Marijuana Use Raises Risk Of Heart Problems – New Studies

Two new studies have discovered that smoking marijuana on a daily basis can greatly raise a person’s risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

The two unpublished studies, which were recently presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2023 scientific sessions event in Philadelphia, highlight marijuana’s possible negative impacts on heart health.

Marijuana, often known as marijuana or cannabis, is a psychoactive narcotic that contains a variety of compounds, the most important of which is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal mind-altering molecule responsible for its intoxicating effects.

To focus primarily on the cardiovascular effects of marijuana intake, subsequent studies eliminated cannabis users who also smoked tobacco.

According to the studies, habitual marijuana users are at a higher risk of both heart attack and stroke when hospitalized, and those who use marijuana daily are 34% more likely to develop heart failure.

The risk remained constant regardless of age, gender at birth, or smoking history.

The second study revealed that older persons 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”.

One of the studies included health data from 157,000 patients who participated in the National Institutes of Health study program.

Over the course of nearly four years, the specialists investigated whether marijuana users were more likely than non-users to suffer from heart failure.

“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, a professor in the department of clinical pharmacy and physical medicine/rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Aurora, Colorado, said in a statement.

“The latest research about cannabis use indicates that smoking and inhaling cannabis increases concentrations of blood carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas), tar (partly burned combustible matter) similar to the effects of inhaling a tobacco cigarette, both of which have been linked to heart muscle disease, chest pain, heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks and other serious conditions.

“You need to treat this just like you would any other risk factor (for heart disease and stroke), and honestly understand the risks that you were taking.”

“What is unique about our study is that patients who were using tobacco were excluded because cannabis and tobacco are sometimes used together, so we were able to specifically examine cannabis use and cardiovascular outcomes,” said Avilash Mondal, the lead study author and a resident physician at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia.

A study published last year discovered that marijuana use may impair people’s cognitive functioning, including their capacity to think, make decisions, and solve issues.

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