Research reveals marijuana addiction may increase the risk of a first heart attack or stroke by 60%

People who are addicted to marijuana are 60% more likely to suffer heart failure, strokes, or heart attacks compared to adults of the same age and sex without cannabis use disorder, according to new research from the University of Calgary.

During the study, researchers analyzed data over an eight-year period from almost 60,000 Canadians. Half of the participants struggled with cannabis use disorder (CUD), and the other half didn’t.

This study reinforces earlier findings highlighting the potential health risks associated with frequent cannabis use. Research presented by the American College of Cardiology earlier this year indicated that daily marijuana use elevates the risk of heart disease, and those who use marijuana daily face a higher likelihood of developing coronary artery disease compared to those who have never used cannabis.

“CUD has become an increasingly significant public health priority. Furthermore, with increasing cannabis legalization in many parts of the world, there are concerns that this may lead to a greater prevalence of cannabis use, CUD and cannabis-related harms,” study authors wrote.

The latest Gallup survey finds that half of all Americans have tried marijuana, and 17% currently smoke it. That number has more than doubled since 2013 when only 7% admitted to using the drug.

Along with the increase in marijuana users, doctors are diagnosing more Americans with CUD. More than one-fifth of people who use marijuana struggle with CUD, according to new research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.