Marijuana has been touted for many of its medicinal benefits, but for older people with cardiovascular disease, the drug may be too risky to use, at least in edible form.
A Canadian Journal of Cardiology case report recently examined a 70-year-old man who had a heart attack after eating a marijuana lollipop which had been infused with 90 milligrams (mg) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is quite a lot of THC!
Dr. Alexandra Saunders at Horizon Health Network’s Department of Cardiology in New Brunswick, Canada, said that the 90-mg dose was “inappropriate.”
The man had stable coronary artery disease but was on medicine for it according to the report.
“Marijuana can be a useful tool for many patients, especially for pain and nausea relief. At the same time, like all other medications, it does carry risk and side effects,”
The report said that the 70-year-old man decided to try edible marijuana to see if it would reduce the pain from his osteoarthritis and help him sleep. While he had smoked marijuana when he was younger, he had never tried an edible before.
90 milligrams of THC is over 12 times higher than the dose of a regular joint. The man almost ate the whole lollipop and within 30 minutes had “fearful hallucinations” and “crushing chest pain.”
The man was taken to a hospital where doctors said he had had a heart attack.
The authors of the report said that the large dose of THC caused a “sudden and unexpected strain” on the man’s body that may have triggered his heart attack.