New Study Links Marijuana Smoking To Increased Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
A new study has shown an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in marijuana smokers who smoke at least once a month.
The study was published in the journal Cell on Friday. NBC News reports that researchers looked at about 160,000 people in the U.K. They controlled for age, gender, and body mass index, which influence the risk of heart disease.
Research found that people who frequently smoked cannabis were at a higher risk of a heart attack before age 50 than non-smokers. The study's findings are on par with other similar research. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of a link between marijuana use and increased heart disease. A 2021 study showed a link between heart attacks and marijuana use in young adults.
"The public has this perception - in my opinion, misperception - that marijuana is completely safe, and it's healthy for you," said the study's senior author and the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Joseph Wu. "But in reality, this study shows a high dose of THC, the main component of marijuana, causes vascular inflammation."
This latest study took a deep dive into why smoking weed can lead to heart issues. Researchers studied how THC affects both human stem cells and mice stem cells. It's already known that THC binds with a receptor in the brain, but now researchers have found that it also binds to a receptor in blood vessels.
Since this part of the study was done on humans, more research is needed to determine if THC is directly linked to heart disease. Wu said human studies would offer more information.
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