Cannabis may slow and even reverse heart failure by the use of TRPV1, a cannabinoid receptor. This new information is coming from  research led by a team at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).  Alexander Stokes, a JABSOM assistant professor in cell and molecular biology, said “the potential medical benefits of using cannabis-based therapies for the treatment of heart disease are promising.”

TRPV1 is showing long-term effective reversal of heart when the drug is administered  orally.  “TRPV1 has primarily been studied as a pain receptor,” said Stokes. “The receptors are abundant in the heart, and we are excited to show that if we inhibit its function with oral doses of drugs, we can reverse some effects of heart failure.”

The findings were published in the journal Channels.

“Heart disease and diabetes are a rapidly expanding menace in America, with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations having up to twice the likelihood of showing these diseases than other ethnic groups in the islands,” said Mariana Gerschenson, JABSOM professor and Diabetes Research Center director.

Added JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, MD, “We are pleased to see Dr. Stokes’ research shows great promisein treating a disease that affects so many in Hawai‘i.”

For more information, see the research paper.