marijuana smoking

  • Researchers have looked at more than a dozen studies on marijuana’s effect on the heart, and their takeaway is far from conclusive.
  • That finding contradicts a study published in August that claimed marijuana users faced a threefold higher risk of dying from hypertension than nonusers.
  • The August study had some major limitations, including that it defined users as anyone who’d ever tried the drug.

A study published in August claimed that marijuana users faced a threefold higher risk of dying from hypertension than those who had never used the drug.

The findings sounded alarming. But like any study, this one had key limitations, including the fact that it defined cannabis “users” as anyone who’d ever tried the drug. More importantly, however, it highlighted an important gap in our current understanding of the science of cannabis: How does the drug affect the heart?

A new paper highlights how clouded this picture currently is. Scientists simply don’t know the overall impact of cannabis on cardiovascular health.

For the new study, researchers in California, Pennsylvania, and New York looked at dozens of studies on marijuana and the heart. Those studies examined links between cannabis and health problems that put people at a higher risk of developing a heart condition — like high cholesterol or high blood pressure — as well as links between cannabis and actual heart conditions, such as heart disease.

But they found that all of the past studies were plagued by problems. Some were too small, others were too short-term, and others failed to study the right groups of people, such as those who would be the most at-risk for these conditions.

So the researchers came to a depressing conclusion: “Evidence examining the effect of marijuana on cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes … is insufficient,” they wrote.

That jibes with previous research on marijuana Read More Here