The consumption of cannabis can cause a heart attack to people who, due to their age, tend to be less likely to suffer from it. It is the conclusion of the study that you just published in Canadian Medical Association Journal a team of scientists from the University of Toronto.
In it they have analyzed data from surveys of the American Surveillance System for Behavioral Risk Factors 2017 and 2018 . They have taken into account other factors that could have had an influence, but even eliminating them from the equation, there are still cases of heart attack that seem to be explained by the marijuana.
However, it should be noted that the effect is only significant in regular users and that an explanation for it has not been sought. It would be necessary to study more, but they are important data to take into account.
Analysis of myocardial infarction in youth
In the surveys analyzed in This work studied data from 33,173 people , with ages between 18 and 44 years old.
Several data on habits and lifestyle were taken into account, among which was the use of drugs, such as cannabis. Specifically, 17.5% of those surveyed acknowledged having recently consumed it. And of them, the 1.3% suffered a myocardial infarction. It is not a high percentage, but it is much more than the 0.8% who had this pathology without having consumed cannabis.
The authors understand that people who use cannabis generally also smoke or drink alcohol . These two are habits that could increase the risk of heart attack. But the figure was obtained by adjusting for these confounders, so it would not be misleading.
Regarding the form of consumption, the figure was maintained for any format, from those who took it in vaping to those who smoked or ingested . The latter has traditionally been thought to be safer. However, the figures from this study say otherwise. In fact, the authors cite a medical case of a person who had a heart attack after consuming a marijuana lollipop. Of course, it must be recognized that these sweets have a percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) very high, compared to other forms of ingested consumption.
THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, so that high concentration could be behind the heart attack. In fact, it is important that it is present, so this data would exclude the consumption of CBD , a non-psychoactive compound that is also found in cannabis.
What does cannabis have to do with all this?
The study authors have not investigated what may be the reasons why cannabis users are more likely to suffer a heart attack.
They think it may be related to a mismatch between oxygen supply and demand , but for now they do not know for sure.
What they have been able to verify is that this effect is only observed in habitual consumers , since those who drugged fewer than four times a month showed much less likelihood of heart attack.
Therefore, a sporadic joint It may not cause us a heart attack, but its regular consumption , whether in that format, vaped or in the form of muffins, it can play a very trick on us. Even if we are that age where we still consider ourselves young to suffer something as terrible as a heart attack.