Two studies presented at an American Heart Association conference on Monday found that cannabis usage was associated with increased risk of heart failure, stroke and heart attack.
One of the studies observed more than 150,000 adults over the course of four years and found that individuals who said they used marijuana daily had a 34% greater chance of experiencing heart failure relative to those who didn’t report using the substance. The other study looked at people older than 65 with cardiovascular risk factors and found that individuals who used marijuana had a 20% increased risk of “a major heart or brain event while hospitalized,” compared to patients with similar risk factors who did not use cannabis.
“Prior research shows links between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease like coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which is known to cause heart failure,” Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, the lead researcher on the first study, said. “Marijuana use isn’t without its health concerns, and our study provides more data linking its use to cardiovascular conditions.” (RELATED: Biden Admin Recommends Weeding Out Federal Marijuana Restrictions)
This isn’t the first slate of studies to suggest that marijuana usage is associated with adverse health outcomes.
One study, examining data on almost 7 million Danish men and women over nearly three decades, found evidence cannabis use among young men may put them at risk of developing schizophrenia. “At a population level, assuming causality, one-fifth of cases of schizophrenia among young males might be prevented by averting [Cannabis use disorder],” the study said.
More than 30% of marijuana users develop cannabis use disorder, according to a 2015 study. “It is hard to separate the effects of marijuana chemicals on the cardiovascular system from those caused by the irritants and other chemicals that are present in the smoke,” according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) statement from 2020. “More research is needed to understand the full impact of marijuana use on the cardiovascular system to determine if marijuana use leads to higher risk of death.”
Another study investigating the link between marijuana usage and mental health found that teenagers who use weed recreationally are two to four times more likely to develop mental illnesses than their peers who abstain from the substance.
The marijuana industry in the United States was estimated to be worth $13.2 billion in 2022, according to a brief produced by Grand View Research. The industry spends millions lobbying Congress annually, often to make access to weed easier. Two marijuana lobbyists were sentenced to federal prison for bribing a state official in Michigan, The Associated Press reported.
The American Heart Association did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.