Health & Wellness

Recent Studies Highlight the Risks of Marijuana Use on Heart and Brain Health



Lately, the American Heart Association (AHA) unveiled a couple of surprising research pieces highlighting possible health risks linked with marijuana usage, especially in the elderly populace. These studies, put on exhibit during AHA’s Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, are creating ripples across the healthcare sector, and triggering demands for amplified enlightenment on cannabis consumption.

Increased Heart and Stroke Risk Linked to Marijuana

One of the major takeaways from the AHA session is the heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases in marijuana users. The following are critical points from the studies presented:

  • Older adults who use marijuana but don’t smoke tobacco are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke when hospitalized.
  • Daily marijuana users have a 34% higher chance of developing heart failure.
  • Marijuana use may worsen chronic conditions in adults over age 65, leading to significant health events.
  • Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol may increase the likelihood of adverse cardiovascular events in marijuana users.
  • Even in the absence of tobacco use, marijuana can still pose substantial heart health risks.

The Impact of Marijuana on Heart Health

Robert Page II, an advocate for the AHA’s stance on substance use, emphasizes the dangers marijuana poses to cardiovascular health. The AHA strongly counsels not to inhale anything, especially weed, because it can damage your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Not forgetting to mention, a Page from the University of Colorado underlines that pot smoking should be considered just as dangerous for heart disease and stroke as other risk factors.

Curiously, short-term marijuana consumption might reduce blood pressure, possibly heightening the likelihood of a stroke. On the other hand, long-term use could be associated with increased blood pressure—which can lead to different heart-related problems. The delicate balance between the effects of pot smoking and heart health is made more complex due to its influence when combined with existing health problems.

Marijuana Use on the Rise Among Older Adults

Recent studies suggest a dramatic increase in marijuana consumption among seniors, with a reported 450% rise in past month binge drinking and marijuana use between 2015 and 2019 among those over 65. This rise is concerning given nearly 30% of users may develop cannabis use disorder, characterized by dependency symptoms, and can escalate to addiction when it interferes significantly with daily life.

Risk Factors and Predictors of Cardiovascular Events

Dr. Avilash Mondal’s study concentrated on non-tobacco-smoking older adults with cannabis use disorder, revealing a 20% higher chance of major heart or brain events during hospitalization compared to non-users. Both groups analyzed already had high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, with specific predictors for major adverse events being identified as high blood pressure readings and high cholesterol levels.

Yakubu Bene-Alhasan of MedStar Health in Baltimore led a separate study that found daily marijuana use to be a precursor to an increased risk of heart failure. This extensive research followed nearly 160,000 adults, revealing that marijuana use significantly heightens the risk of heart failure, irrespective of other common risk factors like age or sex at birth.

Coronary Artery Disease and Marijuana

Earlier 2023 studies conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted a link between the frequent use of weed and a one-third escalation in contracting coronary artery disease or CAD. This condition is characterized by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, potentially causing severe heart ailments. These findings bolster the need for thorough research into marijuana’s effects on cardiovascular health.

The finger-pointing results from these experiments call for an alarm to those individuals who daily intake cannabis, suggesting further inquiries into its health consequences. If you wish to delve deeper into the relationship of marijuana use with heart risks, quickly click on The CDC page.

As a wrap-up, the recent research from the American Heart Association AHA lays out a crucial red flag about the potential dangers associated with recreational pot smoking, especially when concerned with heart and brain health. As older adults demonstrate an apparent uptick in usage leading to reliance or addiction disorders, it spells significant public health outcomes. Both AHA and researchers like Page and Bene-Alhasan pressure common folks to heed this proof and tread lightly when consuming marijuana.

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