This research was conducted to determine if THC might have protective effects in the treatment of cardiovascular system dysfunction arising from Ischemia / Reperfusion (IR). IR is loss of blood flow, then the return of blood flow to the heart - both conditions can create damage or injury. It was published in April 2022 in the journal Frontiers in Bioscience.
When the heart stops receiving blood during a cardiopulmonary bypass surgery or stroke for example, the human body reacts in many ways that contribute to cell damage and cell death. This study experimented on rat hearts altered to behave more like human hearts. It was performed in vitro (not in a live animal).
The authors said their results indicated protective effects of Δ9-THC, and they proposed use of Δ9-THC before a planned I/R event, such as cardiac bypass surgery.
Conclusions in the author's words:
Δ9-THC protected the heart, as evidenced by the improved recovery of cardiac function
Cells subjected to I/R showed lower cytoplasmic LDH activity [high levels indicate cell damage]
Δ9-THC promotes the viability of cardiomyocytes, improves their metabolic activity, decreases cell damage and restores heart mechanical function, serving as a cardioprotective.
We proposed the use of Δ9-THC as a cardioprotective drug to be administered before onset of I/R protocol.
The full text paper is here at IMR Press.