A Look at What Smoking Does to Your Heart – Cigarettes and Cannabis
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: October 21, 2020
While smoking back in the day was considered cool and trendy it became apparent 50 years ago that smoking cigarettes was potentially very harmful to your health. Away went the billboards and magazine ads glorifying the Marlboro Man and smoking as socially hip and in came the warning labels.
It is now widely known that choosing to smoke is to take a risk with your health. Cigarette smoking puts you at risk for:
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
- Liver cancer
- Erectile dysfunction
- Etopic Pregnancy
- Vision loss
- Colorectal cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Immune system issue
- Pregnancy complications
- Early aging
- Sleep issues
- Hearing loss
- Circulatory problems
- Makes taking birth control more dangerous
- Can cause premature baldness
- Slow wound healing
- Make menopause symptoms more exaggerated
- Lowers fertility
- May cause dementia
- May cause Alzheimer’s
- May contribute to early death
It really has no benefits other than a slight feeling or relaxation for a few fleeting moments and a very high propensity for addiction. If you have not started smoking, don’t. If you have, try to quit.
Then there is the topic of medical marijuana (cannabis) which does have many medicinal benefits; however, smoking is still an issue. 33 states currently have legalized doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat health problems, including chronic pain, anxiety, cancer, and depression and it can be a very helpful treatment for many. That doesn’t mean that it comes without any risks (just like any other medication). One of those risks is especially prevalent if you have heart disease or other heart-based issues.
Possible side effects of marijuana use:
- Memory issues
- Mood changes
- Lack of ambition
- Potential for addiction
- Potential for interactions with other medications
- While you cannot “overdose” you can feel like you did too much and be rendered rather incapacitated for a few hours which can be scary if you are not experienced.
Marijuana use can cause a rise in blood pressure and a quickening of the heartbeat rate. This can pose a danger to those with heart disease.
Some studies link marijuana use and atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart rhythm disorder. And some studies even suggest that it may raise the risk of a stroke for patients at risk.
This evidence is based on studies of people who used it by way of smoking. But even if you ingest marijuana, the drug can still affect your cardiovascular system. The plant contains more than 100 unique chemical components known as cannabinoids. The two most prevalent are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (which is what gives people a “high”), and cannabidiol, or CBD. These compounds bind to specific receptors in the brain.
Cannabinoids affect a number of medications prescribed in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, including blood pressure drugs; cholesterol-lowering statins; and drugs used to treat heart rhythm disorders. Before using marijuana – medical or recreational please check with your cardiologist to make sure it is safe for you.
The best advice is not to smoke at all. Your body was not designed to be able to inhale and tolerate smoke without repercussions. If you are in the Tampa, Florida area and looking for a great Cardiologist we would love to meet with you here in the office or by telehealth video visits at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates of Tampa Bay, Florida. Give us a call to schedule. 813-975-2800. We also invite you to visit us online to learn more by going to www.tampacardio.com.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio