The current article from the American Heart Association critically reviews the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana from a clinical, policy, and public health standpoint. While medical marijuana may play a therapeutic role in certain disease…data to date do not support its use as a therapy for cardiovascular disease. In fact, cannabis has been associated with adverse cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction (especially in younger patients), arrhythmias, strokes, heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality. While it has been postulated that some components of marijuana may be cardioprotective (cannabidiol, or CBD), the THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) component stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and is associated with endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress... There is an urgent need for well-designed prospective studies to examine the effect of both the acute and long-term effects of marijuana on the cardiovascular system, especially since current forms of marijuana have higher doses of THC than in the past.
The authors of this American Heart Association scientific statement review the use of medicinal and recreational cannabis both for medicinal and recreational purposes, which has expanded over the last 2 decades. Cannabis has little benefit for the cardiovascular system but many of the adverse effects include cardiovascular disease. The authors review the safety and efficacy of cannabis for a variety of indications as well as for recreation while also considering the policy and public health perspective.
Further research is urgently needed to provide high-quality evidence regarding the risks and benefits of cannabis to inform both members of the public and policy.