By / January 12, 2020

New study shows a connection between cannabis and heart attacks

Marijuana use is increasing globally, especially among the younger population. However, little research has been done to assess cannabis and heart attacks and what risks people who frequently smoke marijuana may be exposed to.

Right now it is not yet known precisely what health consequences may occur in the future.

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The daily use of cannabis and heart attacks may go hand-in-hand

Recent research has analyzed these variables and has reached a conclusion that may be important for those who use marijuana frequently.

According to the results of the study published in the journal Stroke, frequent cannabis smokers are more than twice as likely to have a stroke compared to non-users.

They are also more likely to have a heart arrhythmia, which is why many of them may be hospitalized at some point in their lives.

To reach that conclusion, researchers evaluated data from a U.S. federal survey of about 43,860 men and women aged 18 to 44. Of those people, 13.6% reported having used cannabis in the past 30 days and 63.3% of them are male.

Frequent users may have to think more about the link between cannabis and heart attacks

an ambulance and paramedic representing the link between cannabis and heart attacks
Recent studies show that those who consume cannabis are more likely to be hospitalized for heart conditions. (Source)

The study on cannabis and heart attacks concluded that recent cannabis users were 1.82 times more likely to have a stroke than non-users. In turn, those odds were 2.45 for frequent cannabis users (people who smoked more than 10 times a month.)

Similar research has shown that this group of people are more likely to have a heart arrhythmia and may have to be hospitalized as a result.

That research had compared more than 570,000 people hospitalized with this pathology with more than 67 million patients hospitalized for other reasons. Thus, it found that compulsive cannabis users have up to a 50% higher risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia.

17% of U.S. citizens report cannabis use

According to the data in the report on drug use produced by the United Nations (UN), marijuana is the most widely consumed drug in the world, regardless of whether it is legalized or obtained illegally.

According to that study, people in Israel are the world’s largest consumers of cannabis, with 27% of its adult population consuming the substance.

Next on the list is the U.S., with 17% of adults reporting marijuana use, followed by Chile (15.1%) and Canada (14.7%). The following positions were held by Nigeria (14.3%), New Zealand (13.9%) and France (11.1%.)

Bermuda, with 10.9%, was ranked eighth in the world by the UN. Meanwhile, Australia and Spain ranked ninth and 10th for adult cannabis consumption, with 10.4% and 9.5%, respectively.

More countries to legalize cannabis in upcoming years

The next countries in the ranking of the world’s top 15 cannabis users are Zambia (9.5%), the Czech Republic (9.4%), Uruguay (9.3%), Italy (9.2%) and Madagascar (9.1%.)

In some of them, consumption is legal and controlled by the state (like in Uruguay and Canada) while in others it is completely outside the law.


(Featured image by GRAS GRÜN via Unsplash)

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