Is It Smoking Weed Or Just Smoking That’s Bad For Your Heart?

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

Smoking cannabis has been proven to expose you to the same irritants, toxins, and carcinogens as smoking cigarettes. In addition, when smoking cannabis, users often inhale more deeply than tobacco smokers, which leads to more exposure to tar.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

Cannabis has been the target of a decades-long public relations effort portraying it as a gateway drug, a drug that promotes a lackadaisical attitude, and schizophrenia, a substance that supposedly leads to a life of crime. As cannabis is being made legal in more and more states, a lot of people aren’t taking stock of these arguments any longer. And as more people use cannabis responsibly, the discussion has shifted to weed’s unique health benefits and cons, which are less alarming.

Cannabis contains cannabinoids that elevate the heart rate and make it work more intensely. It raises the heart rate and makes the heart pump faster. Some studies have shown that smoking cannabis, just like smoking cigarettes, can increase your vulnerability to heart diseases. Though it is likely your heart works harder when using cannabis, more research is needed to know for sure what exactly cannabis does to the health of your heart.

Cigarette smoking is widely recognized as one of the leading causes of heart disease. And as more states join the cannabis legalization train and more people smoke cannabis, it is worth considering how it is similar to cigarettes. Though data on the effects of marijuana on the body is limited, here is what we can gather so far about its impact on the heart. How Cannabis Affects the Heart Marijuana is filled with cannabinoids or psychoactive chemicals specific to the plant. A cannabinoid termed delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is the leading cause of a person’s psychoactive effects when they ingest or smoke the plant.

Cannabinoids increase the resting heart rate and make the heart pump more than average. As shown in a 2019 study, cannabis has three significant effects on the heart:


Cannabis Arteritis:  Heavy usage of cannabis can cause arteries to swell, blood vessel walls to deteriorate, and the flow of blood to the organs to be reduced.

Cannabis-induced Vasospasms: The contraction of the muscular wall of an artery, which causes the artery to become narrow and decrease the amount of blood that can pass through it, is called vasospasm.

Platelet aggregation: This is when the tiny blood cells called platelets clump together and begin to form clots, which will block blood vessels and decrease the flow of blood.

Smoking cannabis probably has more adverse effects on your heart than edibles.


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