Like any worthwhile relationship, if we truly care about it, we will enjoy its good aspects and endure its bad aspects. So fellow weed fanatics, if we truly love pot, we must be open to both the good and potentially harmful effects of marijuana. We’ve got to understand that expanded legalization and acceptance of cannabis will only occur through proper research and education about our beloved plant, and that might include some things we simply won’t want to hear every now and then. Like the recent study reported by CBS News that cannabis use could be linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart failure in adults.

So here goes

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An analysis of 20 million hospital records performed by Dr. Aditi Kalla, a cardiologist from Philadelphia’s Einstein Medical Center found that those patients who had admitted to pot use had a 26 percent higher risk of stroke, a 10 percent higher risk of heart failure, and had greater ties to heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, as well as smoking and drinking habits compared to non-smoking patients.

Speaking of the results, Dr. Kalla explained,

Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in these patients. That leads us to believe that there is something else going on besides just obesity or diet-related cardiovascular side effects.

Indeed, there were limitations

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Naturally, the analysis of hospital records does not always paint the full picture and researchers were aware of this. They never spoke directly to any patients whose records they obtained to find out the quantity or quality or weed being consumed. Nor could they clearly differentiate which methods of ingestion were used (edibles, vaping, smoking, etc.)

Yet, Dr. Kalla still sees an indelible association between marijuana use and heart problems. “More research will be needed to understand the pathology behind this effect,” she stated.

As is widely known, cannabis has a slew of amazing health benefits that many around the world are benefitting from. But marijuana’s effect on the heart, particularly when it comes to frequent smoking is a growing concern for many scientific researchers. The American College of Cardiology states,

In humans, marijuana use causes tachycardia, peripheral vasodilation, postural hypotension, and elevation in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures in supine position. Tachycardia is believed to be a result of increased sympathetic nervous system activity after marijuana use.

While cannabis may not be as harmful as cigarettes or many pharmaceuticals when it comes to heart damage, there is growing evidence that chronic use does have its drawbacks.

Everything in moderation

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What’s the bottom line? Even something as benign as water can be dangerous when we consume too much. Just like with anything else, cannabis use in moderation and/or using micro-dosing techniques can go a long way towards protecting our health.

Let’s allow all the facts to come out, and if we sincerely love our cannabis, we will become familiar with the safest ways to practice its use. Dr. Kalla states,

Like all other drugs, whether they’re prescribed or not prescribed, we want to know the effects and side effects of this drug. It’s important for physicians to know these effects so we can better educate patients, such as those who are inquiring about the safety of cannabis or even asking for a prescription for cannabis.