does smoking weed cause blood clots

Marijuana smoking may increase stroke risk for young adults

February 6, 2013 / 1:34 PM / CBS News

Marijuana may trigger strokes in young adults, according to preliminary research presented today at an international medical conference.

New Zealand researchers reviewed urine samples taken from 160 stroke sufferers between the ages of 18 and 55, and discovered the patients were more than twice as likely to have pot, or cannabis, in their system.

“Cannabis has been thought by the public to be a relatively safe, although illegal substance,” study author Dr. P. Alan Barber, professor of clinical neurology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said in a statement to the American Heart Association. “This study shows this might not be the case; it may lead to stroke.”

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, taken by 7 percent of Americans according to a 2012 government survey.

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The drug is illegal in the United States on a federal level, however, Washington and Colorado became the first states to pass laws legalizing recreational pot use last November. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia also have laws permitting the use of medical marijuana.

In what they call the first case-controlled study to find a link between marijuana use and strokes, researchers enlisted 150 patients who had an ischemic stroke and 10 who had a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Strokes, or brain attacks, are caused by disruptions of blood flow to the brain. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blood clots or plaque deposits in linings of blood vessels that stop blood flow to the brain. That’s different from a less-common hemorrhagic stroke that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Symptoms of strokes include severe headache, sudden numbness or weakness of the face or limbs, sudden confusion or trouble speaking, vision problems, dizziness and loss of coordination.

People may also experience a TIA, also called a “mini” or “warning” stroke, a temporary blockage that causes stroke symptoms that go away after a few minutes without causing lasting damage. About one-third of people who have a TIA go on to have a stroke within a year, according to the American Heart Association.

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The researchers found 16 percent of the subjects who went to the hospital following a stroke episode had marijuana in their system, compared to 8.1 percent of control subjects who came to the hospital. Barber adds there have been case reports of people with no other vascular risk factors having a stroke or TIA hours after using marijuana.

However, all but one of the stroke patients who had marijuana in their urine also used tobacco. Barber still believes the marijuana was the culprit.

“For starters, this is a young age group to be having strokes, and many didn’t have any of the traditional risk factors. And some patients had a stroke while actually smoking cannabis,” he told EverydayHealth. “We know cannabis can cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate that are associated with increased stroke risk. Importantly, it can also cause heart palpitations, [a sign of atrial fibrillation]. And atrial fibrillation is very strongly associated with stroke,” he added.

Every year more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke, 610,000 who have one for the first time. About 130,000 Americans die from a stroke each year, about one death every four minutes.

First published on February 6, 2013 / 1:34 PM

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Study of stroke sufferers found double the risk for brain attack in patients who tested positive for pot

Does smoking weed cause blood clots

Each year, blood-thinning medications are essential for nearly 3 million Americans. This life-saving medication is necessary for these folks to reduce the likelihood of blood clots to form, get larger, or move within the body.

The need for blood-thinning medications varies from person to person, but what’s necessary for all who need them is managing possible bleeding risks.

Not all blood-clotting is bad. It’s a necessary process required to stop bleeding and to seal wounds after an injury. However, when blood clots form in the bloodstream, they can be life-threatening.

Some people utilizing blood-thinners may also be curious about using cannabis in one way or another, and luckily there have been studies suggesting it may be a good option for some. Indeed, natural blood thinner supplements such as cannabis and hemp oil may be of great help. But if you intend on utilizing cannabis in conjunction with or to remove other medications, it’s highly suggested that you communicate your intentions with a doctor, and in particular, a doctor who understands the medicinal aspects of cannabis. Marijuana is a blood thinner, and hemp oil can be helpful if used with the assistance of a medical practitioner.

Why is it important to speak to a doctor about combining blood-thinners with cannabis?

One critical reason to create a plan with your doctor about mixing cannabis and prescription medications is that our bodies absorb and respond to medicines in different ways when combined with other substances like natural blood thinners/supplements – and even certain foods .

Let’s start with the basics. Cannabis can either have an “additive” or a “synergistic” effect. An additive effect means the interaction between the two chemicals equals the sum of their parts – it’s a simple addition equation, like 2+2=4.

