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Cannabis, Heart Attack, and Stroke

Did you know that if you smoke cannabis, you are increasing your chance of having a heart attack or stroke?

The American Heart Association says you have a significantly higher chance of both. This should be taken very seriously, as cardiovascular disease is the number one leading cause of death in America.

Cannabis Use on the Rise

Cannabis use has increased exponentially in the past 20 years. As more people are using cannabis across the nation—although it’s still illegal on the federal level, cannabis is now legal to use medicinally in 38 states and recreationally in 24 states—society is being lulled into believing it is totally safe. This is simply not true.

Recent Studies Speak to the Dangers of Cannabis Use

National Institutes of Health

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed the more often you use cannabis, the greater your risk of heart attack or stroke grows. This study was one of the largest ever conducted studying this relationship, including 435,000 American adults. In this study, 75% of the subjects smoked cannabis, while 25% ingested it in some other fashion. The findings speak for themselves:

  • Using cannabis daily increased your chances of a heart attack by 25% and increased your chances of a stroke by 42% when contrasted with people who don’t use cannabis.
  • Less use also posed a risk. Weekly use demonstrated a 3% increased risk of heart attacks and a 5% increased risk of a stroke.

But there’s more. The study also found the toxins released when smoking cannabis are very similar to the toxins found in tobacco smoke. It is a well-known fact that tobacco smoke is associated with heart disease. According to this study, smoking cannabis can present just as great a risk. The endocannabinoid receptors (cell parts which recognize tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) are engrained in your body’s cardiovascular tissue, which enhance risk of heart issues.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Another study, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included information gathered from 434,104 subjects between the ages 18-74, from 27 states. Of the participants, 60% were white, 19% were Hispanic, 12% were black, and 9% were other ethnicities.

Researchers noted the number of people who had smoked cannabis in the last 30 days and who had self-reported incidences of coronary issues. The study also took into account participants’ age, sex, tobacco use, body-mass index (BMI), obesity, diabetes, physical activity and socio-economic standing. They looked at risk factors for men under 55 and women under 65 who were already at risk of heart disease. They compared these subjects with people who had never smoked tobacco or cannabis or used e-cigarette devices.

Their findings were similar to the NIH study above.

  • The more cannabis use, the higher the risk for heart attack or stroke.
  • Using it more often increased the likelihood.
  • In the men under 55 and women under 65 group, using cannabis increased their likelihood by 36%, whether or not they used tobacco as well.
Cannabis, Heart Attack, and Stroke

American College of Cardiology

In another recent study, the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session together with the World Congress of Cardiology concluded daily use of cannabis can make you one-third more inclined to develop CAD (coronary artery disease) in comparison to people who have never used it.

CAD is a narrowing of the arteries which bring blood to your heart because of cholesterol buildup. It causes pain in your chest, fatigue, shortness of breath, and can cause you to have a heart attack. This study also found a relationship between the two in younger people. And again, the bigger the dose, the more of a response.

As noted, THC acts on receptors in your central nervous system, your blood vessels, and your heart. This interaction can cause a buildup of plaque and inflammation which can lead to CAD. This study did not differentiate between different ingestions of the drug, smoking or other means, so it certainly warrants more study.

Cannabis, Heart Attack, and Stroke

The Results Are In

The results of all of these studies demonstrate that doctors need to talk with their patients about cannabis use in addition to tobacco use in relation to potential risks and how to reduce those risks.

The bottom line is that scientific studies are confirming cannabis use isn’t as harmless as its popularly believed to be.

Sanctuary Clinics is the #1 Christian Mental Health and Substance Treatment Program in America, specializing in Cannabis Cessation. If you or someone you love needs help, call and speak with someone RIGHT NOW.

Get Help Today.

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery.
Let us call you to learn more about our treatment options.

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery. Let us call you to learn more about our treatment options.

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