Did Marijuana Save Kevin Smith’s Life?
Smith was told that marijuana had kept him calm during his heart attack. In some people marijuana can have paradoxical effects, with some studies suggesting that it may actually increase anxiety[1,2] and others suggesting no effect at all. 3,4] Presumably, staying calm and lowering your heart rate would help by decreasing myocardial oxygen demand, but the limited evidence that exists suggests that marijuana increases heart rate instead. In 1972, Beaconsfield and colleagues exposed volunteers to marijuana smoke and found that heart rate increased by a mean of > 20 beats/min and systolic blood pressure by 5-10 mm Hg. Another study involving healthy volunteers found that intravenous administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol increased heart rate but not blood pressure. Participants with angiographically documented coronary artery disease were given either a marijuana cigarette or a placebo cigarette that contained only trace amounts of THC.
The researchers found that marijuana had no effect on anxiety, decreased myocardial oxygen delivery, and decreased the exercise threshold for angina in the study participants. Some suggest an increased risk for incident MI. In the Determinants of MI Onset Study, Mittleman and colleagues examined the role of marijuana in triggering an MI. In this case-crossover study, where patients serve as their own control, the risk for MI was elevated 4.8-fold in the hour after marijuana use, but no increased risk was observed after 2 hours. The study included 3882 patients with MI; of these, 124 reported smoking marijuana in the year before their heart attack, including nine who smoked the hour before.
Two subsequent cohort studies offered conflicting evidence on the association between marijuana use and survival post-MI. In the first, from 2008, Mukamal and colleagues reported that over a median of 3.8 years of follow-up, the hazard ratio for MI was 2.5 for marijuana use less than once per week and 4.2 for marijuana use once or more per week compared with nonusers. Only 52 of the 1913 patients reported marijuana use in the year before their heart attack. A subsequent publication from the Determinants of MI Onset Study that included 3886 patients followed for up to 18 years showed no association between marijuana use and mortality, contradicting the earlier findings. Lori Walker, PhD, from the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, has studied the effects of marijuana on heart disease and presented findings at the American College of Cardiology 2016 Scientific Sessions linking marijuana use to improved hospital survival after MI.
However, she cautions that the data are far from definitive and insufficient to attribute Smith’s recovery to marijuana use. Data from the CARDIA study showed that marijuana users had worse diets, were more likely to smoke cigarettes, and were more likely to use illicit drugs. Although smoked marijuana may be more harmful than edible marijuana products because of its combustion by-products, data comparing different types of marijuana are lacking.
Everything to Know About Topical Marijuana
CBD has no psychoactive properties and, unlike THC, can be sold in all 50 states as long as it’s derived specifically from industrial hemp. Applied to the skin, it can diminish localized pain-indeed, the first CBD products to hit the market were designed primarily to target sore muscles and arthritis. Now CBD is turning up in everything from face serums to lip balms, and with mounting studies substantiating its efficacy and versatility, what we’re currently seeing may be just the beginning. While CBD has emerged as the star player in most lotions and potions currently cropping up from niche brands across the country, evidence does suggest that its effects can be boosted by combining it with other active molecules from the cannabis plant, including THC and/or terpenes, the phytochemicals that give pot its distinctive aroma. Many brands-such as Whoopi Goldberg’s Whoopi & Maya line, which was created to relieve period pain, and Los Angeles-based luxury brand Lord Jones, whose chicly packaged, edible THC-laced gummies and chocolates are Instagram gold-are formulated with both CBD and THC.
Other brands, targeting states with stricter antimarijuana laws, stick with straight-up CBD that has been extracted in a way that retains many other naturally occurring molecules, such as terpenes and flavonoids. Even in small doses, CBD alone appears to be beneficial. Still, says Friedman, we have a long way to go before the cannabis plant, which contains scores more yet-unstudied cannabinoids beyond CBD and THC, is fully understood-not to mention the full effects each of those individual cannabinoids have when applied to skin. As long as it’s derived from industrial hemp, CBD can be sold in any of the 50 states. CBD Care Garden Face Karma Anti-Aging Moisturizer replenishes skin with Swiss apple stem cells and peptides, as well as 20 mg of pure CBD.2.
CBD For Life 99% Pure CBD Extract Pain Relief Spray nixes aches and pains with a potent combo of cannabinoid extract, arnica, menthol, and camphor. Dixie Synergy Relief Balm contains 50 mg of both CBD and THC per container to treat localized pain and inflammation. Originally devised for use in the founders’ Hollywood wellness practice, Lord Jones High CBD Pain & Wellness Formula Body Lotion, currently sold only in California, combines CBD and THC in a five-to-one ratio to diminish discomfort from pulled muscles, arthritis, and eczema.