Cannabis use disorder linked to higher heart disease risk, study shows

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A recent research study has uncovered that Canadian adults who struggle with cannabis use disorder might face a significantly higher risk of experiencing serious heart-related issues like a heart attack or a stroke, compared to those who do not have the disorder.

This study adds to the growing conversation on how excessive cannabis use could potentially affect our heart health.

Researchers delved into the relationship between serious issues with marijuana use, labeled as “cannabis use disorder,” and the risk of experiencing serious cardiovascular events for the first time.

Cardiovascular events include heart attacks, strokes, irregular heart rhythms, and diseases related to blood vessels away from the heart.

To understand this relationship, scientists used data from five health databases in Canada, studying around 60,000 individuals.

These participants were divided into two groups: one group with a diagnosis of cannabis use disorder and another without, keeping a balance in terms of gender, age, and the time they first interacted with the health system. The study tracked the participants from 2012 to 2019.

Findings of the Study

Out of the individuals with cannabis use disorder, 2.4% experienced a serious heart-related issue for the first time, compared to 1.5% of those without the disorder.

Interestingly, within the group with cannabis use disorder, those who had no other health issues, were not on any prescription medications, and had fewer healthcare visits in the past six months, faced even higher risks.

This might be because these individuals perceived themselves as healthy and might have overlooked or not acted on early warning signs of potential heart issues.

Implications and Considerations

The lead author of the study, Dr. Anees Bahji, pointed out that while the study doesn’t establish that cannabis use disorder directly causes heart-related issues, there is a clear association indicating a higher risk for Canadians with the disorder compared to those without it.

This research is particularly significant as it feeds into the broader conversation surrounding the potential health implications of cannabis use, especially concerning heart health.

It underscores the importance of public awareness regarding the excessive use of cannabis and its potential health risks.


This new research sheds light on the potential risks associated with problematic cannabis use, especially focusing on cardiovascular health.

While the study doesn’t confirm a direct cause-and-effect relationship, the observed association between cannabis use disorder and an increased risk of first-time cardiovascular events necessitates further research and public discourse.

This knowledge can aid individuals in making informed decisions about cannabis use and help healthcare providers in identifying and managing cardiovascular risk in those with cannabis use disorder.

The ultimate goal is to mitigate the risks and understand the full scope of implications related to cannabis consumption.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and scientists find how COVID-19 damages the heart.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about Aspirin linked to higher risk of heart failure, and results showing this drug could reduce heart disease, fatty liver, obesity.

The research findings can be found in Addiction.

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