Study finds higher risk of leg artery disease for marijuana users

  • 2 Min To Read
  • a year ago

A new study has found a potential link between marijuana use and peripheral artery disease (PAD). The study, which analyzed data from over 620,000 patients, found that marijuana users had three times the risk of developing the condition, which restricts blood flow to the legs or arms due to plaque buildup in the arteries. It is not clear whether the impact is solely due to smoking marijuana or other consumption methods, such as edibles. However, users should seek early evaluation by a healthcare professional if they experience leg pain while walking, slower or no hair growth, or coldness in the leg. The study also found that marijuana users were at an increased risk even after controlling for some variables, including smoking cigarettes. While the study shows an association and not a cause-and-effect link, it does suggest particular safety signals. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can make blood platelets “angry” and lead to blood clotting. Smoking cannabis has similar negative impacts on blood vessels as smoking cigarettes, releasing harmful byproducts such as tar. THC can also stimulate receptors in the brain that narrow blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of ischemic stroke and early first-time stroke in younger adults, between the ages of 18 to 40. Providers should ask their patients about cannabinoid use and use it as a risk factor for both coronary and peripheral artery disease. The study will be presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions annual meeting, but findings presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.


More from Press Rundown