Cannabis Impairs Heart Function, New Study Finds


Research doesn’t have one conclusion on whether or not marijuana can help with stroke. The current view is that it can help with stroke recovery but in non-stroke people, use of cannabis can up risk of the ailment. With regards to blood pressure, the view is that cannabidiol can decrease it.

While this means the cannabinoid is great for those who are hypertensive, it also means that the compound can cause drug interactions. Talking more about cannabis and cardiovascular disease, one recent study found that the drug can narrow arteries. It can increase risk of stroke and arrythmia.

Now a latest research work has concluded that cannabis can affect the structure and functioning of the heart. Let’s take a look at this study below.

What Did This New Study Find?

Researchers from the Queen Mary University, London conducted this research work. For its purpose, they looked at the heart scans of participants of the UK Biobank study. In total, scientists analyzed heart scans through MRI of 3,407 people who were of 62 years on average. These individuals did not have cardiovascular disease.

Of these, 3,255 either didn’t use cannabis at all or did so rarely. Of those who did, 105 were past regular users, and 47 were current users. Researchers noticed that regular cannabis use shared a link with adverse effects on heart health. First off, it was linked to an enlarged left ventricle indicating a structural change.

Other than this, those who used cannabis regularly also showed the first signs of impairment of heart functionality. However, there was no difference between regular cannabis users and non-users in terms of overall left ventricle mass and how much blood the heart ejected with each heartbeat. Apart from the left ventricle, there was no difference in the other three chambers.

Furthermore, the study also showed that past regular cannabis users who had stopped using the drug had heart size and function similar to those who had never or rarely used cannabis. The JACC Cardiovascular Imaging journal published these findings.

Limitations Of The Study

Though researchers took into account any factors that could affect the results, the study still had limitations. First of all, most participants were Caucasian. Secondly, the number of cannabis users was pretty low and thirdly, individuals had self-reported their cannabis use. There could also be any confounding factors that may not have been taken into account.

What Did The Researchers Say?

This was the first study of such sorts that went deep in to identify the potential negative effects of cannabis consumption. Dr Mohammed Khanji, lead author of the study said, “We urgently need systematic research to identify the long-term implications of regular consumption of cannabis on the heart and blood vessels.”

He further added, “This would allow health professionals and policymakers to improve advice to patients and the wider public.” Authorities are already concerned about the unexplored negative effects of cannabis. This study just emphasizes on the importance of consuming cannabis for only medical reasons and that too, based on guidance.


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