Learn More the Latest News About Heart Damage From Daily Marijuana Usage, Cannabis Use May Affect Post-op Results, and Vaping CBD is Riskier than Nicotine

In today’s cannabis health news, learn more about a new study indicating that daily marijuana use increases the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) by a third compared to never using marijuana. Meanwhile, a study reveals that surgical patients with cannabis abuse problems are at a larger risk for complications, including sudden cardiac death, after anesthesia. Lastly, a recent study demonstrates that vaping cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical contained in cannabis, causes more severe lung damage than vaping nicotine.

Research Shows Heart Damage From Daily Marijuana Usage

Original Source: Study offers concerning insight into how daily marijuana use can affect your heart

According to a new study, daily marijuana use increases the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) by 30%.

“A increasing body of evidence implies that cannabis is not wholly without danger and may actually induce cardiovascular disease,” stated main study author Dr. Ishan Paranjpe, a Stanford University resident physician. Sunday’s American College of Cardiology annual meeting will feature the unpublished findings.

Paranjpe said, “Thus, the decision to consume cannabis must be carefully balanced against the possibility for significant cardiac disease.”

Plaque buildup in heart arteries causes coronary artery disease. CAD, also known as atherosclerosis, is the most common type of heart disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. According to the CDC’s website, “some people, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack.”

Consuming less than monthly

Data from All of Us Research Program participants was used in the study. The National Institutes of Health initiative collects health data from 1 million or more Americans throughout time.

Participants completed a cannabis use survey before enrolling. The information was used to categorize respondents into five groups: daily users (4,736), weekly users (2,720), monthly users (2,075), those who used once or twice in three months (8,749), and those who never used (0,736). (39,678 people). After a few years, the researchers compared those categories to individuals’ medical records.

They observed that daily cannabis users were 34% more likely to develop coronary artery disease than non-users.

According to the study, once-a-month marijuana users were safe.

Even after taking into account age, sex, and significant cardiovascular risk factors such high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcohol usage, the results remained the same.

In an email, Paranjpe noted the study used Mendelian randomization (MR) to calculate risk, unlike prior studies. To identify a modifiable risk factor’s causative effect, the MR technique examines gene variants.

Cannabis has been linked to CAD in other studies, but there may be confounders. Paranjpe remarked, “Our MR analysis reveals this association may be directly causative.”

Cannabis and heart disease

Marijuana damages the heart and blood vessels, but why? According to the CDC, it quickly raises heart rate and blood pressure.

The government claims marijuana smoke has many of the same hazardous chemicals as cigarette smoke.

In 2020, the American Heart Association advised against smoking or vaping any substance, including cannabis.

The AHA’s guidance then cited studies showing that smoking THC-containing cannabis might cause cardiac rhythm irregularities like tachycardia and atrial fibrillation within one hour. THC (marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient)

In persons with heart disease, smoking cannabis can cause heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.

Interestingly, the new study was unable to determine whether different types of cannabis use, such as smoking pot versus eating edibles, affected CAD risk. Yet, since THC reaches to the brain faster when smoked, the researchers suggest studying other consumption techniques and their effects on the heart.

Cannabis Use May Affect Post-op Results

Original Source: Level of cannabis use may determine post-op outcomes

Anesthesiologists at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that surgical patients with cannabis use disorder had higher likelihood of a 30-day hospital readmission than those who did not use cannabis.

Cannabis use disorder patients were more likely to need critical care after surgery than non-users. Those whose cannabis usage was not a disorder had lower likelihood of needing advanced health care following surgery and shorter hospital stays than those who never used cannabis.

Researchers examined data from Boston non-cardiac surgery patients between 2008 and 2020. The report appeared in The Lancet’s eClinical Medicine.

In this hospital registry study, corresponding author Maximillian S. Schaefer, director of BIDMC’s Center for Anesthesia Research Excellence, and colleagues reviewed data from 210,639 adult patients undergoing noncardiac surgery between January 2008 and June 2020. More than 16,000 patients, or 7.7 percent, used cannabis before surgery, of which 14,045 (87 percent) were non-medical users and 2,166 (13 percent) had a cannabis use problem. 24,516 individuals, or 12%, needed advanced postprocedural health care, including 1,465 non-medical cannabis users, 418 cannabis use disorder patients, and 22,633 non-users.

Cannabis users were younger, more male, and more likely to have depression, anxiety, and schizoaffective disorders. Cannabis users had greater substance use disorders linked to alcohol, cocaine, IV drugs, prescription medications, and psychedelics.

Schaefer said, “As these comorbidities have been associated with increased complications including arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death after anesthesia, a history of cannabis use disorder might serve as an indicator of potentially complicating factor for patients undergoing anesthesia that in turn contribute to the requirement of higher-level health care utilization after surgery.”

He said, “We hope our data helps clinicians understand how diverse patterns of cannabis usage might represent different patient demographics, which in turn translates into distinct perioperative risk profiles.”

The scientists saw cannabis use increasing from 5 percent in 2008 to 14 percent by 2020 and found greater rates of cannabis use among surgery patients than earlier studies. While the scientists acknowledge the discrepancy could be due to regional consumption patterns, they suggest their inclusion of ongoing self-reported non-medical cannabis users based on structured pre-admission interviews paints a more accurate picture than findings that identified patients’ cannabis use on diagnostic codes alone.

