Text in this blue, is from the authors of the Marijuana Medical Review:
“Over the past eight years several scientific articles have suggested a link between increased risk of heart attack immediately after smoking marijuana, particularly for middle-age smokers. One European study noted numerous cases of cardiovascular related deaths in young adults where only THC and no other drugs were found on postmortem examination. In recent years marijuana has become a leading cause of drug-related medical emergency room episodes.
This is not new. In 1993 an individual who signed himself “Doper Professor” lamented to the editor of High Times Magazine that after ingesting marijuana-laced pastry with his wife, “Our pulse rates were very high,. . . This was accompanied by a lot of vomiting, which, combined with passing in and out of consciousness, seemed to me a potentially life-threatening condition. We called for medical help from our hotel room. We were so stoned that it required careful planning and discussion to figure out how to use the telephone and call the hotel desk. The proprietor of the hotel (who was not pleased) got a doctor by phone, who later showed up and gave us some Valium for a hefty fee. Needless to say, this quite spoiled our visit and indicated that as far as drugs were concerned, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.”
A new article from the February 2008 International Journal of Clinical Practice, 62, 308-313, links atrial fibrillation (AF) to marijuana smoking and advises clinicians that “Marijuana smoking may be associated with atrial fibrillation. Thus, cannabis use could be a cause of atrial fibrillation especially in young individuals without any known predisposing factor.” The authors noted that “Compelling evidence is accumulating that cannabis has significant haemodynamic [change in blood pressure] and electrophysiological [tachycardia, atrial fibrillation] effects on the cardiovascular system,” but that only healthy young male smokers had been involved in most of the experimental protocols. “
Onstage, just as he took a hit on the marijuana, Author Jack Herer, “The Emperor Wore No clothes”, is said to have had a stroke at Bill Conde’s “Hempfest” a few years back. Somehow, Jack knows his stroke was not from a spike in blood pressure although (down the road, while I was protesting the hempfest), I was told he was smoking pot at the time.
(Bill Conde – mike in hand.) Bill left the country and now lives in Belize.
The authors concluded that Atrial Fibrillation (AF) “should be included in the cardiovascular complications of marijuana smoking. Physicians should be aware of this particular association and carefully investigate patients with marijuana related palpitations, dizziness or syncope. On the other hand, whenever a young patient without predisposing factors develops AF the possibility of marijuana smoking should be examined as a potential cause. Although the exact clinical impact of this association is not clear, yet its incidence in the general population is probably underestimated.”