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American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Cannabis

Whether Medical or Recreational, More Knowledge is Needed

The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement calling for education for clinicians on the health implications of cannabis products. They are calling for funding and clinical trials, both of which are predicated on the removal of legal hurdles. The AHA states, “Our understanding of the safety and efficacy of cannabis has been limited…by the ongoing classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.”

They suggest a ban on youth using cannabis, and limiting smoking/vaping in general. For those who do use marijuana and cannabis products, are their hearts at risk? The study states that “Cannabis may have therapeutic benefits, but few are cardiovascular in nature. Conversely, many of the concerning health implications of cannabis include cardiovascular diseases, although they may be mediated by mechanisms of delivery.”

Published online in Circulation, this scientific statement brings up many points, including the potential good that cannabis may do: “modulation of the processes of pain, cachexia, nausea/vomiting, and spasticity.” However, the following has also been associated with cannabis consumption: premature ventricular contractions, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, bronchitis, blurred vision, anxiety, paranoia, and others. “Unfortunately, most of the available data are short term, observational, and retrospective in nature; lack exposure determination; exhibit recall bias; include minimal cannabis exposure with no dose or product standardization; and typically evaluate low-risk cohorts.” More studies are needed. More education is needed.


Access the statement.

Holly Caster