americans with heart conditions revealed that they have used marijuana in order to gain its many health benefits. However, the report also stated there are still many questions that remain about its effects on the heart.

One such question is whether it’s beneficial to use it before actual heart medications since studies show it can interact with common ones such as blood thinners and statins. This, per experts, has the potential to put patients at more risk than just taking their usual medication.

Furthermore, lead author Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan, a cardiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, also stated that using marijuana while on statin or blood thinner can change how the drug would affect the body. This is because the same enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the heart medications are the same ones that break down marijuana compounds. As such, using them side by side can change how effective the medications will be, or how they’ll even affect the body in the first place.

As such, people who insist on taking marijuana while on heart medication should tell their doctor or pharmacist first, so adjustments on the dosage can be made.

“The first step is having an open discussion with clinicians, because it does influence some parts of their care,” said Vaduganathan. ­He also added that certain heart patients should avoid marijuana entirely, such as those who are at high risk or are already hospitalized because of their heart problem.

Marijuana A picture taken on June 5, 2019 shows a man smelling a sample of Marijuana buds, often simply called weed or pot, which is the unprocessed form of the female cannabis plant, at the "Hemp Embassy" store in Milan, one of the first shops in Italy dedicated to cannabis. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images