A synergistic effect ( also known as potentiation ) is when the effect of two chemicals interacting is greater than the sum of their parts, like 1+1=3. Because marijuana is a blood thinner, that means cannabis could effectively increase the potency of your medicine – which could be dangerous.

Alongside potential synergistic effects, each strain comes complete with their own variation of terpenes and cannabinoids that could impact absorption even more. This isn’t always a bad thing, as increasing the effectiveness of a medication with natural blood thinner supplements could be beneficial .

No matter the case, instead of asking your cool aunt Joanne or Brad from behind the bud counter, speak to a doctor well-versed in the effects of cannabis who can give you a legitimate plan to consume. Let’s find out more about hemp oil and blood thinners.

What are the types of blood-thinners?

There are two types of blood-thinners , Antiplatelet and Anticoagulant . Antiplatelet medications prevent platelets from clumping together and forming a clot. Anticoagulant medications create a chemical reaction that extends how long it takes to develop a clot.

Cannabis naturally acts as an anticoagulant , making it a good natural blood thinner supplement to replace some blood-thinner medication . Since marijuana is a blood thinner and can increase the anticoagulant effect of blood-thinners, many medical professionals advise caution in pairing the two.

What are some of the positive cannabis interactions with blood-thinners?

Beta-blockers and cannabis have gained a reputation for working well together. Beta-blockers lower blood pressure by reducing heart rate, the heart’s workload, and the heart’s output of blood. They also signal your blood vessels to open up to improve blood flow and lowers adrenaline.

There’s been evidence to suggest that for someone with a heart condition, cannabis on its own can increase heart rate and make the heart pump harder. It’s still unknown how cannabis will mix with beta-blo ckers. The two could contradict each other or potentiate, so speaking to a doctor is critical for this type of medication. Read this hilarious take on beta-blockers and cannabis on Merry Jane.

What are some of the negative cannabis interactions with blood-thinners?

For some people, the production of angiotensin (a chemical that causes the arteries to become narrow) is a problem that causes heightened blood pressure. ACE inhibitors help the body to produce less angiotensin, opening up the restricted blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. Because marijuana is a blood thinner, taking it alone may drop blood pressure which can result in lightheadedness, and the combination of the two can intensify this effect.

Cannabis alone may drop blood pressure which can result in lightheadedness, but the combination of the two can intensify this effect .

Overall, blood-thinners paired with natural blood thinner supplements such as cannabis should be monitored by a doctor to ensure it doesn’t result in thin blood . Thin blood is essentially when blood becomes too thin, and proper clotting doesn’t take place.

Signs of “thin blood” are:

  • Easily bruising
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Unusual bleeding from small cuts
  • Slow wound healing

What are the next steps?

Lastly, utilizing cannabis temporarily increases the risks but is unlikely to cause long-term issues. As the cannabinoids are excreted from the body, the platelets and clotting factors should return to their previous levels. Therefore, hemp oil and blood thinners can be used safely and effectively.

Although consuming cannabis with this type of medication in most cases is safe, it should absolutely be monitored by a doctor to ensure you are within the proper boundaries of blood thickness. In general, it’s a great idea to ask your doctor to go over all your supplements and medications — when creating a plan to use cannabis and natural blood thinners and supplements whether it’s for relaxation or alternative treatments for pharmaceutical medications.

This website is informational and cannot diagnose or treat illness or disease. Medical marijuana aka cannabis should be used under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider. This site is intended for adults and legal medical marijuana patients. This site contains links to products we sell on our marketplace.

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Creating an account is easy, free, and safe in our HIPAA compliant platform. Visit with a doctor from the comfort of your home or on the go using your cell phone or computer, no appointment is necessary. If the physician thinks cannabis is right for your health and wellness goals, they will discuss treatment options and will grant you a downloadable certification document. Heally’s Telehealth platform currently serves California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio with medical recommendations. Please note there’s no charge if the doctor doesn’t believe the video visit meets her or his standard of care. If you do not live in a medically legal state and would like access to CBD products, visit the Marketplace. Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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