Cardiovascular effects

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Cardiovascular effects can be defined as any uncomfortable physical effect which relates to the heart and blood vessels.

This page lists and describes the various cardiovascular effects which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

Abnormal heartbeat

Main article: Abnormal heartbeat

An abnormal heartbeat (also called an arrhythmia or dysrhythmia) is any of a group of conditions in which the electrical activity of the heart is irregular. During this state, the heartbeat may be too fast (over 100 beats per minute) or too slow (less than 60 beats per minute) and may be regular or irregular. A heartbeat that is too fast is called tachycardia and a heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia. Although many arrhythmias are not life-threatening, it is worth noting that some can cause cardiac arrest in extreme cases.

An abnormal heartbeat is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of stimulant and depressant compounds, such as cocaine,[1] methamphetamine, and GABAergics. While stimulants tend to increase a person's heart rate, depressants tend to decrease it. Combining the two can often result in dangerously irregular heartbeats.

Decreased heart rate

Main article: Decreased heart rate
This picture shows sinus bradycardia seen in lead II with a heart rate of about 50 BPM.

Decreased heart rate or bradycardia can be described as a heart rate that is lower than the normal heart rate at rest. The average healthy human heart normally beats 60 to 100 times a minute when a person is at rest. When the heart rate fluctuates to lower levels under 60 BPM, it is described as bradycardia or an abnormally low heart rate.

It is worth noting that decreased heart rate can often be a result of psychological symptoms as a natural response to relaxation, anxiety suppression, sedation, and mindfulness.

Decreased heart rate is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of depressant compounds, such as GABAergics, and opioids. However, it can also occur under the influence of cannabinoids, dissociatives, and stimulants.

Decreased blood pressure

Decreased blood pressure can be described as a condition in which the pressure in the systemic arteries is decreased to abnormal levels. A blood pressure of 120/80 is considered normal for an adult. A blood pressure of 90/60 or lower is considered hypotension and a blood pressure between 120/80 and 90/60 is considered prehypotension.[2]

Decreased blood pressure is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of GABAergic depressant compounds, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. However, it can also occur under the influence of vasodilating compounds such as poppers as well as certain psychedelics and stimulants in an unpredictable manner.

Increased heart rate

Main article: Increased heart rate
Heartrate above 100BPM

Increased heart rate or tachycardia is described as a heart rate that is faster than the normal heart rate at rest. The average healthy human heart normally beats 60 to 100 times a minute when a person is at rest.[3] When the heart rate fluctuates to higher levels over 100 BPM, it is described as tachychardia or an abnormally high heart rate.

It is worth noting that increased heart rate can often be a result of psychological symptoms as a natural adrenal response to anxiety, paranoia, shock, and fear.

Increased heart rate is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of stimulating compounds, such as traditional stimulants, certain psychedelics, and certain dissociatives. This is thought to occur as a direct result of dopaminergic or adrenergic modulation.[4][5] However, it can also occur under the influence of deliriants due to the way in which they inhibit acetylcholine, one of the main modulaters of heart rate in the peripheral nervous system.[6][7]

Vasoconstriction

Main article: Vasoconstriction
This diagram demonstrates comparative differences within vein structure during states of vasodilation, vasoconstriction, and normality.

Vasoconstriction can be described as a narrowing of the veins and blood vessels which results from a contraction of their muscular wall. It is particularly prevalent in the large arteries and small arterioles.

This effect typically results in feelings of tightness, achiness, and numbness within a person's arms and legs. It can range from mild in its effects to extremely uncomfortable.

Vasoconstriction is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as stimulation. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of stimulating psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, 2C-E, and DOC. However, it can also occur under the influence of traditional stimulants such as methamphetamine, caffeine, and MDMA.

Vasodilation

Main article: Vasodilation
This diagram demonstrates comparative differences within vein structure during states of vasodilation, vasoconstriction, and normality.

Vasodilation can be described as a widening of the veins and blood vessels which results from the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls. It is particularly prevalent in the large arteries and small arterioles. The primary function of vasodilation is to increase blood flow in the body to tissues that need it most. In essence, this process is the opposite of vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of blood vessels.

This effect is typically very difficult to consciously perceive but often results in a bloodshot red eye effect and relief from glaucoma.[8][9]

Vasodilation is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as decreased blood pressure. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of cannabinoid compounds, such as cannabis, JWH-018, and THJ-018. However, it can also occur under the influence of poppers and viagra.

See also

References

  1. O’Leary, Michael E, and Jules C Hancox. “Role of Voltage-Gated Sodium, Potassium and Calcium Channels in the Development of Cocaine-Associated Cardiac Arrhythmias.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 69.5 (2010): 427–442. PMC. Web. 27 June 2017.
  2. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hyp | What is Hypotension? (NHLBI)
  3. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/exercise/pulse-target-heart-rate
  4. http://www.fasebj.org/content/4/8/2469.short
  5. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/17274456
  6. http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1140162
  7. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/213/4504/220.short
  8. Cardiovascular Effects of Cannabis | http://www.idmu.co.uk/canncardio.htm
  9. Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Glaucoma? | http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000140