Science & Technology

Early Cannabis Use Related to Heart Disease, Research Discovered

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In a new study at the University of Guelph, researchers found that smoking cannabis at a young age can increase the risk of developing heart disease later.

In the first study examining specific risk indicators of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in young and healthy cannabis users, researchers found subtle but potentially significant changes in heart and arterial function.

Smoking is known to affect heart health and cause changes in blood vessels and the heart. Little is known about the impact of cannabis smoking on long-term CVD risk.

Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational substance in the world after alcohol.

In this study, the team surveyed 35 people between the ages of 19 and 30, half of whom were cannabis users. For all people, they used ultrasound images to see the heart and arteries.

They measured arteriosclerosis and arterial function, or the ability of arteries to dilate properly with greater blood flow. All three measurements are indicators of heart function and potential disease risk.

The team found that cannabis users had greater arteriosclerosis than non-users.

In addition, cannabis users had lower cardiac function inferred from how the heart behaves, as seen in echocardiographic images, than non-users.

The team was surprised that there was no difference in arterial dilation in response to changes in blood flow. All three measurements usually change in smokers, with stiff arteries and diminished vascular and cardiac function.

According to the team, this difference may reflect differences in tobacco and cannabis consumption, quantity and frequency, and user age.

These findings suggest that there may be more subtle signs of changes in physiological function, even before the more obvious signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease appear.

If you care about cannabis and your health, read the study about How to Use Cannabis to Improve Mental Health Survey results with Heart disease, diabetes associated with cannabis exposure in utero..

For more information on cannabis, see recent research on cannabis. vaping vs. smoking cannabis: which is safer?

This study is published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. One of the authors of this study is Christian Cheung.

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Early Cannabis Use Related to Heart Disease, Research Discovered Early Cannabis Use Related to Heart Disease, Research Discovered

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