The cannabis chemical helps ward off heart disease, scientists say
A chemical in cannabis can facilitate push back strokes and cardiopathy, scientists believe.
Swiss researchers found THC, one of 60 cannabinoids in the drug, helped stop the narrowing of arteries to the brain and heart in a study of mice.
But the team, from Geneva University Hospital, said smoking cannabis did not produce the same effect.
However, United Kingdom specialists warned additional analysis was required before firm conclusions may be drawn.
Blocked arteries - a condition called induration of the arteries - area unit calculable to be answerable for up to five hundredth stroke and cardiopathy deaths in developing countries every year.
In the study, published in the Nature journal, mice were fed a high cholesterol diet to make them develop atherosclerosis and then given THC, which causes the high during cannabis use.
The Swiss researchers found THC stopped inflammation of blood vessels, which is largely responsible for blocking arteries.
The chemical worked by suppressing the immune system's response to a protein which is responsible for inflammation.
We definitely hasten to advise against individuals smoking cannabis to shield their heart health
Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation
Lead research worker Francois Ernst Mach aforementioned whereas medicine like statins that lower vital sign and cholesterin had proven extraordinarily effective the findings were still of "great medical interest".
And he added: "The dose [used] is below the dose sometimes related to mind-blowing effects of psychoactive drug."
THC is being tested by GW prescription drugs, the firm granted a UK licence to create cannabis-based drugs, in a number of treatments for pain relief and multiple sclerosis under development.
However, a study published last week in BMC Psychiatry found THC medicines could lead to psychosis.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said more work needed to be done in the area.
"Although these results, which use an oral cannabinoid, are interesting, we look forward to furthering research into the area.
"We absolutely bound to advise against people smoking cannabis to protect their heart health - cannabis is usually smoked with tobacco which is highly dangerous for the heart."
And a spokeswoman for the National Heart Forum said: "This research presents interesting findings of the protective effects of active components found in marijuana and suggests scope for further investigation of these compounds."
But she added: "It doesn't counsel that marijuana smoking is helpful to the center. On the contrary, the harmful effects on the heart are well documented."
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