Author: Charles Frank

Increased Blood Pressure Following Abrupt Cessation of Daily Cannabis Use PMC

marijuana withdrawal heart rate

The report [55] concludes that a prospective-controlled rodent experiment can fill a gap in understanding of the consequences of cannabis CSHS exposure that can be extrapolated to humans since understanding of human CV consequences of cannabis use has been limited to retrospective studies. In summary, the findings indicate that in rats, flow-mediated dilation is damaged by some constituents of smoke not related to cannabis or tobacco. It could be either the products of combustion or other plant chemicals that exist after combustion. Therefore, the mechanism by which tobacco and cannabis smoke damage endothelial function is not fully understood.

“Cannabis metabolites accumulate in body fat and can take weeks to leach out of the body, so some effects of withdrawal may last a long time,” says Umhau. “They think they’re invincible and [then] they use a cannabis product, and boom, they may have an event,” said Page. For someone with artery disease, if the heart starts beating faster and demands more oxygen as THC activates the fight-or-flight response, it could spell trouble.

If any of your symptoms are bothersome or seem to be lingering, seek professional treatment. A healthcare provider or mental health professional can help determine the symptom’s root cause and provide options for easing its effects. Physical weed withdrawal symptoms tend to be less intense, peak sooner, and fade more quickly than psychological symptoms. Headaches, like most other symptoms of withdrawing from marijuana use, will usually begin one to three days after quitting and peak two to six days after stopping.

marijuana withdrawal heart rate

Acute cannabis administration increases blood pressure and heart rate and tolerance develops to these effects with heavy use. A valid and reliable withdrawal syndrome occurs in most daily users, but few studies have assessed the cardiovascular effects of withdrawal. The objective of this report is to describe unexpected changes in cardiovascular function during brief periods of supervised cannabis use and abstinence in daily cannabis users. If these cardiovascular changes reflect a withdrawal effect, the cause may be a direct pharmacological withdrawal effect or secondary effects of other symptoms of cannabis withdrawal (e.g. anxiety). On the other hand, a rebound or offset effect would more clearly indicate a direct effect of the endocannabinoid system, and would have significant clinical implications. First, reduction or cessation of frequent cannabis use would be cause for evaluating and likely modifying ongoing treatment for cardiovascular disease among patients.

In 2019, a federal survey showed more than 48 million people ages 12 and older reported using marijuana at least once ­– nearly double the number in 2002. In many cases, the symptoms of weed withdrawal will dissipate with time and can be treated without medical attention. However, if your symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks, you should see your healthcare provider or mental health professional.

Other Physical Symptoms

For example, if patients whose infarctions were triggered by cannabis were more likely to die than those whose infarctions were unrelated to cannabis, then the apparent relative risk may be underestimated. There are limitations of this study with regard to assessing the risk of an acute cardiovascular event occurring in cannabis users during a quit attempt. First, cardiovascular risk is limited to the duration of the effect, and it is uncertain whether the abstinence-induced effects observed persist for longer than 3 days. Most cannabis withdrawal effects last 1–2 weeks, though sleep-related symptoms have been shown to persist longer (Budney et al., 2003). Greater cardiovascular risk would be expected if the increase in blood pressure resulted from a rebound or drug offset effect, which would persist indefinitely.

marijuana withdrawal heart rate

While the number of children who have been poisoned from inadvertently consuming marijuana edibles has skyrocketed, there’s “very limited data” on what they do to the body, said Page. Some who’ve quit smoking report having “using dreams” in which they dream that they smoke marijuana. Frequent, vivid dreams typically begin about a week after quitting and can last for a month before tapering off. Although some former users report having these types of dreams years after they stop smoking pot.

