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To be eligible for medical use of marijuana, the law currently identifies the following severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions such as cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, MS, spinal cord injury, neuropathy, chronic pain, and Huntington’s disease. Patients must also have one of the following including cachexia also known as wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe persistent muscle spasms.
According to the American College of Cardiology (2016), they found that marijuana use causes tachycardia (increased Heart Rate), peripheral vasodilation (can lead to low blood pressure), postural hypotension (low blood pressure when laying to sitting, sitting to standing), and elevation in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures in supine position (increase in blood pressure when laying down). In a 15-year longitudinal follow up of 3,617 adults in the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study, there was no association between marijuana and cardiovascular risk after adjusting for confounding factors. All in all, there are no clinical data to suggest any definite relationship between recreational marijuana use and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries). Marijuana causes tachycardia and decreased exercise time to angina (chest pain) and increases the risk of triggering an ACS (a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke). Long-term, large sample size studies have failed to show an increase in cardiovascular mortality related to marijuana use. However, marijuana use can precipitate an acute event in susceptible patients, and its use may be associated with increased mortality in patients with history of MI.
Kattoor, MD, Mehta, Jawahar, & Mehta, M.D. (2016). Marijuana and Coronary Heart Disease. American College of Cardiology. Retrieved 9/16/2017 at https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2016/09/22/08/58/marijuana-and-coronary-heart-disease