Young adults who have recently used marijuana may be more likely to experience a heart attack, with the risk even greater for frequent users, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The report’s lead author, Karim Ladha, a staff anesthesiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada, told CNN that the study provides “increasing evidence” that cannabis use “could potentially be harmful to you, both in the short term and the long term.”
The study, which included Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health data from more than 33,000 adults ages 18 to 44, found that from 2017 to 2018, roughly 1.3 percent of the approximately 17 percent of adults who reported using cannabis within the previous 30 days said they later had a heart attack.
Comparatively, just 0.8 percent of non-cannabis users reported experiencing a heart attack.
The study found that the association between marijuana use and heart attacks was consistent across different methods of consumption, including smoking, vaping and eating edibles.
The researchers noted in the study that reports of heart attacks were greater among individuals who had used cannabis more than four times over a period of 30 days.
Ladha noted that previous research has indicated that marijuana use can lead to irregular heart rates among users, ultimately leading to heart attacks.
However, the researcher noted in a statement along with the report’s release that “we do not fully know” the effects cannabis has “on cardiovascular health.”
The study comes amid a nationwide movement to legalize or decriminalize the use of cannabis, with many pointing to long-reported benefits for pain relief, anxiety and other medical uses.
Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBudget reconciliation: Calling it a ‘.5 trillion spending bill’ isn’t quite right Schumer calls for action on climate after Ida flooding House Democrats urge Pelosi to prioritize aid for gyms MORE (D-N.Y.) said in July that ending the federal prohibition on marijuana would be a top legislative priority.
His remarks came just a day after he introduced a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which would effectively lift a ban barring cannabis businesses from having access to bank accounts, loans and other financial services.
A growing number of Americans are also using marijuana more than ever before, with a Gallup poll released last month noting that 49 percent of U.S. adults said they have tried marijuana, a new high in the firm’s history of researching the topic.
While those ages 77 and older were significantly less likely to have said they’ve tried marijuana, about 51 percent of millennials said they have used the drug at some point, with 49 percent of Generation Xers saying the same.