Association of Cannabis Use with Cardiovascular Outcomes Among US Adults

That heart disease risks are growing for young adults is a troubling statistic. One way that teenagers can protect themselves is to “avoid smoking cannabis,” as stated in a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a peer-reviewed journal focusing on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

The authors, who published this study in February 2024, were Abra M. Jeffers (a data analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital) and three professors at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Medicine: Stanton Glantz, Amy L. Byers, and Salomeh Keyhani. To explore associations between cannabis use and cardiovascular outcomes, they looked at data from 2016–2020 on 434,104 respondents who had participated in the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. This survey had information about how many days people had used cannabis over a 30-day period and also included self-reported cardiovascular outcomes, like coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 74 and included those who had never smoked tobacco before.

For people who had used cannabis—4% used it daily, 7.1% used it nondaily—the authors found associations with increased cardiac events. The more days people used cannabis per month, the higher the odds of these events. And there was a similar risk of increased cardiac events even in those who had never smoked tobacco.

Teens may know the negative impact that smoking cigarettes has on heart health, but it’s crucial for them to understand that smoking cannabis comes with strong risks, too. And heart health is just one of those risks. Unlike tobacco, cannabis can even lead to developing irreversible psychosis, among other outcomes.

To read the study in full, visit this page.

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