Home » Daily Cannabis Use Linked to Increased Heart and Stroke Risks, Study Finds

Daily Cannabis Use Linked to Increased Heart and Stroke Risks, Study Finds

by Richard A Reagan

A comprehensive study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, funded by the National Institutes of Health, unveils a stark reality: daily marijuana users are significantly more likely to face heart attacks and strokes than non-users.

Abra Jeffers, a seasoned data analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a former researcher at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, where the study was based, highlighted the dangers lurking within cannabis smoke. [Source]

“We know that toxins are released when cannabis is burned, similar to those found in tobacco smoke,” Jeffers elucidated. This parallel draws a concerning line connecting the act of smoking cannabis to heightened cardiovascular risks. [Source]

For decades, the correlation between tobacco smoking and heart disease has been well-documented, underscoring a grave health menace.

Jeffers further asserted, “This study is evidence that smoking cannabis appears to also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Cannabis use could be an important, underappreciated source of heart disease.”

The research scrutinized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encompassing 434,104 American adults aged 18 to 74, surveyed between 2016 and 2020. Among the participants, about 4% were identified as daily cannabis users, 7% used the drug approximately five days a month, while a vast majority of 88.9% had abstained from marijuana use in the past 30 days.

The investigation revealed that among current users, a staggering three-fourths predominantly smoked the drug.

Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, a professor of medicine at UCSF and the senior author of the study, explained the shifting nature of substance use, stating, “Cannabis use is increasing in both prevalence and frequency, while conventional tobacco smoking is declining. Cannabis use by itself might, over time, become the more important risk factor.” [Source]

Specifically, the study found that individuals engaging in daily cannabis consumption via smoking were 25% more likely to endure a heart attack and faced a 42% increased risk of suffering a stroke compared to non-users.

The study also noted that while the risk for non-daily users was comparatively lower, it remained significantly elevated against non-users.

With heart disease remaining the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, accounting for one in every five deaths as per the CDC, these findings are particularly alarming. [Source]

Dr. David Goff, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, underscored the importance of this revelation, stating, “This is an important public health finding, particularly given our ongoing efforts to reduce the burden of heart disease in this country.”

As the legalization and recreational sale of marijuana continue to expand across the United States, with New York leading the charge in 2021, the call for further research and a deeper understanding of the drug’s health implications has never been more critical. 

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