Bad news for all the hearts belonging to stoners out there: all that weed ain’t great for you. Smoking weed can cause “potential harm to the heart, lungs and blood vessels.” That’s according to the American Heart Association (AHA), that organization that puts the little heart-healthy check mark on your box of Cheerios.

“The American Heart Association recommends that people not smoke or vape any substance, including cannabis products,” said Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, deputy chief science and medical officer for AHA, in a statement, as reported by CNN.

There are a couple of reasons why cannabis does not agree with your heart, according to the group. For one, they say that cannabis smoke contains many of the same components as tobacco smoke. Weed smokers apparently have increases of carbon monoxide and tar in their blood at levels very similar to cigarette-smokers, which is not good.

If, however, a cannabis user opts for “oral and topical forms, for which doses can be measured, [this[ may reduce some of the potential harms,” said clinical pharmacologist Robert Page II, who headed up the medical writing group for the statement.

But just doing edibles and topical oils won’t get you off the hook, says Page.

His team also found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) itself shown to correspond to faster heart rates, heart rhythm abnormalities like tachycardia and atrial fibrillation, and contribute to higher blood pressure. At its worst, using cannabis has the potential to “trigger cardiovascular conditions or events, such as heart attacks and strokes.”

However, it’s not all bad news. Cannabidiol (CBD), the other cannabinoid star of the cannabis show, does not appear to cause any harm to the heart. CBD may even correlate to reduced heart rate, less inflammation, and lower blood pressure, all of which actually lowers your chances of heart disease and stroke.

Photo via Flickr/jessicahtam

Natalie