A new study wants to suggest that it can.
The American Heart Association is warning people that smoking or vaping cannabis could create an increased risk for long-term heart-health problems.
In some cases, inhaling the substance could trigger a heart attack or palpitations, AHA doctors said in a new report based on previous research. That’s because THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis that gives users a high, can cause the arteries to constrict and blood pressure to rise, leading to such a response.
Research hasn’t found a direct link between cannabis use and heart problems
Like seemingly every study that claims cannabis is harmful, there were caveats to the doctors’ suggestions about cannabis and heart health.
The studies they cited throughout their paper were short-term and used self-reported data, so experts couldn’t conclude whether cannabis use directly causes heart attacks and palpitations.
For that reason, Page said there’s an “urgent” need for more in-depth and conclusive studies on potential links between cannabis use and heart health.
Additionally, some research has shown CBD, one of the non-psychoactive components in cannabis, could potentially be beneficial for the heart due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This seems to go against the narrative that cannabis is bad for your heart, when CBD can actually help it.
Are Edibles the Answer?
While this study has some holes in it, the response from participants still leads to the question of whether there are safer alternatives.
It’s no secret that combusting plant material and inhaling it isn’t great for your health. So if edibles remove inhaling smoke entirely, it would make sense they would be the safe alternative.
However, plenty of cannabis users claim that they can only get the desire effect they seek through smoking. Due to the differences in how edibles and smoking interact with your body, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done comparing the two ingestion methods.
More Research Needed, As Always
As with every pre-emptive cannabis study that is released, more research is needed to actually confirm the relationship between smoking cannabis and hearth health. This is just one study, conducted in a short time frame, with self-reporting from participants.
We wouldn’t call that the strictest testing environment.
With that said, more research is needed. But not just into the issue of cannabis and heart health, but everything! Due to federal law, it is extremely difficult for scientists and health officials to truly study cannabis in all of its forms.
These restrictions aren’t just delaying the spread of information about the benefits of cannabis, they also cause harm to those that may have adverse reactions to cannabis, but no trustworthy studies to confirm their problem comes from cannabis.
Always remember when reading cannabis studies that research is very limited and the material used to test isn’t always the same that you would get at a dispensary due to the scientists’ access. Never take a single study as fact, as you can likely do a google search to find the opposite results from another study.
Research is important, especially when it comes to your health!