Kevin Smith’s doctor said that smoking pot before his heart attack saved his life


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Kevin Smith suffered a massive heart attack back in February. He was filming a standup show for Netflix called Silent But Deadly, which is out next week. Kevin was in New York promoting that show and his co-starring role alongside daughter Harley Quinn in All These Small Moments. While on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Kevin described the night of his heart attack in such detail that it took up his entire segment. Kevin said that the reason he survived a full blockage of the widow-maker artery was due to a joint he’d smoked right before his set.

“I honestly thought I was too high,” he recalled to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Tuesday night. “I had smoked a bunch of weed that day because I was doing the shows, then I smoked a joint right before the show and I got off stage and all of the sudden, I had a heart attack.”

“I asked my doctor like after this was all done, I was like, ‘I hate to ask this question, man, but did I have a heart attack because of the weed? Because I smoked a joint right before the show.’”

“No. In fact, quite the opposite,” Smith recalled his doctor telling him. “That weed saved your life.”

As his doctor explained, the weed had helped him stay calm despite all that was happening to him and how serious it was.

“He said, you kept calm…they told you [you] were going through stuff and you kept calm the whole time, so that joint saved your life,” he recalled his doctor saying.

As Smith quipped on the late-night show, “I’m putting that on a T-shirt.”

[From E!]

I found that interesting. I don’t smoke marijuana and always equate it to smoking cigarettes (which I did do, for decades). So my first thought was “sure, I’ll bet it was the weed.” But now that I hear Kevin’s story, it makes perfect sense. It’s like panicking during drowning, if the swimmer can relax, they might not succumb to the exhaustion that can lead to drowning. (I mean, don’t light up a joint while you are drowning, but you get the point.) I’ve posted the clip of his segment below. It’s worth a watch because he’s a good story teller. But he also gives more important information, such as how his symptoms were common indicators of heart attacks but none of what he’d been taught. For example, he didn’t feel any arm pain and he felt nauseous but had no chest pain.

Lots of outlets are talking about Kevin’s weight loss, which has been 32 pounds so far. Originally, Kevin tried to live by Penn Gillette’s suggested plant-based diet but after his initial drop, the diet didn’t work for him. He’s still committed to losing the recommended 50 pounds, and he has since joined Weight Watchers and said they made him an ambassador. Since Kevin admitted on the Today show that he is still a wake-and-baker, I want to see his WW campaign for recommendations of snacks for the munchies. I’m just glad that Kevin is doing so well and I appreciate everything he’s shared about heart attack signs and symptoms.

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46 Responses to “Kevin Smith’s doctor said that smoking pot before his heart attack saved his life”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    I started weight watchers a few weeks ago as well. I’ve lost 3 kgs so far. 7 to go! I’m really happy with it. Go Kevin!

  2. Lala says:

    I’m VERY high-strung…and yes…420 smooths everything out…so I TOTALLY believe this!!!!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yup, this. I get so anxious sometimes, and I’m naturally high-strung…sometimes I just have a little one hit to calm me down…doesn’t even really make me feel “high”, just relaxed.

      I’m so glad it’s becoming more accepted as an anti-anxiety med and painkiller.

      and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kevin Smith…funny, good dude…and fellow Jersey peep.

  3. naomipaige says:

    It can also be cause heart attacks depending how much you smoke. Smoking weed, I feel is much worse than smoking cigarettes. I could be wrong, but with weed you had the smoke in longer, so I equate that with being bad. My friend Chris smoked weed for two years straight, at least 5-6 joints a day, and he had an ‘episode’, which is one step away from a heart attack, and he had to have a stent put in, because one of his arteries was just about completely closed.

    • Betsy says:

      This sounds more likely. I know pot can have several beneficial effects and these benefits can outweigh any negative side effects, but let’s not pretend it’s some benign substance.

      • FLORC says:

        Tally.
        Fully true anecdote.
        A friend never flossed and rarely brushed.
        Married a dentist. She made him floss and bam! He’s suddenly got 2 cavities. He claims it was the brush/floss because up until then never an issue. And to the right mind this can make sense. Seeking a pattern.

