What is Myocardial Infarction?
Myocardial infarction is the medical term of a heart attack, where the blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked. This blockage is often caused by atherosclerosis, which occurs due to the buildup of fat, cholesterol, platelets, and fibroblasts within the wall of the blood vessels that supply the heart (coronary arteries). This leads to the diminution or the complete cut-off of blood supply to the heart leading to its damage.
Although myocardial infarction is fatal, rapid diagnosis and proper management improve survival by a great degree. Heart attacks are emergency conditions that need immediate medical attention and treatment. And for the purposes of discussing the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) on myocardial infarction, CBD is intended to be used as a preventative therapy (preventing the occurrence of atherosclerosis and heart attacks). However, if a heart attack is diagnosed, CBD can’t be used to restore the blood supply to the heart. Instead, various drugs and surgical operations are often used.
The symptoms of heart attacks or myocardial infarctions include the following:
- Acute chest pain, which is commonly felt after exertion or physical exercise in old people. This pain is often described as pressure or tightness of the chest in a region similar in its size to the grip of a hand. This pain may radiate to the jaws, the shoulders, or the outer side of the arms
- Abdominal pain or indigestion
- Shortness of breath or dyspnea
- A Cold sweat
- Easy fatiguability
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
Our users find CBD helps the treatment of Myocardia Infarction :
The treatment of myocardinal infarction
The treatment of myocardial infarction, even in suspected cases, should be carried out in the hospital. Immediate medical attention is lifesaving because each minute that goes by, a greater portion of the heart muscle dies, which may eventually lead to death. The management of myocardial infarction is aimed at restoring normal blood flow to the heart. This could be achieved by some medications or surgeries.
The medical treatment of myocardial infarction includes the following:
- Aspirin: This drug prevents the formation of blood clots, and thus, it improves the blood supply.
- Thrombolytics: These drugs aim to lysis the plug that causes the blockage in the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle.
- Antiplatelet drugs: These drugs prevent the accumulation of platelets, which further inhibits the formation of blood clots that could further deteriorate the heart attack.
- Analgesic drugs: these drugs are used to reduce the intensity of pain.
- Nitroglycerin: This drug is used to treat the typical heart attack, which is known as typical angina pectoris.
- Beta-blockers: These drugs are prescribed to relax the heart muscle, reduce the blood supply, and stabilize the heart rate.
- ACE inhibitors: these drugs are used to reduce the stress on the heart due to the poor blood supply.
- Statins: These drugs are used to reduce the cholesterol level in the blood to prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
Besides the above-mentioned drugs, some surgeries might be carried out in certain emergencies to restore the blood supply to the heart. These surgeries include the removal of the blood vessel that is blocked while replacing it with another patent blood vessel to restore the normal blood supply to the heart.
Of note, these approaches are the only evidence-based effective measures that could be taken in patients with evident myocardial infarction or heart attack. However, since atherosclerosis is the main cause of heart attacks, CBD has been suggested to be used as a preventative therapy due to its therapeutic effects in preventing atherosclerosis, reducing blood pressure, and promoting normal blood supply.
What is the Correlation Between CBD and the Heart?
Cannabinoids, either phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids, exert their effects through the interaction with target cannabinoid receptors: type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are mainly present in the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord), while CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system. Therefore, cannabinoids are suggested to play important roles in maintaining the hemostatic physiological conditions of the heart by modulating both neural and immune responses.
CBD is known to have a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, CBD exerts its effects through many non-cannabinoid receptors, which are involved in maintaining the normal physiology of the heart and blood vessels. CBD leads to the indirect increase of anandamide (AEA), which is a major molecule in the endocannabinoid system, which regulates many physiological conditions in our bodies, such as sleep, pain perception, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and many others.
Is CBD Use Associated with Better Outcomes in Cardiovascular Diseases?
CBD has been shown to have many cardioprotective properties. Based on a number of animal studies, CBD has beneficial effects on myocardial ischemia or infarction. In other studies, CBD was highlighted to result in the reduction of the infarct size. CBD has also been associated with a significantly reduced number of ventricular arrhythmias (irregular heart rate/beats) and collagen-induced platelet accumulation. The effect of CBD on ventricular arrhythmias can be the result of the modulation of the excretory function of the platelet; inhibiting the release of arrhythmogenic molecules from the platelets could have reduced the number of arrhythmia attacks.
In a recent animal study, a group of rabbits with experimentally-induced acute myocardial infarction were studied. CBD was administered to determine its effects on the infarct size. After the completion of the trial, CBD was reported to have the following effects: (1) reduction of the size of the infarction, (2) increase in the blood supply to the region that was primarily affected, (3) reduction of the degree of heart muscle apoptosis (cellular death).
In human trials, CBD was tested to determine its effects on the heart rate and blood pressure, which are major contributors to the development of myocardial infarction. Unfortunately, no effect on the heart rate and blood pressure was noted following both acute and chronic administration of CBD. That being said, in another research study, the acute dosing of CBD (given sublingually) was associated with a slight increase or decrease in blood pressure; however, the repeated intake of CBD was not associated with a significant change in blood pressure. It should be noted that the effects of CBD on the cardiovascular system in humans might not depend solely on the dose and duration of CBD use but also on the method of delivery. This is supported by another research which highlighted that the use of oral CBD did not cause any change in heart rate, blood pressure, or cerebral blood flow. However, when CBD was given in the encapsulated form, it succeeded in significantly reducing both diastolic and systolic blood pressure, with a significant increase in cerebral blood flow.
Based on the unavailability of human clinical trials investigating the cardioprotective properties of CBD in patients with atherosclerosis or potential myocardial infarction, CBD can’t be used alone to prevent or treat myocardial infarction. Despite that, CBD shows great promise as a potential agent for the management of myocardial infarction. Therefore, you should consult your physician prior to taking CBD for your heart condition. Also, make sure that CBD does not interact with any of the drugs that you are taking for your condition.
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