Research finds medical cannabis may help prevent death from heart attacks

A study has found evidence that medical cannabis helps prevent death following heart-attacks.

Researchers at the University of Colorado launched a study in 2018 to investigate their hypothesis that due to cannabis being legalised around the world, leading to an increase in use, more people being admitted to hospital due to acute myocardial infarctions (AMI, the medical name for a heart attack) will, naturally, be cannabis users.

Due to a lack of research into “the impact of marijuana use on outcomes following cardiovascular incidents such as AMI,” the researchers analysed hospital records for 1,273,897 AMI patients. They then focused on the 3,854 among that group who admitted to marijuana use

The researchers believed that their study would find that cannabis users are at “an increased risk of adverse outcomes in AMI patients.”

They could not have been more wrong. As it turns out, the researchers found that medical cannabis users have a better chance of surviving heart attacks than those who do not use the medicinal herb:

“These results suggest that, contrary to our hypothesis, marijuana use was not associated with increased risk of adverse short-term outcomes following AMI.

“Furthermore, marijuana use was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality post-AMI.”

The researchers also found that patients who were medical cannabis users had “less coronary artery disease” than patients who did not report usage of cannabis.

However, perhaps fairly obviously due to some patients consuming their medical cannabis via inhalation, cannabis users were more likely to be placed on mechanical ventilation while being treated in the hospital.

Despite needing a machine to aid breathing, the research suggests that if you want to avoid dying due to a heart attack, it may be a wise decision to consider medical cannabis as regular part of your medication.

This research has the potential to be life-saving.

According to the British Heart Foundation:

“Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, that’s nearly 170,000 deaths each year – an average of 460 deaths each day or one every three minutes in the UK.

“There are around 7.4 million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK: 3.9 million men and 3.5 million women.”

While more research will be needed into the impact medical cannabis has on the long and short term effects of suffering a heart attack, studies like this show the great potential medical cannabis has for reducing the number of people who die from heart attacks.

By expanding access to medical cannabis to all on the NHS, the British Government could potentially help prevent millions of preventable deaths.

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