A robust new study led by researchers from Stanford University has found a strong association between increased risk of heart attack and regular marijuana use.
The study indicates THC can trigger inflammation in blood vessel cells and the researchers call for medical marijuana users to be aware of potential cardiovascular risks.
Published in the journal Cell, the new study first analyzed data from around 500,000 people, looking at the relationship between marijuana use and heart attack.
After controlling for age, gender and body weight, the data showed those subjects who smoked marijuana more than once a month were much more likely to have a heart attack before the age of 50 compared to non-users.
The next step was to investigate how marijuana could be increasing a person’s risk of heart attack.
According to the researchers, a more thorough clinical trial is needed to explore the effects of genistein on marijuana users and cardiovascular risk.
The researchers also indicate CBD, another key cannabinoid in marijuana, may also have anti-inflammatory effects that could counter the potential cardiovascular effect of THC. Prior research looking at the negative psychiatric effects of marijuana have suggested increased volumes of THC in modern strains of cannabis could lead to higher rates of adverse mental health issues.