Marijuana and the heart
Marijuana has an immediate effect on the heart. Within minutes of smoking marijuana, heart rate increases by as much as 50 beats per minute.
This can increase even more if other drugs are used.
It causes blood vessels to relax and dilate which allows blood to flow more easily. This causes a drop in blood pressure.
What often happens is a small increase in blood pressure after consumption but this is followed by a fall in blood pressure, especially after large doses of marijuana.
Blood pressure drops when the user is standing and increases slightly when they are seated. This causes dizziness and the risk of fainting if they suddenly stand up.
This combination of increased heart rate (known as ‘tachycardia’) and lowered blood pressure increases the risk of a heart attack. This can be as much as 4 times the normal risk and occurs within the first hour after smoking marijuana.
The problem is that this increased heart rate forces the heart to work harder than normal which means that it pumps less efficiently and reduces blood follow around the body.
This also reduces essential oxygen to the heart which can lead to conditions such as ischemia and even a heart attack.
All of these effects are dangerous for anyone who has a cardiovascular condition or high blood pressure (hypertension).
Guide to Marijuana
- Guide to Marijuana
- What is marijuana?
- Short history of marijuana
- How is marijuana used?
- Types of marijuana
- Herbal cannabis (marijuana)
- Cannabis oil
- Genetic predisposition and marijuana
- Addiction and marijuana
- Effects of marijuana
- Short term effects of marijuana
- Long term effects of marijuana
- Physical effects of marijuana
- Marijuana and the brain
- Marijuana and the heart
- Marijuana and the lungs
- Marijuana and fertility
- Psychological effects of marijuana
- Marijuana and memory
- Marijuana and learning
- Marijuana and social behaviour
- Marijuana and psychosis
- Marijuana and insomnia
- Marijuana and anxiety
- Marijuana and depression
- Marijuana and cancer
- Marijuana and pregnancy
- Medical use of marijuana
- The law and marijuana
- Young people and marijuana
- Treatment for marijuana addiction
- Marijuana facts and fiction
- Marijuana FAQs