Study: History of Marijuana Use Not Associated with Hardening of the Arteries

San Francisco, CA: Middle-age subjects with a history of marijuana use possess no greater elevated risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to longitudinal data published in the American Journal of Medicine.

A team of researchers from the United States and Switzerland assessed the association between marijuana exposure and thickness of the carotid artery in cohort of middle age Americans. While the cumulative use of tobacco was strongly associated with high carotid intima-media thickness (odds ratio 1.88), marijuana exposure was not (OR 0.87).

Authors concluded: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence that there might be no association between the average population level of marijuana use and subclinical atherosclerosis.”

The findings are consistent with prior studies – such as those here, here, and here – reporting that neither current nor cumulative cannabis use is associated with either atherosclerosis or other cardiovascular abnormalities at middle age.

Full text of the study, “Cumulative marijuana use and carotid intima-media thickness at middle age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study,” appears in in the American Journal of Medicine.