Study: Marijuana Use History Not Independently Associated With Atherosclerosis

Cannabis Seedling Marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The cumulative use of marijuana is not independently associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to longitudinal data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

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An international team of investigators from the United States and Switzerland assessed the relationship between the cumulative use of tobacco and/or cannabis and the risk of atherosclerosis in a cohort of 3,117 subjects between the ages of 18 and 30.

Authors reported that among participants who never smoked tobacco, “cumulative marijuana-years were not associated with AAC (abdominal artery calcium) or CAC (coronary artery calcium).” By contrast, those subjects who smoked tobacco only, or who consumed both substances for a period of at least five years, possessed an elevated risk of subclinical atherosclerosis.

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Previous research published by the team reports that the cumulative lifetime use of cannabis is not associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease.

Full text of the study, “Lifetime marijuana use and subclinical atherosclerosis: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study,” appears in Addiction.

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