With all the attention being placed on cannabis, especially in its use in the medical field, a recent analysis actually showed an increased risk of CVA (stroke) and heart failure in patients using this drug for both medical and recreational use. In a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), 21 million adult patients (ages 18-55) were analyzed from the 2009-2010 database. Approximately 1.5% (316,397) were diagnosed as cannabis users. Cannabis users were more likely to experience heart failure, CVAs, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
These data were collected by Dr. Aditi Kalla, who also noted that the American College of Cardiology in September of last year linked cannabinoid receptor type I with atherogenesis.
As more and more states are decriminalizing the use of cannabis these data need to be taken very seriously as we may be trading this drug's favorable effects in treating patients for many of the side effects caused by their medications for other diseases, mostly heart related, by continuous cannabis use. Undoubtedly more studies (prospective) are needed to help clarify the complex issues that will arise by the increasing use of this drug.