Cannabis Use Not Independently Linked to Increased Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Young Adults

Baltimore, MD: Those with a history of cannabis use do not possess an increased risk of early-onset ischemic stroke, according to the findings of a population-based case-control study published in the journal Stroke.

Researchers with the University of Maryland School of Medicine assessed the relationship between cannabis and stroke risk in a cohort of 1,564 subjects between the ages of 15 to 49. Investigators said that their study was “the largest case-control study to date” evaluating the association between marijuana and ischemic stroke risk.

They reported, “After adjusting for other risk factors, including the amount of current tobacco smoking, marijuana use was not associated with ischemic stroke, regardless of the timing of use in relationship to the stroke, including ever use, use within 30 days, and use within 24 hours.”

Authors concluded, “These analyses do not demonstrate an association between marijuana use and an increased risk of early-onset ischemic stroke.”

Results of a 2020 study published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice similarly reported that recent exposure to cannabis was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization due to acute ischemic stroke. 

Other studies have yielded inconsistent results with respect to the degree with which a history of cannabis use may play a role in the risk of ischemic stroke. 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, “Marijuana use and the risk of early ischemic stroke: The stroke prevention in young adults study,” appears in Stroke.