Cannabis cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs. Despite its widespread use and legalization in a number of countries, its impact on health remains poorly understood. The American Heart Association, in its scientific statement, does not recommend using cannabis for anyone, especially for people with chronic diseases. Separately, the organization highlights the potential cardiovascular risk associated with this substance.
Scientists have previously indicated that recent marijuana use may increase the risk of stroke. However, its impact on other cardiovascular problems remains poorly understood.
Canadian scientists analyzed data on 33 thousand US residents aged 18 to 44 who participated in large-scale polls of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017 and 2018. Then 17% of the participants reported that they had used cannabis in the last month. In this group, myocardial infarction occurred significantly more often than in those who do not use this substance: 1.3% versus 0.8%. The risk of developing a heart attack was the same regardless of the way the cannabis was used (smoking, vaping, ingestion). The authors of the study also obtained information on the prevalence of the disease from survey data.
Study participants who used marijuana were more likely to be men, smoked, and drank alcohol. The authors of the study point out that these factors could also affect the risk of developing a heart attack. However, when calculating, scientists took into account their possible effect.
In this study, scientists did not address the question of exactly how marijuana works on the heart. They point out that it was previously known to cause abnormal heart rhythms. As a result, the myocardium may receive insufficient oxygen. It is this mechanism that underlies coronary heart disease and heart attack.
Dr. Karim Ladha of the University of Toronto, co-author of the study, told CNN that many people believe that marijuana is completely safe for the body. However, the amount of evidence that this is not the case is constantly growing.