NOV 18, 2019 6:50 AM PST

Frequent Marijuana Use Linked with Stroke and Arrhythmia

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Research from two new preliminary studies presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions this week warned of the health risks associated with excessive cannabis use. The two studies listed increased risk of stroke and arrhythmia likelihood as associated health consequences.

"As these products become increasingly used across the country, getting clearer, scientifically rigorous data is going to be important as we try to understand the overall health effects of cannabis," explained AHA president Robert Harrington, MD.

The observational study included 43,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44, with 14% reporting cannabis use within the past 30 days. The data was obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) nationally representative cross-sectional survey, the behavioral risk factor surveillance system (2016-2017).

The study’s analysis yielded two important results for young participants:

  1. People who frequently used cannabis and either smoked cigarettes or used e-cigarettes were three times more likely to have a stroke compared to non-users.
  2. People who used cannabis for more than 10 days a month but did not use tobacco products were 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke compared to non-users.

The second study reported that individuals diagnosed with “cannabis use disorder” were 50% more likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmia). Cannabis use disorder is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) as “nine pathological patterns classified under impaired control, social impairment, risky behavior or physiological adaptation.”

Sometimes arrhythmia is harmless, and sometimes it is a serious cause for concern. Depending on the dosing, cannabis use can either cause the heart to beat abnormally fast or abnormally slow. The study specifically found that young African American men with cannabis use disorder between the ages of 15 and 24 were the most likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmia, even though young African American men were not the demographic group associated with the most prevalent cannabis use disorder.

Researchers from the study see great value in highlighting the importance of adequate cannabis use education so in places where recreational marijuana is legal, recreational users “know the difference between therapeutic cannabis dosing for medical purposes and the consequences of cannabis abuse,” explained physician Rikinkumar S. Patel, MD, PhD.

Sources: American Heart Association, “Cannabis Use Disorder

 
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
OCT 18, 2019
Health & Medicine
OCT 18, 2019
Can Marijuana Help Chronic Migraines?
Migraines are not just headaches, but often debilitating disorders usually characterized by a unilateral hemi cranial pulsating headache, often accompanied...
OCT 31, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 31, 2019
Scientists Doubt That Cannabis Actually Helps with Anxiety & Depression
Between CBD, THC, hemp, and marijuana, cannabis is king when it comes to popular health trends on the internet and in the marketplace right now. Cannabis p...
NOV 19, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
NOV 19, 2019
Cannabis Can't Simply Replace Opioids for Pain Management
According to the research, cannabis is not effective when it comes to treating individuals struggling with opioid use disorder. While some may have conside...
DEC 02, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 02, 2019
Scientists List Several Reasons Not to Use Marijuana During Pregnancy
An estimated 16 percent of women use marijuana on a daily basis while pregnant, and a large majority of women do so without realizing the potential health...
JAN 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 21, 2020
Medical Marijuana Ineffective for Long Term Pain Management
Medicinal cannabis may not as effective as once thought as a solution for sleep problems for those with chronic pain in the long run, according to new find...
FEB 25, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
FEB 25, 2020
Marijuana Use Among Seniors Over 65 Skyrockets
Following its legalization, cannabis and its products have become increasingly popular- and not just among young people. Researchers from New York Universi...
Loading Comments...