Observational data are strongly pointing to the fact that … cannabis use at any point in time, be it recreational or medicinal, may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease.Robert Page II, chair of the volunteer writing group for the 2020 American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Medical Marijuana, Recreational Cannabis, and Cardiovascular Health. Page references new studies presented this week which suggest marijuana use is linked to higher risks of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
Why It Matters: Researchers presented two new studies this week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia which suggest that regular marijuana use may negatively impact the heart as well as brain health. The studies – not yet published – found older adults who use marijuana (and do not smoke tobacco) to have a higher risk of a stroke and heart attack when hospitalized. Researchers also found that daily marijuana users show a 34% higher likelihood of developing heart failure, and that “older people with any combination of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol who used marijuana, significantly increased their risk for a major acute heart or brain event while hospitalized, compared to those who reported not using marijuana” (American Heart Association).
Something To Consider: “What is unique about our study is that patients who were using tobacco were excluded because cannabis and tobacco are sometimes used together, therefore, we were able to specifically examine cannabis use and cardiovascular outcomes,” said lead study author Dr. Avilash Mondal, a resident physician at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia.
Marijuana use linked with increased risk of heart attack, heart failure (American Heart Association Newsroom)
by Emily Hooker, based in Texas