Cannabis may help you live through a heart attack

Published Jun 11, 2019 01:03 p.m. ET
Credit: Tharakorn

October 17, 2018, became the reality of legalization of the marijuana plant. This opened a clear legal pathway for more research and additional medicinal use of the plant. Medical marijuana use is a benefit in the treatment of inflammation and pain, along with many other medical complaints.

Research has documented that the person who consumes cannabis has a better chance that they will not suffer cardiogenic shock leading to the need for an angioplasty procedure.

The study conducted by the University of Colorado suggests that cannabis could be the agent needed in decreasing the in-hospital mortality of patients suffering a cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association states that 1 in 3 deaths in the US are related to heart attacks. This results in about 2,200 deaths daily.

Patients who consumed medical marijuana before they experienced an AMI or acute myocardial infarctions were found to have a better chance of survival post-AMI.

The acceptance and legalization of marijuana are opening the pathway for more research into this human medical dilemma. Research that has been conducted shows epidemiological proof that young men who use marijuana are at risk of a heart attack within one hour of them using the herb. This result is not the same for women who do not show an increase in a heart attack occurs.

The cannabis research conducted on older men and their health conditions, including heart health, has a long way to go. A study in Canada illustrated the case of an older man who suffered from coronary artery disease who were taking cardiac medication and consumed a THC lollipop to help him handle the pain and aid him in sleeping.


There may be a correlation with THC and the man’s onset of a heart attack. A large amount of THC that was in the lollipop (90mg) that the older man used to help him handle the pain, and nausea he was experiencing, could be the reason for his heart attack. The anxiety and hallucinations he experienced may be due to the THC effects in the lollipop. When the effects of the cannabis wore off, so did the man’s chest pain.

Credit: Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

A clear warning from the medical field is that more information and research is needed when medical marijuana is used by the older generation. This population appears to be more susceptible to heart conditions occurring. The person who has a high risk of developing a cardiovascular condition should not use THC. However, the use of CBD, which is the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is a much better alternative. CBD is known to calm anxiety, often accompanying heart conditions in the elderly.

The method of consumption and tolerance of cannabis’s THC potion of the plant must be considered. The experienced user will have fewer side-effects than the person who is a new consumer. Eating an edible will produce more exposure to the THC that using a vaporizer.

Whenever there is an interaction of marijuana with prescribed medicinal drugs for health issues, particularly heart medications, the medical doctor’s advice and knowledge concerning the interactions should be discussed and monitored.



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