(WXYZ) — In today’s Health Alert, as recreational marijuana continues to gain popularity, two new studies revealed regular use can have negative effects on the heart and the brain.
The first study looked at daily cannabis use and heart failure.
First of all, I want to explain that heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it’s a chronic condition where the heart struggles to pump enough blood for what your body needs. And blood and fluid can collect in the lungs.
Now, this study followed over 156,000 adults with an average age of 54. None of them had heart failure at the start of the study. However, over a span of four years, those who reported daily marijuana use had a 34% higher risk of developing heart failure compared to those who did not use cannabis. And while there is medication for this heart condition, there is usually no cure. It can be life-limiting for many folks, and in severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.
The second study looked at people with existing cardiovascular risk factors. What I really liked about this second study was that it only included marijuana users – there were no tobacco users. So this could help us better understand the effects of marijuana on older adults.
Now, the study examined hospital records that were coded for cannabis use disorder. More than 28,500 users aged 65 and older were included. Participants had existing cardiovascular risk factors – high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. After analyzing the data, researchers found these individuals had a 20% higher risk of having a major heart or brain event while in the hospital. The results also found that high blood pressure and high cholesterol were behind the increased risk for marijuana users.
So why might marijuana increase the risk of a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke? Recent research suggests that smoking or inhaling cannabis raises the levels of harmful substances like carbon monoxide and tar in the blood, which can be dangerous for your heart. These have been linked to heart muscle disease, chest pain, and heart rhythm disturbances. Additionally, marijuana can speed up the heart rate and raise blood pressure. So, it’s important to tell your family doctor if you use marijuana so that chronic conditions are monitored closely. Furthermore, the American Heart Association advises against smoking or vaping due to the potential harm it can cause to your body.
In today’s Health Alert, as recreational marijuana continues to gain popularity, two new studies revealed regular use can have negative effects on the heart and the brain. Read More