According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases claim 17.9 million lives each year globally. Cardiovascular disease is a general term that describes health conditions affecting both the heart and blood vessels. These include atherosclerosis, heart failure, coronary artery diseases, and peripheral artery disease, among other conditions.
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Medical marijuana has been shown to effectively help in the treatment and management of these conditions due to the important role that THC and CBD play in promoting heart health. Read on to find out all you need to know about the causes of cardiovascular diseases and the role of medical marijuana in their treatment.
Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases can occur as a result of a myriad of factors that are mostly tied to lifestyle. Some of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases include.
- High Cholesterol. While blood cholesterol is necessary for normal body function, high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood can lead to a buildup in the arteries. This narrows the arteries, thus constricting blood flow leading to a heart attack or stroke.
- Obesity and Lack of Exercise. Inactivity largely contributes to being overweight. Obesity increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as it makes other risk factors worse. Individuals with more abdominal fat are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer cardiovascular diseases as they are highly likely to have other risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, and even high blood pressure. What’s more, the high blood sugar damages blood vessels and nerves in the long run leading to cardiovascular diseases and heart failure.
- Smoking. When you smoke, the chemicals found in cigarettes makes your blood thicker and more likely to form clots. The clots may then clog blood vessels resulting in problems like heart attacks. Other than thickening the blood, smoking causes inflammation and swelling of blood vessels, accelerates plaque buildup, and damages the aorta, which may result in an aneurysm.
- Poor Hygiene. Poor hygiene practices like not washing hands and cleaning your mouth may introduce bacteria and viruses into your body. These microbes can enter into your bloodstream and cause heart diseases like endocarditis. Poor dental health has been linked to heart disease as a result of bacteria from the infected area getting into the bloodstream and affecting heart valves.
While the above causes are mostly reversible, risk factors such as family history, age, and sex can also predispose you to cardiovascular illnesses even though you may not have control over them. Luckily, medical marijuana can help you in managing cardiovascular problems without the harmful side effects that usually come with medication.
The Role of Cannabis in the Management of Cardiovascular Ailments
Medical marijuana has been shown to have positive effects in the treatment and management of cardiovascular ailments due to its potent components, THC, and CBD. Not only does medical marijuana maintain heart health, but also aids in boosting recovery from cardiovascular ailments like heart attacks. It also minimizes damage from cardiovascular problems as a result of aging. Below are some of the ways that medical marijuana is useful in the management of cardiovascular illnesses.
1. Relieves Pain and Inflammation. Cardiovascular problems such as heart attack often result in immense pain and inflammation of the heart and blood vessels. Since medical marijuana, particularly CBD, contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it helps in reducing pain as well as inflammation related to diabetes. Medical marijuana also reduces the production and release of cytokines responsible for causing inflammation.
2. Reduces Blood Pressure. Hypertension is one of the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular illnesses, and about 46% of Americans suffer from it. Medical marijuana helps manage and prevent cardiovascular illnesses from hypertension by relaxing arterial walls, which also promotes blood flow throughout the body. A study conducted on rats showed that the animals’ blood pressure dropped after being injected with THC. CBD has also been found to reduce resting blood pressure in humans, making medical marijuana a good candidate in preventing cardiovascular problems resulting from hypertension.
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3. Slows the Progression of Atherosclerosis. Plaque build-up is responsible for atherosclerosis and the resulting cardiovascular problems. THC particularly slows down the progression of atherosclerosis that results from high levels of glucose through a pleiotropic effect on the inflammatory cells. Medical marijuana also fights atherosclerosis by adjusting the brain’s response as well as how the cardiovascular system functions.
4. Stress Management. High levels of stress increase your risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and promoting plaque buildup. Since people with cardiovascular problems are more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety, medical marijuana promotes relaxation and calmness, which reduces stress and anxiety.
While medical marijuana may not outrightly cure cardiovascular illnesses, the above benefits make it useful in the treatment and management of cardiovascular diseases.
How MMJ Doctor Can Help
If you suffer from any cardiovascular disease, medical marijuana can help you prevent further complications as well as promote your heart health. MMJ Doctor can help you acquire a marijuana ID card so you can purchase your medical marijuana from any dispensary.
Your heart’s health is vital and you can have a healthy heart with your MMJ Card, click the button below!
Contact us today to get your marijuana ID card and begin your journey to better heart health.