In a recent analysis conducted by Corroon et al., it was found that individuals who had a history of monthly cannabis use but had not used it recently faced a significantly higher risk of experiencing a myocardial infarction (MI) compared to more recent users. This surprising finding raises questions about the possible effects of long-term cannabis use and its impact on cardiovascular health.
The authors speculate that those with a history of cannabis use may have stopped using it due to health concerns, which could have contributed to their increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This phenomenon is similar to the “smoker’s paradox” observed in tobacco research, where former smokers who have received medical interventions at a younger age tend to have better outcomes than current or never smokers. This finding calls for further investigation to better understand the relationship between cannabis use, cessation, and cardiovascular risk.
Kristie M. Harris, a health psychologist from Yale School of Medicine, provided additional insight into the potential cardiovascular effects of cannabis use. She emphasized the importance of studying the impact of cannabis on cardiovascular health, considering the distribution of cannabinoid 1 receptors in the heart and blood vessels. Acute cannabis use has been associated with physiological processes related to cardiovascular risk, such as sympathetic nervous system activation, endothelial dysfunction, and oxidative stress. However, further research is necessary to determine how these effects translate into the risk of major cardiovascular events like MI.
Harris highlighted the need for more clinical research to understand the long-term implications of cannabis use on overall health, especially as cannabis becomes more accessible in the United States. She also mentioned the challenges faced by researchers, such as the concurrent use of tobacco among cannabis users, which calls for more rigorous and longitudinal studies that accurately reflect the current landscape of cannabis products.
In conclusion, while more research is needed to fully comprehend the relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular health, these findings emphasize the importance of understanding the potential risks associated with long-term cannabis use. As access to cannabis products expands, it becomes crucial to uncover any possible detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system.
– Corroon, J., Phillips, J. A., & White, J. (2018). A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabinoid Users. Cardiology Research and Practice, 2018.
– Harris, K. M. (2018). Commentary on Study by Corroon et al. on Cannabis and Myocardial Infarction. American Journal of Cardiology, 121(7), 886-887.