Consequences of Daily Marijuana Use: Increased Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, According to A Study!
A new study indicated that daily marijuana use was associated with a 35% increased risk of developing CAD compared to non-users.
Dr. Ishan Paranjpe, a Stanford University resident physician and the study’s primary author, said, “A rising body of research implies that cannabis is not wholly without damage and may actually induce cardiovascular disease.”
An unpublished study will be presented on Sunday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
Paranjpe argued that the risks of cannabis use should be balanced against the risks of developing heart disease.
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Plaque formation in the arterial walls is what leads to coronary artery disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAD, also known as atherosclerosis, is the most prevalent form of heart disease.
Chest pain (angina), fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath are all symptoms. “For some people, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack,” the CDC notes on its website.
Using Once a Month or Less
Information from the All of Us Research Program was used for this study. The program is run by the National Institutes of Health and is meant to collect data on the health of at least 1 million Americans over the course of several years.
Participants were asked about their history of cannabis use as part of the enrollment process. Using this data, the researchers classified the respondents into five groups: daily users (4,736), weekly users (2,720), monthly users (2,075), occasional users (once every three months; 8,749), and never users (39,678 people). After a few years, the researchers compared the individuals’ medical records with the corresponding groups.
Daily cannabis users were shown to have a 34% increased risk of coronary artery disease compared to non-users.
Those who smoked marijuana once a month or less were determined to be at low risk.
When researchers accounted for age, sex, and key cardiovascular risks factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcohol usage, the findings were consistent.
Paranjpe wrote in an email that the study used Mendelian randomization (MR) to calculate risk, which was not done in previous research. In order to ascertain the causative impact of a risk factor, the MR approach analyses gene variants known to be connected to the risk factor.
“While cannabis use has been associated with CAD in earlier research, it should be noted that this association may be attributable to a number of other factors as well. Our magnetic resonance research hints at a causal connection between these variables, “As Paranjpe put it.
Marijuana and The Heart
Why does marijuana seem to harm cardiovascular health? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report an immediate increase in heart rate and blood pressure following each use.
The government warns that “marijuana smoke also delivers many of the same chemicals researchers have detected in tobacco smoke,” which are dangerous to the lungs and cardiovascular system.
The American Heart Association warned in 2020 that smoking or vaping any chemical, including cannabis, poses a risk to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Within an hour of smoking marijuana containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the American Heart Association produced recommendations citing studies showing that heart rhythm abnormalities such as tachycardia and atrial fibrillation could occur. The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Additional studies have found that patients with preexisting heart illnesses are at a higher risk of having a heart attack induced by marijuana use, as well as a higher risk of stroke and heart failure as a result of regular marijuana use.
Nevertheless, the new study did not separate out the effects of different ways of using cannabis on the risk of getting CAD, such as eating cannabutter-coated gummies versus smoking pot. Researchers suggest that more study of THC’s effects on the heart is warranted because of how quickly it reaches the brain when smoked.