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Are Edibles Better for Your Heart?

Understanding Edibles

Edibles are a popular way of consuming marijuana. They come in different forms such as chocolates, gummies, and baked goods, and are usually made by infusing cannabis into the recipe. Unlike smoking or vaping, edibles are ingested and processed by the liver, which converts THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a more potent compound that can cause stronger and longer-lasting effects.

The Science behind Edibles

When you consume an edible, it takes longer to feel the effects because it has to pass through your digestive system before it enters your bloodstream. Once it reaches your liver, THC is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more bioavailable and can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily. This means that even a small dose of edibles can be stronger than a larger dose of smoked or vaped cannabis.

The Effects of Edibles on the Heart

Marijuana use has been associated with cardiovascular effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. These effects can be more pronounced with edibles because of the delayed onset and longer duration of the high. However, studies on the long-term effects of edibles on the heart are inconclusive and need further research.

Short-Term Effects

In the short term, edibles can cause a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This is because THC activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. This response can be beneficial in certain situations, but it can also be harmful if it persists for too long. In extreme cases, it can lead to heart palpitations, chest pain, and even heart attacks.

Long-Term Effects

The long-term effects of edibles on the heart are still unclear. Some studies suggest that chronic marijuana use can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while others have found no significant association. However, it is important to note that most of these studies have been conducted on smoked or vaped cannabis, and more research is needed to assess the specific effects of edibles on the heart.

The Benefits of CBD

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have several health benefits. It can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve sleep. It has also been studied for its potential to lower blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.

How CBD Works

CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating various physiological processes such as pain, mood, and appetite. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to CB1 receptors in the brain, which are responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Instead, it interacts with other receptors such as 5-HT1A and TRPV1, which are involved in pain and inflammation.

The Potential Benefits of CBD for the Heart

Several studies have suggested that CBD may have cardiovascular benefits. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD can lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that CBD can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


Edibles can be a fun and convenient way of consuming marijuana, but it is important to be aware of their effects on the heart. While short-term effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure are common, the long-term effects of edibles on the heart are still unclear and require further research. On the other hand, CBD has been shown to have several potential benefits for the heart, including the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. As always, it is important to consult with a medical professional before using any form of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

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