Bottom Line on Weed Withdrawal Symptoms

However, no effect of withdrawal was found on cardiovascular function (HR or BP) in two similar outpatient studies from the same laboratory (Budney et al., 2001; Budney et al., 2003). Acute cannabis administration has been shown to increase resting heart rate and blood pressure, and induce orthostatic hypotension (Jones, 2002). Increased heart rate following acute cannabis exposure has been shown to be dose-related (Heishman et al., 1989). Peak effects on heart rate appear to occur 10 to 15 minutes after smoking and result in an increase of 20 to 30 beats per minute, but mean increases as high as 43.5 beats per minute have been reported (Chait and Zacny, 1992; Galanter et al., 1972; Heishman et al., 1989; Ilan et al., 2005).

Furthermore, certain methods used for inhalation (e.g., vaporizing and “dabbing”) can cause the formation of potentially harmful byproducts of combustion (e.g., formaldehyde and acrylamide), of which the long-term effects of inhalation are unknown [28]. Hence, rigorous and standardized testing of cannabis content is critical to mitigate potential preventable toxicity [28]. But even those who reported using marijuana less than once a week experienced weed withdrawal symptoms of moderate intensity. However, after accounting for influential factors such as age, sex, race, income, diabetes, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and even the hospital’s location, the team still finds a significantly higher hospital mortality rate among marijuana users dealing with an arrhythmia. Researchers add these patients also end up staying longer in hospital (5.7 days) than other users (5.1 days).

  1. Existing data suggest that cannabis use influences food intake which could result in weight gain and eventually obesity.
  2. However, associations between cannabis use and these cardiovascular events are not always consistent, case reports of these types of occurrences are rare, and controlled studies are generally lacking.
  3. The global legal cannabis market size is expected to reach USD 84B by the end of 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research [1].

Some people find that they can experience occasional sleeplessness for a few months after quitting. More than half of those trying to stop cannabis use report experiencing mood swings, irritability, or anxiety. Others report feelings of aggression, nervousness, restlessness, and a loss of concentration.

Finally, a significant drug main effect was found for total ghrelin, suggesting that total ghrelin concentrations during the oral cannabis session were higher than the smoked and vaporized cannabis sessions. The study concluded that cannabis administration modulated blood concentrations of some appetitive and metabolic hormones, mainly insulin, in cannabis users. There is lack of concrete evidence for cannabis secondhand smoking (CSHS) causing acute CV harm.

Rationale for Studies of Cardiovascular Disease

Blood pressure should be monitored among those attempting to reduce or quit frequent cannabis use, particularly those with preexisting hypertension. THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gets people high, could be affecting the heart through its activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is our body’s fight-or-flight response. That can trigger an increased heart rate and blood pressure, putting more strain on the heart. The endocannabinoid system consists of the endogenous cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade cannabinoids. Many of the effects of cannabinoids are mediated by 2 G protein-coupled receptors, CB1 and CB2, although additional receptors may be involved [7]. CB1 receptors are present in high levels in several brain regions and in lower amounts in a more widespread distribution.

Is it the smoke or the weed?

Epidemiological studies and case reports have linked acute cannabis intoxication to myocardial infarction, angina, arrhythmias, transient ischemic attacks, and stroke (Karch, 2006). However, associations between cannabis use and these cardiovascular events are not always consistent, case reports of these types of occurrences are rare, and controlled studies are generally lacking. In another study [52], the investigators showed that cannabis cigarettes cause increases in heart rate, supine systolic and diastolic blood pressures compared with placebo. These actions increase myocardial oxygen demand to a degree that they can decrease the time to exercise-induced angina in patients with a history of stable angina. Smoking cannabis has been shown to increase the risk of MI onset by a factor of 4.8 for 60 min after cannabis use, and to increase the annual risk of MI in the daily cannabis user from 1.5 to 3% per year.

Public policy needs to be formed around a rigorous study to investigate any adverse health effect of cannabis smoking. Discussion about whether smoke-free legislations should also include cannabis is becoming increasingly widespread while the industry is growing. There are other promising applications for CBD-like smoking cessation [15], drug withdrawal treatment [16], treating seizures and epilepsy [17], anxiety treatment [18], reducing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s [19], and antipsychotic effects on patients with schizophrenia [20]. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is a promising and versatile treatment, although more research is needed. While withdrawing from marijuana use can present challenges, remember that what you are going through will pass.