By / August 25, 2023

Heart Attack Risk Does Not Increase With Cannabis Use, Study Finds

Cannabis consumption is not associated with increased heart attack risk among middle-aged adults, according to data published in the American Journal of Cardiology. The study found that, compared to non-cannabis users, those who consumed cannabis every month over the past year did not face a higher risk of heart attack.

The data was adjusted to account for potential confounding factors on heart attack risk, such as Body Mass Index (BMI), alcohol and tobacco consumption, and physical activity.

For more news like this, download our free cannabis news app.

Long-term Cannabis Use and Heart Attack Risk

People who have consumed cannabis every month for the past ten years also did not show an elevated heart attack risk. Additionally, the researchers identified an increased risk of heart attack among former cannabis users who had recently quit. This last finding was described by the investigators as “unexpected.”

Study Methodology

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California at San Diego. They examined the relationship between cannabis consumption and medically diagnosed myocardial infarction (MI)—commonly known as a heart attack—in a nationally representative sample of approximately 10,000 middle-aged individuals (ages 35 to 59).

Key Findings

“In a nationally representative sample of middle-aged American adults, a history of monthly cannabis use for more than one year prior to myocardial infarction was not associated with a subsequent MI diagnosed by a physician, after accounting for heart attack risk factors.

However, considering recent use, the risk was three times higher if no consumption was reported in the month prior. The duration of monthly use before the infarction, including use for more than ten years, also did not show an association,” the authors concluded.

Contradictory Evidence and Future Research

“Evidence regarding adverse effects on cardiovascular health and heart attack risk is contradictory and limited by the ability to accurately quantify consumption, particularly the method of consumption, dosage, and potency. Given the increasing access to cannabis products in the U.S. and around the world, further research is needed, especially longitudinal and experimental studies.”

Beyond Heart Attack Risk – Broader Medical Concerns

Researchers have long been interested in the relationship between cannabinoids and cardiovascular function. This interest is driven by the fact that cannabis can increase blood pressure and heart rate. The medical community has thus been concerned about a potential correlation between heart attacks and cannabis consumption.

However, no consistent data has been found to demonstrate that this poses a danger of increased heart attack risk, making the new research from San Diego welcome news for cannabis users. A 2021 literature review covering 67 studies and published in the American Journal of Medicine found that “marijuana itself does not appear to be independently associated with excessive cardiovascular risk factors.”

Behavioral Factors in Heart Attack Risk

The authors, however, are concerned that heart attack risk could be associated with other unhealthy behaviors, such as alcohol consumption and smoking, which can be detrimental to cardiovascular health.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Heart Attack Risk

As reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. Excessive alcohol use can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a disease affecting heart muscle. However, studies have also shown a link between moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of dying from heart disease, indicating that data related to alcohol and cardiovascular health need clarification.

The link between cigarette smoking, heart attack risk, and heart disease in general is fairly certain, suggesting that if cannabis consumers wish to move toward better heart health, the first step should be quitting smoking.

(Featured image by Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third-party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of, its management, staff, or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.

First published in Newsweed, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Comments are closed for this post.