The debate around the safety of cannabis use continues, with various studies highlighting potential risks and precautions. Harvard Health suggests using cannabis safely, recommending alternatives to smoking, such as under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. They caution against smoking cannabis, which can inflame the lungs, and advise against holding smoke in the lungs for more than a second or two. This method does not enhance the effect but may irritate the lungs. Additionally, they advise not to drive for at least four hours after use, due to the rapid onset of effects from smoking. Harvard Health outlines the composition of marijuana smoke, similar to cigarette smoke, containing toxins and carcinogens that contribute to heart disease and cancer.
The heart health implications of marijuana use are significant. Harvard Health and other studies have found that marijuana can cause the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise, posing dangers for those with heart disease. The risk of a heart attack is reportedly higher in the hour after smoking marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana use is linked to atrial fibrillation, and there is emerging evidence suggesting a connection with high blood pressure risks. Harvard Health and Harvard Health provide insights into these risks.
Vaping, whether nicotine or cannabis, has also been shown to have detrimental health effects. Boston University reports that vaping slows wound healing similarly to smoking cigarettes. Surgeons often advise patients to abstain from smoking before elective surgeries to protect the body’s ability to recover. Boston University highlights these concerns.
Moreover, marijuana can affect anesthesia during surgeries. Regular users may require different amounts of anesthesia due to the combined effects on the central nervous system. Harvard Health stresses the importance of disclosing marijuana use to anesthesiologists.
Cannabis withdrawal also presents challenges, with symptoms like aggression, irritability, insomnia, depression, and physical discomfort. Harvard Health emphasizes the need for awareness and management strategies for withdrawal symptoms.
Lastly, the University of Michigan reports that vaping marijuana is associated with more symptoms of lung damage than smoking nicotine or marijuana. This finding adds to the growing concern about the respiratory risks of vaping. University of Michigan details these findings.
In conclusion, while there may be some potential pulmonary benefits to marijuana smoking, such as increased lung volume and stronger chest wall muscles, the overall health risks associated with its use, particularly in relation to heart health and anesthesia, are significant and warrant careful consideration and moderation.