        It’s always been extremely frustrating to hear what some people claim leads to illness. Ignoring other factors. Occam’s Razor.

    • Alissa says:

      the difference is what’s in the Smoke you’re holding in. There’s no rat poison in pot smoke, for instance. It has completely different things in it than cigarette smoke, so you really can’t compare them. There’s a reason that they offer pot to cancer patients, and yet cigarettes are a leading cause of lung cancer. also, it doesn’t make your arteries close, so your friend’s heart attack is completely unrelated to the amount of pot that he was smoking if the heart attack was due to an artery being closed.

      now, I’m not saying that smoking pot is super healthy or anything, but it’s not the same thing as smoking cigarettes.

      • Erinn says:

        And I believe using a vape instead of smoking a joint is also healthier. Could be wrong on that, but it’s what I’ve been told. Something to do with the water vapor.

      • deets says:

        There are two major concerns with any smoke, the heat and particulate in the smoke, and the actives.
        A joint and a cigarette would have similar heat and particulate density and size, but the actives are completely different. Nicotine delays apoptosis (cell death) and cannabinoids increase it.
        Vaping decreases both the heat and particulates, reducing the irritation on throat and lung tissue that comes with inhaling smoke.
        So for avoiding coughing and worse damage edibles> vape>bong>pipe>joint

      • FLORC says:

        Erinn
        Vape is safer and short of edibles is the best delivery system to absorb max percentage of the active ingredient.
        Way back a vaporizer was difficult to find, purchase and was very expensive. 10 years later. Everywhere! Mildly wish I could still.

    • Luna says:

      Cannabis is a vasodilator: it opens the blood vessels, which is probably why Smith’s doctor credits it for saving his life. Marijuana doesn’t “cause” heart attacks. The only physiological issue I have seen, as a provider, is cyclical vomiting syndrome. And that is incredibly rare. Inhaling any kind of smoke is not good for you, but edibles and CBT oil are available in all the legalized states.

    • JustJen says:

      Disagree. There is no tar or nicotine in weed. Plus, if you are asthmatic like me, you can always stick to edibles.

    • FLORC says:

      Marijuana on it’s own cannot cause heart attacks. Full Stop. No study that claims it does stand up to scrutiny.
      It can inhibit certain medications. If you’re on clotting or thinning meds you are recommended to not use it. Among other scripts for other reasons unrelated here.

      As far as tar… your lung tissue is resilient! What little there is is minimal and easily repaired by the lungs which are a truly amazing organ.

      Kevin’s joint likely played some minor positive role. Not to a lifesaving degree like aspirin.

      I’m still surprised at the bad press marijuana gets. Yes. Paranoia is possible, but avoidable with proper knowledge. Yes you will cough, but there’s more than 1 way to apply it. Most of what people seem apprehensive about it comes from a lack of education about it.

    • Katie says:

      @NaomiPaige – I definitely have to dispute this claim that pot is worse for you than cigarettes. First of all, cigarettes are filled with toxic additives and this is a well known fact. A cigarette is made of paper sprayed with a chemical compound and shredded up to look like tobacco. Anyone who has somked real tabacco can tell the difference from 5′. Secondly and more importantly, Nicotine, which is not only in cigarettes, but in chew, gum, and patches is very bad for your health. NICOTINE causes heart attacks and NICOTINE inhibits your body’s ability to heal/regenenerate cells. There’s probably a lot of other problems nictine causes, but I am sharing the 2 I know of in depth from doctors and extensive research due to family medical issues.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      If your friend is young-ish, it could have been genetic-familial hypercholesterolemia, family history of early coronary artery syndrome. Heck, even if he occasionally uses cocaine ( not saying he does) he could have Prinzmetal variant angina.

      So many of my cohort in youth were heavy users, and it never occurred. Also was a CV RN, and never had a patient with ACS caused by any other drug than amphetamines/ cocaine. Spouse is interventional cardiologist and agrees, in the context of his experience.

