High Risk: Cannabis Use Disorder’s Link to Increased Risk of Heart Attacks and Cardiovascular Disease

Cannabis Heart Cardiology Concept

New research reveals that Canadian adults with cannabis use disorder face a 60% increased risk of their first major cardiovascular event compared to those without the disorder. Based on data from nearly 60,000 participants, the study highlights a particularly heightened risk among cannabis users who perceive themselves as healthy.

Cannabis Use Disorder May Be Linked to Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A new study has discovered that Canadian adults with cannabis use disorder appear to have an approximately 60% higher risk of experiencing their first heart attack, stroke, or other major cardiovascular event than those without cannabis use disorder.

The study, published on September 27 in the journal Addiction, measured the association between problematic marijuana use and the first-time occurrence of adverse cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack, stroke, cardiac dysrhythmias, and peripheral vascular disease.

Research Methodology and Results

Researchers used five Canadian health databases to create a cohort of nearly 60,000 participants, half with a cannabis use disorder diagnosis and half without, matched by gender, year of birth, and time of presentation to the health system. People with prior adverse cardiovascular disease events were excluded. The participants were tracked from January 2012 to December 2019. Among people with cannabis use disorder, 2.4% (721) experienced a first-time cardiovascular disease event, compared with 1.5% (458) in the unexposed group.

Risk Among Healthier Individuals With Cannabis Use Disorder

Within the group of people with cannabis use disorder, people with no co-occurring medical illness, no prescriptions, and fewer than five visits to health services in the last six months had an even higher risk of a first-time cardiovascular disease event – approximately 1.4 times higher than for the rest of the cannabis-use-disorder group. This may be because those people considered themselves healthy and may not have acted on or even noticed the warning signs of an imminent heart attack, stroke, or other major cardiovascular event.

Expert Insights

Dr. Anees Bahji, lead author of the study, emphasized the significance of these findings for public health and clinical practice. “Our study doesn’t provide enough information to say that cannabis use disorder causes adverse cardiovascular disease events, but we can go so far as to say that Canadians with cannabis use disorder appear to have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people without the disorder.”

The study contributes to the continually evolving dialogue surrounding the health implications of cannabis use disorder and its potential links to cardiovascular health.

Reference: “Cannabis use disorder and adverse cardiovascular outcomes: a population-based retrospective cohort analysis of adults from Alberta, Canada” by Anees Bahji, Josh Hathaway, Denise Adams, David Crockford, E. Jennifer Edelman, Michael D. Stein, Scott B. Patten, 27 September 2023, Addiction.
DOI: 10.1111/add.16337

Funding: Dr. Bahji has been awarded doctoral studies research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship and the Alberta Innovates Foundations from the University of Calgary and has received research funding through the Calgary Health Trust. Dr. Patten is supported by the Cuthbertson & Fischer Chair in Pediatric Mental Health at the University of Calgary. Funding and support for the joint position, held by J. Hathaway, was provided through a partnership between the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies Node and the CRISM-Alberta Health Services (AHS) Advancement in Analytics in Addiction Partnership.

12 Comments on "High Risk: Cannabis Use Disorder’s Link to Increased Risk of Heart Attacks and Cardiovascular Disease"

  1. No. “…we can go so far as to say that Canadians with cannabis use disorder appear to have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people without the disorder”, actually no you can’t. You did a 5-database cross-reference search, and found patients known by mental-health doctors to use cannabis often have severe cardiovascular disease. Congratulations, you’ve just discovered your serious heart-disease patients with mental health issues are more likely to die sooner, who more often admit to using cannabis.

    “Cannabis Use Disorder”, or CUD, is an American drug war concept Canada should not import. Moreover, Alberta Health Services has been in crisis for over five years, and I wouldn’t even trust their diagnosis of a clubfoot. Finally, the complete disregard for privacy in this study is equally as incredible as the study’s lack of credibility.

  2. How could they POSSIBLY find 30,000 people with “Cannabis Use Disorder” (C.U.D.)?
    What IS C.U.D.? Some say it is folks who consume daily. Others say it is those who can not stop consuming? It was never defined here. It seems to me that they are defining it as anyone who ever consumes cannabis, at those statistical rates. As in “it is a disorder to consume cannabis at all”. You don’t do as the medical INDUSTRY dictates. You don’t do as the law that is controlled by the industry says. They are loosing money because of your disorder! “GET BACK IN LINE!” they say, so they can shoot you like a duck with their known poisons that have long lists of negative side effects.

    Another bunk “scientific” study driven by the War On Drugs (a.k.a. the war on people of color – dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, Vietnam war protesters (driven by the war machine industry), and freedom thinkers (driven by the fascists)) published by this website.

    I find many seemingly good scientific news articles on this site, but this site *** looses credibility *** when it ***consistently*** supports these attacks on medicine, that after 5000+ known years of use has shown no adverse side affects recorded by historians…as opposed to alcohol or opium, etc. Actually, Vedic teachings say there are three paths to enlightenment: meditation, yoga, and cannabis. The God Shiva is embodied in the plant. Those 5-point-star people who created the Christian religion and have taken over the world really don’t like you undermining their power and control of the spiritual dimension; they say you can only find “God” through their church, and hate Peyote for the same reason, and have denied Native Americans their constitutional right to “practice” their religion.

  3. Suddenly cannabis is to blame for the recent spike in cardiovascular problems. Definitely not related to injections of experimental axx that produces toxic spike protein

    • If you look at where these studies come from what they’re funded by it tells you everything you need to know these trash articles with Cherry picked researchers make me sick

  4. Need a parallel study for other anti-anxiety drugs. Test the hypothesis that stress is a governing factor for circulatory episodes.

  5. What about alcohol,cigarettes some pharmaceutical products

  6. Not your sheep | October 1, 2023 at 1:18 pm | Reply

    Lmfao! You people are idiots! Go do some actual research. How you can even write these ridiculous articles? Legalize it and quit all the games!

  7. Amazing the posts here. Of course cannabis is bad for you. You take hot gasses and hold them deeply in your lungs then choke and hack. If you enjoy cannabis then you do, but it is not benign.

    • No one said it was benign, and you’re speaking on the comments here when each person in defense had an articulable and accurate argument. Where is yours? The issue is, unless we are going to call drinking alcohol (any amount at any time) alcohol use disorder, why are we calling smoking cannabis use disorder? They didn’t cross reference any other medications these test subjects were taking. And this study is truly bunk. But if you have a real argument besides your opinion go ahead and share with the class.

  8. This has to be the worst lie to try and keep this at a controlled substance. Smh they really need to stop lying and make facts. I have heart issues and weed actually helps me. It’s better than using medication with side effects being pretty much death if it was to happen. But them pharmaceutical manufacturers ain’t going to jail for it. While weed doesn’t have these side affects and they want to control it. This is so sad

  9. Look at the porn industry it’s the same as a prostitute on the street but they control that by selling it themselves weed is only illegal because they can’t control it so there going to perty much make up lies and talk like its some kind of life threatening substance when it ant.

  10. Michael Crespo | October 2, 2023 at 3:26 am | Reply

    What is Cannabis use disorder? It seems to imply that usage is a disease.

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.