STROKE AND CANNABIS
You may have noticed that there seems to be more information about the effects of cannabis lately. I attribute this to the increased use of this drug in states where it is now legal for recreational use, and in those states where it is approved for medicinal reasons. Prior to this, no randomized controlled studies of this drug were legal and, therefore, no information about the good or bad effects associated with its use were studied. I have been trying to supply pertinent, reliable, and interesting information about marijuana use as it becomes available. The following is hot off the press.
Young cigarette smokers who are also significant cannabis users have a 3 fold increased risk of stroke. Also, people with cannabis use disorder (defined as clinically significant impairment due to recurrent use of cannabis including persistent and increasing use and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home) have a 50% increased risk of being hospitalized for cardiac rhythm problems. The effects of cannabis are seen within 15 minutes and last for about 3 hours. At lower doses, cannabis is linked to a rapid heart rate but at higher doses it is linked to a seriously slow heart rate.
As the prevalence of marijuana use accelerates with the changing legal climate our knowledge of the health effects will continue to expand. The current characteristics of modern marijuana and the methods of its use leave a large gap in our understanding of this increasingly common drug.