Researchers at the Taiwan National Taiwan University (NTU) have found that genistein, a component in soybeans, red clover and other plants, prevents the adverse cardiovascular effects of marijuana use. The results of this study were published in the journal Cell.
Epidemiological studies have shown that marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. In addition, patients who receive medications containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a key component of marijuana that produces a “high” sensation, may experience cardiovascular side effects, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
A joint research team of researchers from NTU, NTU Hospital, Academia Sinica, and Stanford University has discovered that genistein prevents the damage that THC causes to the inner walls of circulatory blood vessels. Although genistein blocks THC’s access to endothelial cells and reduces its negative effects, it does not interfere with the appetite stimulation or pain and nausea suppression effects that are so important for medical marijuana users.