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Young Cannabis Users Are at Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

cannabis and health risks

Story at-a-glance -

  • Young people diagnosed with a cannabis (marijuana) use disorder had a 47% to 52% greater risk of being hospitalized for irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia
  • Among adults who used cannabis for more than 10 days a month, stroke risk increased by nearly 2.5 times compared to nonusers
  • Frequent cannabis users who also smoked cigarettes or used e-cigarettes had an even greater risk of stroke — more than three times that of nonusers
  • Past research has also found links between cannabis use and heart risks, as smoking marijuana is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, and may increase the risk of heart attack in young men
  • The findings highlight the need for increased research into the most effective dosages and routes of administration for medical marijuana while also pointing to potential dangers for frequent recreational users

Medical marijuana, which refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its extracts for medicinal purposes, has generated a lot of excitement for its potential role in treating diseases ranging from anorexia to Alzheimer’s.

While the plant has impressive medicinal properties that are still being explored, emerging research also suggests that frequent cannabis use may be linked to heart risks, including an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

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