Marijuana and Heart Attacks: What New Research Shows


While some studies have linked the chemicals in cannabis to a risk of heart attack, much is unknown about the effects of THC on the cardiovascular system. Here are the truths of what is known and what research has provided in an updated analysis of cannabis and the risk for cardiovascular effects.

Truth: We need more research, but our hands are tied

A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Thoracic Disease With the increase in recreational use of THC, researchers may underestimate the risk factors of cannabis for the human body, as well as the benefits.

With cannabis still listed as a controlled substance on Appendix 1, many organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) have asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to review its name and see how it could hamper research. In August 2020 they have explained in Circulation magazine::

“With the rapidly changing landscape of cannabis laws and marijuana use, there is an urgent need for refined policy, training of clinicians and the public, and new research. Laws should be harmonized to limit confusion and better reflect the existing science behind cannabis. This begins in the US at the federal level with the removal of cannabis from Appendix 1 of the US Controlled Substances Act, followed by a proactive approach to labeling that standardizes concentrations of THC and CBD. “

RELATED: Heart Failure And Cannabis: The Silver Lining

The AHA also found that several studies showed different risk factors for cardiac complications depending on the cannabis delivery device. Stressing the importance of individuals and care teams needing quality advice and studies on cannabis in order to better understand its effects on the cardiovascular system, they said, “The public needs quality information about cannabis to help them do this Can help offset the spread of rumors and cannabis false claims about the health effects of cannabis products. “

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Truth: We’re closer than ever to the answers to heart health and THC

By doing first vote in over 50 yearsvoted the US House of Representatives the MORE lawTo remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act in December 2020. Approved by 228 votes to 164, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP advised::

The MORE Act provides an important starting point for companies participating in or observing the growing cannabis market to understand the dynamics and nature of the future federal regulatory framework. We will continue to monitor developments in this area and encourage readers to contact the authors of this opinion or their usual Arnold & Porter contact for more information. “

RELATED: Smoking Marijuana Isn’t Good For Your Heart, Says American Heart Association

As the United States continues to debate cannabis research and downgrade THC as a Title 1 drug, studies will inevitably show conflicting analyzes. ON Study 2017 showed that “In heart failure patients, those who used marijuana were less likely to have a complication Atrial fibrillationor “A-fib,” a type of irregular heartbeat that can make heart failure symptoms worse. “Talk About Confusion!

Truth: The risk seems to depend on the supply of cannabis

Cannabis is known to increase heart rate and cause a temporary ascent how fast the heart pumps. For people with cardiovascular disease (CVDs), some studies have a Stroke riskwhile others showed that CBD actually lowers blood pressure. In one piece for Healthline, Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital DR. Muthiah Vaduganathan announced that the supply of cannabis is dependent on its effect on the heart. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM) in April 2019 cited that foods appeared to be at higher risk than vaping, although more research was needed.

Truth: Not all studies are created equal

in the A systematic review of over two dozen studies in 2018 featured in AIM found the following:

13 and 11 studies looked at marijuana use and cardiovascular risk factorsSix studies suggested a “metabolic benefit from marijuana use”. The evidence of some studies was inadequate and limited by recall bias, inadequate exposure estimation, minimal exposure, and more.

With the addition of new studies, scientists and associations alike feel hindered by the drug’s Schedule 1 status. The removal in the plants allows individuals and care teams to be better informed about the role cannabis plays in the human body and heart.


Beth Edmonds