Cannabis Intake May Increase the Risk of Heart Diseases (Warning)

Cannabis is a favorite topic for discussion these days especially after some states changed their rules regarding its legalization. Despite so much data available on the medical benefits of cannabis, it is not completely safe for people. According to a new study, smoking cannabis especially in an early age increases the risk of heart diseases in later years.

This study was conducted by the research team from the University of Guelph. The results of this study are now published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

This is the first-ever study that has studied the individual risks attached to heart diseases among healthy and young cannabis users. Although these risks are low impact still they should not be neglected.

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Typically, smoking cigarettes is linked with poor cardiovascular health as it leads to certain changes in the blood vessels structure and function of the heart. But how cannabis smoking may affect long-term heart disease risk is not as estimated. Now that cannabis cultivation is taking place in leading countries of the world, which have changed their laws on this plant, it is necessary to understand all the risks attached to it and controlling its availability accordingly.

Cannabis is the most recreational product in almost all countries of the world after alcohol and its easy availability is adding up to its popularity. There are so many studies confirming the medical potential of cannabis plants but the risks i.e., heart disease risks are not studied well especially among the younger users.

This research team identified 35 people from the ages 19 to 35, almost half of which were regularly using cannabis for recreational purposes. The ultrasounds of all these participants presented a closed picture of their heart health. The researcher team checked their arterial stuffiness, function, and ability to pump blood. These parameters help understanding heart health and estimate any potential risk.

The cannabis users showed more arterial stiffness than those who have never tried cannabis before. The overall cardiac function was much lower in cannabis users implying that they are at high risk of heart diseases in the future. Non-cannabis users, on the other side, were free from this risk. Surpassingly, there was no much difference in the arterial dilation as per changes in blood flow.

There is no way to know how cannabis users have these variations in heart functions without investigating this in detail. There is also a possibility that these changes are a result of age and frequency of substance use but without further studies, it can’t be confirmed.

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According to the research team, their focus was on younger people with a regular cannabis habit. Mostly the heavy, prolonged, or chain smokers experience a slow vascular function but it may not be the same for younger people. The research team plans to study these potential risks among people who take cannabis regularly.

For now, these results are enough to know that cannabis and heart disease risks are connected, indicating a responsible use of cannabis. Next, the research team plans to understand the link between cannabis consumption and the stressors from a routine like i.e. exercise. Considering there are almost no studies on cannabis and heart diseases, this current study can be the pioneer to establish a link in near future.




Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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