Two new studies have looked at the effects of using marijuana for a long time. They found that using marijuana regularly might increase the chances of having serious heart problems like heart failure and heart attacks. These studies are important because more and more states are legalizing marijuana, and we need to understand its long-term effects on our health better.

Study 1: Daily Marijuana Use and Heart Failure Risk

In the first study, researchers followed 156,999 people for almost four years. These people reported using marijuana regularly for non-medical reasons between 2016 and 2022. The average age of these participants was 54 years old.

What they found was quite surprising. During the study, almost 2% of the participants (2,958 people) developed heart failure. It didn’t matter how old they were, their gender, or whether they smoked tobacco; using marijuana every day was linked to a 34% higher risk of heart failure. It’s worth noting that the study didn’t specify how the participants consumed marijuana, which could affect how it impacts the heart.

Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, who led the study, said, “Using marijuana isn’t risk-free, and our study shows that it might lead to heart problems.” These findings suggest we need more research to understand how marijuana use affects our heart health.

Study 2: Older Marijuana Users and Heart Problems

The second study looked at data from the largest hospitalization database in the U.S. in 2019. The researchers focused on people over 65 who had risk factors for heart problems. They separated them into two groups: those who used marijuana and those who didn’t. Then, they looked at how many of them had heart attacks, strokes, heart arrests, or irregular heartbeats during their hospital stay.

Among the older adults with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes who used marijuana, 20% were more likely to experience a major heart or brain problem while in the hospital compared to those who didn’t use marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana users had a 1.6% higher chance of having heart attacks.

It’s important to know that this study has some limitations. Because it relied on hospital data, there may be other factors that influenced the results.

It’s crucial to remember that these studies haven’t been reviewed by other experts or published yet, and there isn’t a lot of existing research on this topic. However, these findings raise important questions about the potential health risks of using marijuana, especially when it comes to our heart health. To ensure the safety of people who use marijuana, more research is needed to understand its long-term effects on our health.

Dr. Robert L. Page II, a pharmacist, emphasizes that recent research shows inhaling marijuana can increase harmful substances in the blood, which are linked to heart problems. As marijuana use becomes more common, it’s essential for the medical community to keep studying this topic to make sure people are safe when using this substance.