Arteriosclerosis / Atherosclerosis and Medical Cannabis Treatment
Arteriosclerosis is a cardiovascular condition that occurs when the artery walls thicken and harden with fats, plaque, and cholesterol, which decreases blood oxygen levels vital to a healthy heart. There are many reasons why millions suffer from a disease that dozens of traditional and holistic treatments promise to treat. Medical cannabis is a promising option for reducing the inflammation associated with the disease thanks to the anti-inflammatory components found in THC and CBD.
About Arteriosclerosis / Atherosclerosis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that coronary artery heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women of most racial and ethnic backgrounds, killing one out of four Americans every 40 seconds. As the most common heart disease, coronary artery disorder does not discriminate based on age, making 18.2 million adults 20 and older victims of the disease.
Arteriosclerosis can severely harm many parts of the body, causing coronary and carotid artery disease, and even heart attacks and strokes. Whereas peripheral arterial disease causes pain in the arms, legs, pelvis; numbness; and infection. What makes the disease so dangerous is that signs and symptoms that reveal arteriosclerosis often do not appear until the body is in immediate distress, resulting in a medical emergency.
Though some medications assist in treating the conditions, diet, exercise, and cigarette smoking are three significant risk factors associated with the condition. Unfortunately, there is no known cure, which makes evidence that medical cannabis could help with arteriosclerosis hopeful.
How Do Cannabinoids Affect Arteriosclerosis?
As far back as 2005, Swiss researcher François Mach, of the Geneva University Hospitals, discovered the anti-inflammatory qualities of THC, specifically involving THC binding to the C2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. THC also reduces blood vessel blockage, according to the journal Nature. It was suggested by Mach that THC, in combination with cholesterol medication, may assist with combating atherosclerosis.
“The discovery adds to the range of potential medicinal benefits of cannabis compounds. Besides its well-publicized use for pain relief, the drug is also given to anorexics to stimulate appetite, and cancer patients to combat the nauseating side-effects of chemotherapy,” reports Nature.
Fifteen years later, medical cannabis proves to assist patients with anorexia and patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
In 2012, journal Clinical Cardiology reported that consuming cannabis without smoking could have a “salutary” effect on the endocannabinoid system associated with atherosclerosis. More recently, THC and cannabis research continues to link to potential for treating heart disease, reporting the undeniable anti-inflammatory qualities of the plant.