Study: Cannabis Use Doubles Risk of Heart Attack in Young Adults

Justin Tang/Canadian Press via AP

A recent study showed young adults who used cannabis were twice more likely to experience a heart attack.

The peer-reviewed research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Tuesday found that myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, was more prevalent in American adults under 45 who either smoked, vaped, or consumed cannabis as edibles compared to those who did not use it, Global News reported.

“Beyond the main finding that heart attacks were found to be more common in cannabis users, what we did find is that the more people use, the higher the risk,” Karim Ladha, a clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital located in Toronto and a co-author of the study, noted.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (R), joined Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), speaks at a press conference on introducing legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate Democratic leader is introducing The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and begin regulating and taxing it at the federal level. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Although smoking was the most common form of use, vaping and edibles also increased the risk of a heart attack, suggesting no method was safer than another method, he noted.

The Global News report continued:

Ladha and his colleagues looked at data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 2017 and 2018, including more than 33,000 American adults aged 18 to 44 years. Cannabis users were more likely to be male, unmarried, cigarette as well as e-cigarette smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers, the data showed. This latest study adds to a growing body of evidence that has linked cannabis use to heart complications.

According to the CDC, using marijuana caused one’s heart to beat faster and could result in increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

“Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, but it also delivers harmful substances to users and those close by, including many of the same substances found in tobacco smoke, which are harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular system,” the agency’s website said.

Marijuana activists stage a demonstration in front of the White House on Independence Day on July 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. Members of the group Fourth of July Hemp Coalition gathered for its annual protest on marijuana prohibition which the group said it dated back to more than 50 years ago during Nixon Administration. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“So it’s hard to separate the effects of the compounds in marijuana on the cardiovascular system from the hazards posed by the irritants and other chemicals contained in the smoke,” it read.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), marijuana was the most commonly used addictive drug following tobacco and alcohol and use was widespread among young adults.


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