According to research, young adult cannabis consumers are nearly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack.
It doesn’t matter if you smoke it, eat it, or vape it, marijuana could increase your risk of a heart attack significantly if you are young.
Adults under 45 years old who consumed cannabis within the last 30 days, suffered from nearly double the number of heart attacks than adults who didn’t use the drug, according to research published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The researchers analyzed health data from over 33,000 adults ages 18 to 44 included in US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys in 2017 and 2018.
Out of the 17% of adults who reported using cannabis within the previous month, 1.3% later had a heart attack while only 0.8% of non-cannabis users reported the same.
Lead study author Dr. Karim Ladha, clinician-scientist and staff anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada has remarked that some people assume that consuming cannabis is safe and can’t harm your body, but that is incorrect.
“There’s increasing evidence that this could potentially be harmful to you, both in the short term and the long term,” he said.
While the study did not research how cannabis affects heart health, Ladha noted that previous research showed the drug can affect a user’s heart rate.
When someone’s heart rate becomes irregular, it can increase the amount of oxygen the heart needs, Ladha explained. At the same time, cannabis can also limit the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart, Ladha said.
“What you end up having is this mismatch of oxygen supply and demand which fundamentally leads to heart attacks,” he added.
In the future, Ladha said he wants to study marijuana users in real-time instead of looking at survey results retroactively.