Pulse.com.gh logo

Drugs After-Effects Smoking marijuana linked with higher risk of stroke - Study reveals

Scientists say that smoking cannabis increases the stroke by 26 per cent and heart failure by 10 per cent.

  • Published:

Many who support the legalization of marijuana often tout the drug’s benign side effects, asserting that long-term marijuana use has no lasting impact on an individual’s health.

Using marijuana can increase your chances of a stroke and heart failure, a new study has warned.

Scientists say that smoking cannabis increases the stroke by 26 per cent and heart failure by 10 per cent.

READ MORE: Legal marijuana could overtake manufacturing in job creation by 2020

The drug was also linked with a variety of factors known to increase cardiovascular risk, including obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol use.

As more states look to legalise the drug, or to prescribe it medically to alleviate symptoms of other diseases, the study sheds new light on how the drug can seriously affect cardiovascular health.


The study analysed over 20 million records of young and middle-aged patients from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample – compiled from one-fifth of all US health centres.

The patients fell between the ages of 18 and 55 and were discharged from over 1,000 hospitals in 2009 and 2010, when recreational marijuana use was illegal in every state.

READ MORE: What 5 popular drugs including weed and booze do to your body and brain

Researchers found that 316,000 patients, or 1.5 per cent, had marijuana use written in their charts.

Compared to patients who didn't report cannabis use, the team found a significantly increased risk in the pot-smoking patients for stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and sudden cardiac death.

The drug carried a higher risk even after accounting for demographic factors, other health conditions and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking tobacco and drinking.

“Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in these patients,” said lead author Dr Aditi Kalla, a cardiology fellow at the Einstein Medical Centre in Philadelphia.

“So that leads us to believe that there is something else going on besides just obesity or diet-related cardiovascular side effects.

“More research will be needed to understand the pathophysiology behind this effect.”

Cell cultures in the study showed heart muscle cells have cannabis receptors relevant to contractility, or squeezing ability.

This suggests that the receptors could be one mechanism affecting the cardiovascular system.

However, there are other compounds that could be developed to counteract that mechanism and reduce cardiovascular risk, according Dr Kalla.

She added: “Like all other drugs, whether they're prescribed or not prescribed, we want to know the effects and side effects of this drug.

READ ALSO: 8 key findings on marijuana consumer trends from the 'Uber for weed'

“It's important for physicians to know these effects so we can better educate patients such as those who are inquiring about the safety of cannabis or even asking for a prescription for cannabis.”

Previous studies have focused on the harm caused to the lungs or the mental state by marijuana use.

The researchers noted that because the study was based on hospital discharge records, the findings may not be reflective of the general population.

Dr Kalla said that the growing trend toward legalisation of marijuana in the US could mean that patients and doctors will become more comfortable speaking openly about marijuana use.

She says this would allow for better data collection and a better understanding into the drug's direct effects and side effects.

Credit: Daily Mail

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos

Top Articles

1 Insensitive Government You're killing us - Trotro drivers to Akufo-Addobullet
2 Rogue Trader Kweku Adoboli gets last-minute reprieve from deportationbullet
3 Rogue Trader Why does the UK government want to deport Kweku Adoboli?bullet
4 Rot at BOST Sometimes I miss the services of Anas - Kennedy Agyapongbullet
5 Acquitted Nurse accused of raping Italian woman at Damongo freedbullet
6 Tragedy 7 students killed in road accidentbullet
7 Founders Day September 21 declared a public holidaybullet
8 KNUST Mixed 'Katanga, Conti hall' has spiritual...bullet
9 Creation Of New Regions Dagbon Chiefs 'fight' removal of...bullet
10 Counsel Stop paying nurses and trainee teachers...bullet

Top Videos

1 Kofi Annan's daughter cries as she sets eyes on his bodybullet
2 Chained By Begging Anas’ latest expose has one message, don’t give to...bullet
3 Infrastructure Alert Mass grave on Accra-Tema motorwaybullet
4 Video Obinim church members confess sexual sinsbullet
5 Preparing For Death Pastor makes his tomb in his housebullet
6 Video I don't have time for sex - Obinimbullet
7 Funeral dancers in Ghana The best funeral dancers in Ghanabullet
8 Video Counsellor Lutterodt defends police officer for...bullet
9 Video Man arrested for assaulting sons with electricity...bullet
10 "God is good"- Pastor Otabil explains Capital Bank...bullet