The risk of doubling a heart attack has been linked to marijuana use in young adults. A new study reports that the manner that they use it does not matter.
Compared to non-users, people between the ages of 18 and 44 were found to be twice as likely to experience a heart attack regardless of whether they vaped, smoked, or ate their weed.
Heart Attack Risk Linked To Usage Of Pot
Dr. Karim Ladha, the lead researcher said that they found that this kind of effect is not caused only by smoking the weed.
Dr. Ladha is an anesthesiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. He added that regardless of how people chose to consume their cannabis, the effect size was the same.
The study also found that the risk of heart attack increased with the amount of pot they consumed. There was a 230% increase in the risk of a heart attack in people who used weed more than 4 times a month. Less frequent users showed a 50% increase in the risk of a heart attack, according to results.
The main component that causes intoxication, THC, a chemical compound that may increase the risk of a heart attack.
Ladha said that there is a lot of assumption that marijuana has been around for thousands of years so it must be a safe plant and in turn a safe drug. All the changes regarding the legalization of cannabis in the United States have just added fuel to the fire.
He added that the cannabis that people used around 2 decades is very different from the cannabis that exists today.
Two years of survey data were analyzed by researchers. This data was collected by officials at the CDC on over 33,000 people between the ages of 18 and 44.
Around 17% of participants said that they had used cannabis within the last 30 days. In around 1.3% of users, heart attacks had occurred. This is in contrast to 0.8% of people who had not used the drug.
Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York, was prompted to question the effects that cannabis might have on heart health. He said that it must be kept in mind that the number can be doubled very easily if it is small, to begin with.
Earleywine is an advisory board member of NORML. This organization promotes the legalization of marijuana.
Even after controlling for other things that put heart health at risk, researchers found an association between heart attacks and the usage of pot. These controls include drinking, smoking, and chronic illnesses.
Ladha said that heart rate can be increased and be made irregular by THC.
He said that THC increases the amount of oxygen your heart requires to function. He added that it needs more oxygen when it goes fast.
He also said that there is evidence that oxygen delivery to the heart is interfered with by THC. Ladha said that a heart attack is led to due to the mismatch between demand and supply for oxygen. He noted that people are exposed to additional risks as to the pot these days is very potent.
An attending psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, Dr. Scott Krakower said that he agrees that there is definitely a biological risk to the heart of pot smokers.
Krakower said that as more people in states with recreational marijuana use the drug, the extent of the risk will become clearer over time.
He said that it is hard to say what is going to happen for sure.