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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dan Jin

Application of Medical Cannabis in Unstable Angina and Coronary Artery Disease – A Case Report

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in regulating pain, immunity, memory, cognition, appetite, mood, and sleep. It has also been extensively implicated in the cardiovascular system with contractility, heart rate, blood pressure, and vasodilation. An increasing number of studies demonstrated that ECS plays an essential role in cardio metabolic risk, atherosclerosis, and can even limit damage to cardiomyocytes during ischemic events.  


One recent case report described a 63-year-old patient who had unstable angina (UA) and it could not be relieved by morphine or cardiac medications. After failing all first- and second-line polypharmaceutical therapies, he consulted a primary care physician for a medical cannabis treatment.  


Interventions and outcomes: After using an edible form of medical cannabis (THC:CBD = 1:1) in conjunction with his standard cardiac care, the patient had a gradual lessening of UA-related pain, including both frequency and character. After continued treatment and pain was no longer severe, he ceased long-term morphine treatment. As demonstrated by his exercise tolerance tests, the patient experienced an improved functional capacity and reported an increase in his daily functioning, and overall activity  


The study concluded that this case report uniquely highlights the potential of medical cannabis in reducing the character, quality, and frequency of UA, and improving functional cardiac capacity in a patient with coronary artery disease. Additional case reports and clinical trials are necessary to verify this.  

Reference: 

  1. Shaffer, B. L., Davis, G. M., Incitti, M. A., Piper, B. J. & Entler, B. V. Application of medical cannabis in unstable angina and coronary artery disease: A case report. Medicine 100, e25172 (2021). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33726006/ 

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