Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
There appears to be no increased association between cumulative cannabis use and subclinical atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can increase the chances of heart attack or stroke.
So suggests a new study out of the University of Bern in Switzerland, published last month in the American Journal of Medicine. “Future cardiovascular disease is often indicated by subclinical atherosclerosis, for which carotid intima-media thickness is an established parameter,” the study abstract states.
Atherosclerosis is an accumulation of cholesterol, fats and other substances on and in the walls of the arteries that may restrict the flow of blood, according to medicaldoctors.com. “This plaque can burst, leading to a blood clot.”
Researchers from Switzerland and the U.S. write in the recent study that marijuana’s long-term effects on cardiovascular health are understudied. As such, they looked at data from the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) Study, a cohort of 5,115 Black and white women and men at Year 20 visit. Specifically, they considered hardening of the arteries at mid-life and lifetime exposure to marijuana and tobacco smoking.
“While the cumulative use of tobacco was strongly associated with high carotid intima-media thickness,” notes a blog post by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, marijuana exposure was not.
“This study adds to the growing body of evidence that there might be no association between the average population level of marijuana use and subclinical atherosclerosis,” researchers write.