Ot­tawa Heart In­sti­tute: Pot could be bad for your heart

Seaway News - - Opin­ion -

OT­TAWA, On­tario – The Se­nate passed legislation on Tues­day, June 19 that will le­gal­ize mar­i­juana in Canada. On Wed­nes­day, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau an­nounced that Oct. 17, 2018 will be the of­fi­cial day that recre­ational mar­i­juana be­comes le­gal. The Ot­tawa Uni­ver­sity Heart In­sti­tute how­ever warns in a press re­lease that when it comes to the love muscle, it is still un­known what dam­age mar­i­juana might do.

“There is ex­ist­ing ev­i­dence that mar­i­juana use may lead to quicker on­set of ex­er­cise-in­duced angina dur­ing a stress test among peo­ple with heart dis­ease. This sug­gests an­other rea­son why it is not a good idea to use mar­i­juana,” said Robert Reid, PHD. Reid, who is a behavioural sci­en­tist with the Ot­tawa Heart In­sti­tute also noted that mar­i­juana could be dan­ger­ous for those with an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat, or ar­rhyth­mia, be­cause it ac­ti­vates the sym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem

Ac­cord­ing to the Heart In­sti­tute, mar­i­juana in­creases heart rate and blood pres­sure. if smoked, mar­i­juana re­duces the ca­pac­ity of your blood to trans­port oxy­gen through­out the body and both these fac­tors in­crease strain on the heart muscle.

The Heart In­sti­tute also warned about a pos­si­ble con­nec­tion be­tween mar­i­juana and de­pres­sion.

“We re­ally don’t know whether mar­i­juana causes de­pres­sion, said Dr. An­drew Pipe, an MD with the Heart In­sti­tute. “Or whether peo­ple who are de­pressed use mar­i­juana at least in part as an ef­fort to self-med­i­cate. Ei­ther way, it un­der­scores yet an­other area where more re­search is needed.”

Dr. Reid and Dr. Pipe rec­om­mend pa­tients con­sult their physi­cians about the ef­fects reg­u­lar mar­i­juana use could have on their bod­ies.

“Based on what ev­i­dence there is, as well as com­mon sense, try­ing this newly le­gal drug should be ap­proached with cau­tion and that, if you must, then don’t smoke it,” said both Dr. Pipe and Dr. Reid.

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