Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Pot Smoking May Pose Heart Dangers, Study Suggests

But some believe the study is flawed

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Marijuana use might contribute to heart and artery disease among young and middle-aged adults, particularly those already at risk for cardiovascular problems, a small French study reports.

By reviewing reported cases of marijuana abuse in France between 2006 and 2010, researchers identified 35 users who suffered heart disease -- including 20 heart attacks and nine deaths.

The percentage of heart disease cases among reported marijuana abusers more than tripled during those five years, rising from 1.1 percent of cases to 3.6 percent, the investigators reported.

In nearly half the cases, the afflicted pot users already had risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the study authors said.

"This unexpected finding deserves to be further analyzed, especially given that the medicinal use of marijuana has become more prevalent and some governments are legalizing its use," said Emilie Jouanjus, lead author of the study and a medical faculty member at the University Hospital of Toulouse in France.

But marijuana advocates argue that the findings appear weak at best, given that the percentage of pot users with heart problems is so small.

"If those are the chances of having cardiac complications as a French cannabis user, my first thought is that using cannabis protects people from cardiac problems," said Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany and board chair of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group.

"We need a comparison group of people who don't use cannabis to know their rate of cardiac problems, but, as the authors point out, we simply don't have those data," Earleywine added.

The study authors reviewed cases of marijuana abuse reported to the French Addictovigilance Network. Doctors are legally required to report drug abuse cases to the network if they believe the drug use could lead to serious health problems.

Previous studies have linked marijuana use to an increased risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, the authors said in background information.

For this study, published April 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers identified 1,979 reports of marijuana abuse during the five-year period. Of those cases, 35 involved cardiovascular complications.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
 
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
 
empty football helmet
Article
red wine
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW