Although most people do not experience any real negative side effects when using medical marijuana, studies have shown the herb does cause an increased heart rate in some people.
This thumping derivative of the doobie is just par for the course for most, but for others, a pounding chest is enough to convince them that they are dying.
It is important to understand that medical marijuana, just like other medications, comes with some side effects. Some of the most common include, red eyes, dry mouth and increased appetite. No big deal. Depending on the person, however, dizziness, shallow breathing and slow reaction time can also occur. And then there is that pesky rapid heart rate – the one side effect that scares most first time users into turning their backs on weed for awhile.
When a marijuana user experiences a rapid heart rate (or tachyarrhythmia), the physical aftermath is similar to the sensation one feels subsequent to consuming too much caffeine. In fact, according to MarijuanaDoctors.com, “the experience is almost identical.” It is recommended that patients who have cardiovascular side effects as a result of marijuana speak to a doctor. These processionals may be able to offer suggestions.
Related: Does Medical Marijuana Help With High Blood Pressure?
But some of the latest evidence suggests that this annoying side effect is really nothing to be too concerned with. Researchers have examined dozens of studies pertaining to marijuana and heart health, and none of this scientific digging concluded that marijuana carries an increased risk for heart disease. “Evidence examining the effect of marijuana on cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes … is insufficient,” researchers concluded.
For those people who need the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but dread the increased heart rate, there are a few precautions they can take that may help put them at ease. Using a strain of marijuana that has a lower THC content is a good start. Strains like Harlequin and ACDC are a couple of fan favorites. It may also be beneficial for the user to experiment with microdosing. This is a practice where lower doses of cannabis are consumed throughout the day. It basically allows the cannabis user to experience the therapeutic benefits of the herb without the intensity (or side effects) of the high.
Whatever the course of action a patient takes, a rapid heart rate should not be a deterrent to future marijuana use. Most medical professionals will have ideas on how to tame this side effect. Chances are the situation can be easily remedied by simply adjusting dosage.
This article was originally published on TheFreshToast.com.
About Mike Adams: Mike Adams is a contributing writer for The Fresh Toast, covering the health, wellness, and scientific sides of the cannabis industry.