Carotid artery stenosis....and pot

Discussion in 'Medicinal Cannabis and Health' started by smoke4goodtimes, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. smoke4goodtimes

    smoke4goodtimes Registered

    ok, so my mom has been having a problem for the last few years. She has been getting severe headaches and ocular pain on a regular basis. Recently, she went in and had many tests and scans performed, and they determined that the reason for her pain was that there was insufficient bloodflow to her brain. After some online research, i found out that it was a condition called Carotid Artery Stenosis, which basically means there are deposits of cholesterol and otehr crap in her cartoid arteries which restrict bloodflow. This is actually the #1 reason for a stroke. So, being an avid pot smoker, i remembered that while smoking ganj, your blood vessels become dilated and your blood pressure drops. I was wondering, do you think that if my mom takes a toke or two, her carotid arteries would dilate, in turn increasing the bloodflow to her brain like normal? Any input is appreciated, thanks!

    n theres some cool pics of the kinda shit id smoke her out with lol

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  2. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Registered+

    It's real important that you take this seriously. Don't "smoke her out" and put her at further risk. Unfortunately, the vaso-dilating effects of the cannabis don't kick in until after a risky period of vaso-constriction (tightening) that happens right after smoking, usually for an hour or more. During that vasoconstrictive period, the pulse rate increases and BP goes up because the veins and arteries constrict. Plus the smoke itself is an irritant and and an aggravator of inflammation (not the cannabinoids but simply the smoke). Smoking anything will also further deplete the less than optimal amount of oxygen that's getting to her brain and just add to any light headedness or dizziness she's already having because of the stenosis. All those things combined will put her at much worse risk of having a stroke, and she's already at risk. The vasoconstriction combined with the irritation makes it a lot more likely that a little piece of that carotid plaque could break off and be pumped up to her brain. You do not want that to happen. Just don't even go there. She's almost certainly been put on an anticoagulant like warfarin and/or an anti-platelet med like Plavix. And we don't have any idea how cannabis really affects those. There've been no studies.

    I'm sure this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but it's the one you need to heed, and I'm qualified to give you this answer. Did you happen to catch the degree (percentage) of her stenotic blockage? Do you know if she's in good enough shape to have the carotid cleanout procedure, an endarterectomy? I wish her well.
  3. smoke4goodtimes

    smoke4goodtimes Registered

    thanks for the reply, i believe its not a very high percentage, the endarectomy was considered, but im not sure on what she is deciding on doing. She is completely Anti-marijuana by the way, so i was just trying to see if there were some kind of way pot could help her and help change her mind lol... thanks!
  4. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Registered+

    No problem on the reply, buddy. Glad it's not a high percentage if that's the case. If it's not a fairly high percentage (70% or more, but it can depend on other things), they won't attempt an endarterectomy on her. That surgery is itself risky, so things have to be thoroughly blocked for them to do that.

    Sorry I couldn't give you a more weed friendly answer, but weed and heart or arterial disease aren't a good combination. If she had cancer or other conditions like glaucoma, it'd be a completely different answer.
  5. Khufukaya

    Khufukaya Registered

    Thank God, finally!

    I've had the symptoms you described as a possible effect of Cannabis use with this diagnosis for a while! I've believed I had inflammation of the carotid(carotidynia) but after finding this and researching stenosis I know pretty certainly have a partial blockage that when combined with vaso-constriction caused by stress/excitement/anxiety or smoking causes transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) also referred to as mini-strokes.

    I'm going to the doc in a week, but this makes me feel so much more at ease knowing it can be somewhat controlled by managing heart rate and excitement.

    When smoking I get a strange discomfort in the left side of my neck. It felt muscular at first, as I didn't know what vascular pain felt like, but when feeling my carotid it is larger on one side of my neck. This can also be felt under the tongue in the carotid there, one feels stiff, the other rather soft as it should be.

    The discomfort can progress upwards to the face and I assume the brain and grow to be a throbbing or pulsating, numbing pain and bring with it a very mild sense of confusion. This is triggered by the smallest ammount of herb and this coming from a daily habitual vaper.

    I've been eating very clean green and colorful plates high in protein and fiber lately, but in the past had horrible eating habits and never exercised or hydrated.

    If you or a loved one is having vascular pain/numbness when smoking please halt from smoking(I know, but really). This is possibly one of the only ways Cannabis can negatively impact your physiology(although rather indirectly). Let's not make this a statistic and maintain your health and inner wealth!

    Just hoping this will pass soon. I feel my body has betrayed me. Any natural way to combat the vaso-constriction would great as I don't like taking synthetic drugs. But if nothing else works I suppose there will be a daily med. :c

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