Meta-Analysis: Cannabis Use Not Predictive of Adverse Cardiovascular Events

Bangkok, Thailand: A history of cannabis use is not associated with a significantly increased risk of suffering from an adverse cardiovascular event, according to review data published in the journal Toxicological Reports.

Investigators reviewed findings from 20 observational studies involving over 183 million subjects. They reported, “Cannabis use was not significantly associated with acute MI [myocardial infarction], stroke, [or other] adverse CV [cardiovascular] events.”

Researchers cautioned, however, that it remains unclear whether certain formulations of cannabis (such as higher THC products) and/or heavier patterns of use might potentially be associated with a more elevated risk. Therefore, they opined that their results should be interpreted with caution.

“To the best of our knowledge, the current study is the first meta-analysis regarding cannabis-related adverse cardiovascular events, including acute MI and stroke, though there are some systematic reviews on this topic,” they concluded. “Contrary to the notions based on previous literature and biological explanations, this meta-analysis found that cannabis use insignificantly predicts all major cardiovascular adverse events. … However, considering the heterogeneity among studies, it is vital to take a cautious stance toward the findings. Specific conditions of cannabis use such as cannabis preparation, route of administration, dosage, duration, and time after exposure can affect outcomes, and further investigations are needed.”

The investigators’ findings are similar to those of a 2021 literature review of 67 studies published in The American Journal of Medicine , which concluded, “[M]arijuana itself does not appear to be independently associated with excessive cardiovascular risk factors.” 

Full text of the study, “Cannabis and adverse cardiovascular events: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies,” appears in Toxicological Reports.