Cardiovascular Effects of Cannabis Usage

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Marijuana usage is common. While it may be, at times, contaminated by nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, or other recreational drugs, it has nevertheless well described physiological and pharmacological effects on the cardiovascular system, mediated by its major active cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and acting through two receptors, CB1 and CB2. There tends to be a biphasic response which may be dose related, a low to moderate dose causing tachycardia and a blood pressure rise, while a higher dose may lead to bradycardia and hypotension.Acute and/or chronic usage, especially if heavy, has been shown to result in an increased incidence of myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and sudden death, the latter probably related to an arrhythmia and/or reduced coronary blood flow. In addition, there are well described cerebral and peripheral vascular effects leading to transient ischemic episodes or stroke, and intermittent claudication respectively.These potentially serious complications hopefully will inject a note of caution to those with a chronic and/or heavy usage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies: Biology, Pharmacology, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128008270
ISBN (Print)9780128007563
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2017


  • Arrhythmias
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Cannabis
  • Cardiovascular
  • Marijuana
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Physiological/pathological effects
  • Sudden death

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