Cannabis Consumers Not at Increased Risk of Stroke, Study
New research shows that consuming cannabis isn’t likely to make you more at risk of suffering a stroke.
Past research has shown mixed results about whether or not consuming cannabis effects a person’s likelihood of suffering a stroke. In the past, physicians have been particularly particularly concerned that cannabis use could increase the risk of ischemic stroke, which results from reduced blood flow to the brain. However, the latest study on the topic published earlier this month suggests consuming cannabis does not put people at increased risk of stroke.
After analyzing data collected from 9,350 patients, researchers from the University of Mississippi found that cannabis consumption didn’t appear to have much effect one way or the other on stroke risk.
“Consistent with some studies, this study shows that recent cannabis use is not an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke,” wrote the authors.
This finding goes against a number of earlier studies suggesting that marijuana does, in fact, increase the risk of stroke. A 2018 study noted a nearly 30 percent increase of stroke cases among cannabis consumers across the US between 2010 and 2014.
Another study from a few years earlier in France similarly found that cannabis consumers faced an increased risk for stroke. Here, however, the researchers noted that it was the smoking, not the cannabis itself that caused the increased risk factor.
Meanwhile, other studies have shown that cannabis may actually help reduce the risk of stroke. A 2017 study from the University of Texas found that THC — cannabis’ main intoxicating compound — “relaxes arterial walls resulting in lower blood pressure and increased blood flow to tissues.” This increased blood flow means reduced risks of blood clots and stroke, reported the researchers.
All this means that researchers need to delve deeper into the subject before they can reach a conclusion on how cannabis impacts the risk of stroke risk.