A marijuana lollipop with a very high dose of the active ingredient of the drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may have triggered a man heart attack, according to a new report of the case of the man.

The 70-year-old man decided to try edible marijuana to see if it would reduce the pain of his osteoarthritis and help him sleep. The man had smoked marijuana in his youth, but had never tried an edible product, according to the report published today (February 11) in the newspaper. Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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One night, the man consumed a marijuana lollipop containing 90 mg of THC, more than 12 times the dose of a typical joint.

In half an hour, the man had "frightening hallucinations", followed by "chest pain," the report said.

The man was taken to the hospital, where the doctors determined that he had had a heart attack. The patient had a known history of heart disease, but he was taking several medications for his condition and had not had a heart problem for more than two years.[[[[25 strange facts about marijuana]

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It appears that the high dose of THC exerted a "sudden and unexpected tension" on the human body, which could have triggered his heart attack, wrote the report's authors. The high dose caused hallucinations and anxiety, which increased his heartbeatBlood pressure and levels of the stress hormone catecholamine are known to have harmful effects on the heart, they wrote.

With the increase legalization of marijuana – The drug is now legal for recreational use in Canada and several US states – the report says people should be aware that marijuana, like all drugs, can sometimes pose health risks.

"Marijuana can be a helpful tool for many patients, especially for pain relief and nausea," said Dr. Alexandra Saunders, author of the case report, Dalhousie University's Internal Medicine Program at the University of Toronto. New Brunswick, Canada. said in a statement. "At the same time, like all other medications, there are risks and side effects."

The authors called for more research on the effects of different marijuana formulations on cardiovascular system, especially among the aging population.

Marijuana and heart problems

The new case is that one of the many reports link marijuana use to heart problems. For example, in 2014, doctors reported the case of a young man in the UK who also had a heart attack after smoking marijuana. Larger studies have also linked marijuana to a higher risk of stroke and heart failure.

Always a review study published last year concluded that there was currently not enough scientific evidence available to determine the effect of marijuana on the risk of heart problems.

In one editorial Dr. Neal Benowitz, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, wrote in the study that marijuana could pose a cardiac risk in three ways: marijuana smoke, by the direct effect of THC on the cardiovascular system or by the indirect effects of THC related to anxiety and hallucinations, as in the present case.

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So what should doctors recommend to people with heart disease who want to use cannabis products? Benowitz said that there was no evidence available to answer this question. But he said that for patients with heart disease who want to use marijuana, he would recommend products containing only the cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive effects like THC. And if patients want to use marijuana to combat the effects of THC, Benowitz advised them not to smoke (to reduce exposure to smoke) and to recommend the smallest dose that produces the desired benefits.

Benowitz noted that some edible products may contain several "portions" of THC, as was the case with the patient's marijuana lollipop. In this case, only a few licks of the 90 mg THC lollipop could have provided an appropriate initial dose, he said.

"Understanding the proper dosage would probably have prevented the patient's toxicity," wrote Benowitz. "Patients may need advice on what constitutes a low dose and how to compare it to the amount of THC contained in the products they may have purchased," he concluded.

Shortly after his heart attack, the man stated that he had difficulty performing certain daily tasks and was unable to practice as much as before. His doctors advised him not to consume such a dose of THC in the future.

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Originally published on Science live.