Study: Recent Use of Cannabis Not Associated with Increased Risk of Ischemic Stroke

Jackson, MS: Recent cannabis exposure is not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization due to acute ischemic stroke (AIS), according to data published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice.

Investigators affiliated with the University of Mississippi Medical Center assessed the relationship between a positive toxicology test for cannabis upon hospital admission and the likelihood of suffering from AIS.

Researchers reported that those who tested positive solely for cannabis possessed a decreased risk of suffering from AIS. After adjusting for potential confounders, including age and obesity, investigators reported no significant differences in AIS risk among cannabis-positive admissions and those without recent cannabis exposure.

Authors concluded: “This is one of the few studies analyzing the association of recent cannabis use and acute ischemic stroke using admission urine toxicology test independent of polysubstance use. Even though our study has limitations, we did not find an independent association between recent cannabis use and the incidence of acute ischemic stroke. Further studies utilizing urine toxicology tests with larger sample size and including dosage of cannabis exposure should be done.”

Prior studies have yielded mixed results with respect to the use of cannabis and the risk of stroke and/or heart disease. NORML has cautioned that those patients with a history of cardiovascular disorders may be at an elevated risk of suffering from adverse events due to the use of cannabis.

Full text of the study, “Association between recent cannabinoid use and acute ischemic stroke,” appears in Neurology: Clinical Practice.