Marijuana made my heart pound

Originally Published: January 24, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 21, 2005
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Dear Alice,

I recently smoked marijuana, and while I was stoned, my heart pounded rapidly. Is this a normal effect of the drug, an allergic reaction, or something else??

Dear Reader,

A person using marijuana will likely experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, since these are common, short-term side-effects of the drug. Another possible explanation for this response is more psychological: anxiety about smoking pot, or pre-existing non-marijuana-related anxiety, can contribute to mild, and sometimes severe, panic attacks that are accompanied by a racing, pounding heart. These anxiety reactions are common among "nervous," first-time users, but are not exclusive to this group.

Another possibility to consider: the marijuana smoked was mixed with another drug, such as PCP. If so, the effect of this unknown substance could have played a role in your rapidly-pounding heart.

If the effects on your heart bother you or make you uncomfortable, then maybe reconsidering smoking marijuana is an option.

Regardless, a rapidly-pounding heart is something to pay attention to. If you notice it happening under any other circumstances and/or more frequently, then consider talking with a health care provider.

Alice

January 21, 2005

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Dear Alice,

I also has this happen to me. But to put it mildly, it scared me to death! I had smoked weed before and it had never happened, so I was concerned. Hoping it wasn't the weed, I smoked...

Dear Alice,

I also has this happen to me. But to put it mildly, it scared me to death! I had smoked weed before and it had never happened, so I was concerned. Hoping it wasn't the weed, I smoked it again after a while only to have the same thing happen again. I haven't smoked since. My doctor told me that it was a Panic Attack. That's an understatement! I was dizzy, my heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, and I was very nervous. The worst part during this was that I felt extremely sick to my stomach. It's the worst feeling I've ever felt in my life! And people say "Weed's Harmless"... I was on two different medications to "control" my panic attacks that I now had regularly even though I stopped smoking weed. I had never had a panic attack before. I had to take the medication for about 2 years before I finally learned how to deal with them on my own. Did I mention that I had to take both medicines daily! That's a tuff price to pay for a joint, don't you think?

-Marijuana isn't worth it!