      Cigarettes have so many bad and nasty chemicals. I get your point; smoking either is bad, but I think most recreational adult users probably aren’t frequent or heavy users, and therefore risk of lung and cardiac damage is probably significantly lower for weed users ( again, unless they are super heavy weed daily users- but pot doesn’t cause catecholamine release like cigs or other stimulants).

    • GreenQueen says:

      Feeling something doesn’t make it so. Cigarettes are much worse than weed. The best way to use weed is to vape or ingest it. Please STOP saying they are equal or cigs are better people, they are not. Source: am healthcare provider

  4. PunkyMomma says:

    He’s one lucky dude.

  5. Yup says:

    It makes sense, most people would panic when they have a heart attack.

  6. Alice says:

    Y’all gonna roll your eyes but I have really begun looking at health from a more holistic point of view and do somewhat believe that heart attacks can be caused by emotional problems. Broken heart, trauma, ext’. People are sensitive in different areas and some ‘take to heart’ more than others. Of course, diet, exercise contribute greatly to our health but I feel more and more that the more emotional cleansing I do, the better my physical health gets despite me not being a total health nut. Just my take.

  7. Linda says:

    So we should all smoke joints constantly in case we have a heart attack.? Allrighty then. Sarcasm. This is just dumb.

  8. WendyNerd says:

    Story:

    So, during my first semester exams during my senior year of college, I was really afraid for, of all things, my health and nutrition exam (I was an english major. All of my other courses were things like non-fiction, Shakespeare, Literary theory, Irish Lit, with some history courses. Stuff that actually engaged me. MUCH easier to study for). Mostly because it was an eight am one. So I was studying like crazy for it and in the middle of a session when a friend calls me out for a bake session. I insist I can’t, I have to study. But I also can’t concentrate because of my nerves (I have an anxiety disorder). So finally I agree to go. We’re gone for twenty. I come back thinking “Crap, how will I study now?” Try anyways. I plow through basically the whole syllabus in an hour. Ace all of my flash card questions. All my practice tests. High off of my ass.

    Next morning I go in. Come out with a 98.5. Ace the course.

    I know for a fact that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten high. I’d been studying for four hours beforehand and gotten NOWHERE. One bake hour and BOOM. 98.5.

    Also, I think cigarettes are much worse. Booze as well. And all that shit about it being a “gateway” — only because it is illegal and you have to get it from a dealer. And I know WAY more drug addicts who got into it because they started abusing alcohol than weed. I never touched anything stronger. All the issues with weed are from it being illegal, not the stuff itself.

  9. SJhere says:

    I enjoy most of Kevin Smiths work. Clerks and Dogma are always watchable.
    Glad to see he is trying to take better care of himself.
    He looks good, for a guy who recently had a major heart attack.

    Wish he’d make a good comedy soon. I know I need more laughs IRL.

  10. DesertReal says:

    Weed saves lives?
    I’m totally gonna get some when I go to Vegas this summer…
    For safety reasons, of course.

  11. Grinning mama bear says:

    Did the pot smoking cause the heart attacks, too? Kind of like: smoke pot and have an easy heart attack?

  12. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Why would an interventionalist use a femoral approach when there is a perfectly good radial approach? It’s not as if he is an itty bitty elderly woman with tiny arteries? There’s so much greater a risk of complication post procedure with a femoral approach. 🤔

  13. No Doubtful says:

    I adore him and he is a GREAT storyteller. I’ve been hoping Netflix gives him his own show!

  14. Hazel says:

    I’m happy he’s alive & telling his story; I believe it will help a lot of people.
    On a superficial note: it would be great if Kevin would buy grown up clothes. I think he may have been hiding his body with the goofy oversized Ts & cargo shorts & sneakers. With the weight loss, I think he’d look & feel better in more structured clothing.

  15. The Traveling Emergency says:

    im surprised that Kitten didn’t weigh in on this thread, given her frequent references to her own pot smoking .

  16. CairinaCat says:

    My 96 year old grandmother uses edibles and oil to stop her shaking.
    She has horrible tremors in her whole body but especially her hands.
    She eats some brownie with her specific type of weed or her formulated oil and within 5 minutes there shaking is cut 95%

    I use a specific type for sleep