As you likely know, the ways that weed affects your body can not always be described simply and easily, and it affects different people in different ways.
However, one way it affects your body that people often get worried about is how it impacts your heart rate.
Luckily, for this we do not have to rely exclusively on anecdotal evidence and there is actually solid research on this subject which is worth knowing and understanding if you consume cannabis in any form.
One of the main aspects of this is how cannabis impacts your cardiovascular health, and this has been specifically researched.
So, to understand if, and when weed raises your heart rate, we need to explain some basics. So, if you want to understand how weed affects your heart rate, keep reading!
Cannabis As A Vasodilator
Firstly, when you consume cannabis, there are the cannabinoids in the plant which will interact with your body and its endocannabinoid system. The interactions between the cannabinoids and this system are where the effects from weed originate.
The endocannabinoid system is interlinked with a wide range of different functions of your body, and knowing this is important.
For example, it will interact with your mood, your sleep, your appetite, and most importantly, your body’s cardiovascular system as well.
As mentioned in the subheading, cannabis is a vasodilator, and this means that weed will open your blood vessels.
This might be easy to understand in isolation, but you need to also understand how dilated blood vessels will impact the rest of your body and the changes that can occur because of this.
It is easy to think of your blood vessels like they are a hose in your garden. If you pinch the hose, the water will flow out of the smaller opening, but more pressure will build up as well.
So imagine that you no longer pinch the hose and that there is not a wide hose on the faucet, the water will flow freely, and there is less pressure.
This is similar to how your blood vessels work as well. Your blood will not flow as easily if your vessels are constricted and there can be more pressure in your blood as well.
So, if your blood vessels start to dilate, your blood will flow easier and the pressure will drop.
Your Cardiovascular System
So, now we know that weed dilates your blood vessels, how does this actually relate to your heart rate and how does this bring us closer to answering the question of weed increasing your heart rate.
Essentially, the weed will function as a vasodilator as previously mentioned, and this will actually directly impact your heart rate.
This is because your blood vessels begin to dilate, then your blood pressure will drop, then your heart is going to need to work harder to pump the blood.
If we return to the hose analogy from the previous section, the wider the hose opening, the more you’re going to need to pump the water if you want the pressure to stay the same as it was before.
This is the same with how your heart works. If you want your blood pressure to stay at a healthy level, you are going to need to make your heart work harder to maintain the blood pressure because the blood vessels are wider than before.
This means that to work harder, your heart rate will increase as well. There has been research into just how much harder your heart will need to work when it has consumed cannabis, and the study showed that your heart rate can increase by 20 to 50 beats a minute from the normal 70 or 80.
The heart rate can stay at this higher level for up to 3 hours after you have consumed the cannabis.
Your Heart Rate
So, if we look at the information from the 2 previous sections we can get the clear answer that yes, weed does impact your heart rate. It increases it, and this is because weed is dilating your blood vessels.
If you have an above average heart rate like this, this could make you more likely to suffer from heart attacks, and this can impact older people especially if they already have heart problems too.
However, for most people, especially if you do not suffer from any pre-existing heart conditions, the effect of the cannabis will not cause any major issues, especially when you start to build a tolerance to the weed.
Once this has happened you will notice that the effects, including the effects on the heart rate will decrease.
Another impact that cannabis can have on your body is that it has to do with pain relief, and this is why a lot of people who suffer from chronic pain use marijuana to help manage it.
There are cannabinoid compounds which interact with the receptors that are in your nerve cells, and doing this tends to slow down pain impulses, and this aids in easing discomfort.
It has also been proven that cannabinoids aid when it comes to lowering the effects of nausea as well as vomiting too.
Marijuana has shown to be great for inducing an appetite as well. Because of this, a lot of people who are suffering from the side effects from procedures like chemotherapy, like the unintentional weight loss often are prescribed medical marijuana.
However, this is why marijuana is often not prescribed with issues that could be exacerbated due to unwanted weight gain like diabetes.
Benefits And Risks
It is worth pointing out that there are still questions when it comes to the evidence that links marijuana and heart problems, but this is not to say that you should not always err on the side of caution when it comes to issues like these.
For example, most of the evidence that links marijuana to any heart attacks or strokes comes from people who have smoked marijuana specifically.
Because of this fact, it can be difficult to separate the effects of the cannabinoid compound on your cardiovascular system, from the effects and potential hazards that come from irritants and potential carcinogens that are in the smoke.
This is because cannabis smoke has been known to on occasion cause inflammation with the airways, as well as wheezing, and chest tightness too.
Because of this, if you have any lung diseases, it is strongly recommended that you do not smoke anything, even if it is just cannabis smoke without any tobacco products. Also, there are the links between marijuana and addiction.
While marijuana is not believed to be nearly as addictive as some other substances, including alcohol, if you suffer from mental health issues like addiction, or if this runs in your family, then it is worth assessing if smoking marijuana is worth the potential benefits.
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need about cannabis and its relation to your heart rate.
So, while yes, cannabis does increase your heart rate by dilating your blood vessels and making your heart work harder to keep up blood pressure, this will usually only cause issues if you have pre-existing heart issues.
However, these do not affect most people negatively, even if the increased bpm might be noticeable. Also, if you build up a tolerance, the effects of the marijuana on your blood vessels will lower over time.
It is always best to be careful when it comes to consuming cannabis, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions since these can be exacerbated by consuming cannabis. For example, blood pressure and heart issues in general can be a family issue.
So, if your family already suffers from a below average blood pressure, then putting extra stress on your system by frequently smoking cannabis could be a bad idea.
This is just one example, like the aforementioned addiction issues that can also be based in genetics as well. It is always recommended to be aware of potential health issues like this before self-prescribing doses of cannabis.
There are always ways you can work around this, but if you should do so, is another question. For example, if you have lung conditions, then edibles are a viable workaround, but if you have addictive habits, there are no workarounds that are as convenient as this.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, smoking CBD alone does not cause any heart problems. The only way it could be that CBD is broken down in your liver, and this could interfere with some heart medication. But other than this, no CBD does not impact your heart health.
If your resting heart rate is above 100 bpm, this is seen as too fast for most people, and if this is common, this could be a sign of a health condition. However, it is normal for your heart rate to increase when consuming cannabis, especially if you do not have much tolerance.
- 5 Best Weed T-Shirts For Women - June 26, 2023
- What To Wear To A Cannabis Café: 10 Awesome Options - June 26, 2023
- What Is Stoner Girl Clothing? All You Need To Know - June 26, 2023