Image by Getty / Futurism

Proponents say cannabis can lessen a whole host of medical ills, from body pains to anxiety, when taken at certain dosages.

But there's mounting evidence that marijuana, particularly when smoked or vaped, may not be entirely good for your physical health.

The latest foray in the debate is a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that found that any cannabis use was linked to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. And the more you toke up per month, the more you risk "higher odds of adverse outcomes."

A team of researchers from Massachusetts and California performed statistical analysis on data collected from more than 400,000 people who took part in a large-scale health survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tracking marijuana use and respondents' self-reported health conditions, researchers found that a significant association between marijuana use and the risk for heart issues. The association persisted even in respondents who didn't use tobacco or had no known existing heart problems.

The numbers are sobering: people who used cannabis everyday were 25 percent more likely to have heart attacks versus people who never used marijuana. Among daily users, stroke risk was also increased by 42 percent. People who sometimes used cannabis but not daily fell somewhere in the middle.

It's worth noting that it's ambiguous whether findings apply to edibles as well as smoking and vaping. The specific question respondents were asked: "During the past 30 days, on how many days did you use marijuana or hashish?"

Would the average respondent count edibles in that response? It's tough to say, since "marijuana" usually refers to cured cannabis flower and "hashish" is a processed form of it. A better question design, it seems safe to say, would have let respondents be more specific about how they consumed their cannabis so that researchers could examine any correlation with specific methods of consuming the stuff.

Further, further research should drill down on what's causing the increased risk for cardiovascular issues among marijuana users specifically: the smoke, the psychoactive compounds, or something else entirely.

More on cannabis: Scientists Find That Weed is Leaving Heavy Metals in Your Body

Share This Article