Two Studies To Be Presented This Week Show Cannabis Use Can Be Dangerous To Heart Health

Two Studies To Be Presented This Week Show Cannabis Use Can Be Dangerous To Heart Health

Two studies that will be presented later this week links regular cannabis to significantly higher cardiovascular issues.

Cannabis use has exploded across the country as states have legalized recreational and medicinal flower’s use, including as edibles and THC-infused beverages. However, two new studies show cannabis has drawbacks.

According to a pair of studies that will be presented at the American Heart Association’s 2023 Scientific Sessions later this week, regular cannabis use is linked to significantly higher cardiovascular issues, including heart attack and stroke. The studies show cannabis use may be more of a concern for heart health than originally thought, especially for those who frequently use it and those with underlying health conditions.

According to Business Insider, researchers at MedStar Health in Baltimore studied data from more than 150,000 people who were initially free from heart failure over four years of follow-up to compare health outcomes with self-reported cannabis use.

MedStar researchers discovered those who used cannabis daily had a 34% higher risk of developing heart failure than people who never used the drug. Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, lead author of the study and a physician at Medstar, told Insider the findings suggest the study could help health professionals and cannabis consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to cannabis use.

A second study by a second group of researchers from multiple institutions, including Adelphi University in New York, probed hospitalization records from more than 10 million adults over 65. None of the participants studied smoked tobacco and had existing health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, to determine whether cannabis use, reported in more than 28,000 of the patients, played a role in complications during hospital stays.

The researchers found that those who have a dependency on the drug were significantly more likely to have major heart issues, including a heart attack or stroke.

Recreational cannabis use is currently legal in 24 states, while medical use is legal in 38 states. On Tuesday, voters in Ohio legalized recreational use of the drug in a 57% to 43% vote.

The long-term health effects of cannabis use are largely unknown, and medical professionals across the country and the world are pushing for more studies to understand how the drug affects the body over decades.

According to the American Heart Association’s 2023 Statistical Update, heart failure affects 6.7 million people in the U.S. and disproportionately impacts Black adults. Additionally, previous research has found that communities exposed to redlining had higher rates of stroke, as well as increased risk of hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and early mortality due to heart disease.