“This cohort shows a distinctively diverse patient demographic of more general non-medical users,” Schaefer added. “These difference findings in patients who self-identified as persistent, non-medical cannabis users without a disease strongly imply that future studies ought to distinguish these two patient populations. Diagnostic code-based cannabis use identification may not apply to most mainstream cannabis users.”

First author Elena Ahrens, Luca J. Wachtendorf, Laetitia S. Chiarella, Sarah Ashrafian, Aiman Suleiman, Tim M. Tartler, Basit A. Azizi, Guangqing Chen, Amnon A. Berge, Denys Shay, Valerie Banner-Goodspeed, Haobo Ma, and Kevin P. Hill of BIDMC; Bijan Teja of University of Toronto; and Matthias Eikermann of Albert Einstein College of Medicine were co-authors.

Vaping CBD Causes Greater Lung Harm Than Nicotine

Original Source: Vaping CBD causes more severe lung damage than vaping nicotine, new study shows

A Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center study discovered that vaping cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana component, causes greater lung damage than nicotine. Vaping nicotine, not CBD, has been studied for its health implications until recently. Smoking cannabis has been studied, but vaping cannabinoids like CBD has not.

The Roswell Park team led by Yasmin Thanavala, Ph.D., of the Department of Immunology undertook the first study comparing the acute pulmonary effects of vaporized CBD and nicotine. “Not all vaping is the same: differential pulmonary consequences of vaping cannabidiol versus nicotine,” a Thorax study, presents the findings.

Vaping involves heating nicotine- or CBD-containing liquids to create an aerosol that can be inhaled. The team compared two commercial vaping products: a CBD product with 50 mg/mL of CBD (natural flavoring) dissolved in a solution of medium chain triglycerides—fats from coconut or palm oils—and a nicotine product with 5.0% nicotine (Virginia Tobacco flavor) dissolved in a solution of propylene glycol, a synthetic food additive, and vegetable glycerin, made from plant oils.

The preclinical investigation exposed in vivo models and in vitro human cell cultures to filtered air, nicotine aerosols, or CBD aerosols for two weeks. Dr. Thanavala believes this is the first study on lung immune cell types and indications of damage and inflammation after in vivo inhalation exposure.

Researchers found:

CBD aerosols caused more and more lung focal lesions than nicotine aerosols.

CBD aerosol dramatically increased MPO activity compared to nicotine aerosol. Enzyme MPO causes lung cell damage and inflammation.

CBD aerosols increased lung inflammation and oxidative stress.

CBD aerosols killed pure human neutrophils 44.5% faster than nicotine (21%). Lung neutrophils fight bacteria, viruses, and fungus.

CBD aerosols damaged the lung epithelial barrier and were more hazardous to human small airway epithelial cells.

CBD aerosols reduced pulmonary interstitial macrophages more than nicotine aerosols (11,460 cells in CBD-vape vs. 27,727 cells in nicotine vape). Pulmonary interstitial macrophages fight infection and inflammation.

Dr. Thanavala observes that many individuals define “smoking” as smoking combustible cigarettes, therefore healthcare providers must focus on a patient’s smoking history.

“Vaping cannabis may induce severe lung harm, increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, impair preventive immunizations, and worsen symptoms in people with underlying pulmonary inflammatory disease. Care professionals can’t just inquire, “Do you smoke?” Next, “Do you vape?” Do you vape nicotine or cannabis?”

“Although cannabis has demonstrated therapeutic advantages in pain management, sleep, reducing the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting in cancer patients, and in individuals experiencing seizures,” Dr. Thanavala and colleagues write.

They emphasize that more research is needed to examine the long-term consequences of vaping CBD and nicotine and the effects of vaping products with additional cannabinoids, including THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

First author Tariq Bhat, Ph.D., Department of Immunology. Suresh Kalathil, Ph.D., Immunology; Maciej Goniewicz, Ph.D., Health Behavior; and Alan Hutson, Ph.D., Biostatistics, contributed.

Dr. Thanavala leads vaping cannabinoids research. In 2020, she led a team of researchers from Roswell Park and the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control who were the first to report in The New England Journal of Medicine that vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent in e-cigarette liquids containing THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis, was linked to EVALI, a potentially fatal condition.

Summary of Today’s Cannabis Health News

Overall, one study indicated that daily marijuana use was associated with a 35% higher incidence of CAD compared to abstainers. “A rising body of evidence implies that cannabis is not wholly without danger and may actually induce cardiovascular illness,” stated main study author Dr. Ishan Paranjpe, a resident physician at Stanford University.

On the other hand, Anesthesiologists at the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that, compared to patients without a cannabis use disorder, surgical patients with a cannabis use disorder had a higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Finally, researchers at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center showed that vaping vaporized cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical present in cannabis, caused more severe lung damage than inhaling vaporized nicotine. The health effects of vaping, or using e-cigarettes, have until now almost solely been studied in relation to vaping nicotine as opposed to CBD.

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