According to a news release, people who used marijuana daily were found to have a higher likelihood of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) than those who never used the drug, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology. As cannabis legalization expands across various states in the U.S., this study is one of the most comprehensive to date in examining the potential long-term cardiac effects associated with marijuana use. CAD is a common form of heart disease which occurs when cholesterol builds up and narrows the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue, as well as a heart attack.
Past studies have revealed mixed findings on the association of cannabis and heart disease, with some suggesting that smoking marijuana may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack or other cardiac events. However, the results from this study indicate that there is a connection between cannabis use and CAD, as well as a correlation between more frequent marijuana use and an elevated risk of CAD.
Lead author Ishan Paranjpe, MD, a resident physician at Stanford University commented on the public health implications of their findings: “It shows that there are probably certain harms of cannabis use that weren’t recognized before, and people should take that into account.” Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with marijuana use, so that consumers can make an informed decision.