Adverse cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular effects of marijuana inhalation: what cardiologists need to know.

Abstract

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug, with approximately 200 million users worldwide. Once illegal throughout the United States, cannabis is now legal for medicinal purposes in several states and for recreational use in 3 states. The current wave of decriminalization may lead to more widespread use, and it is important that cardiologists be made aware of the potential for marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects that may begin to occur in the population at a greater frequency. In this report, the investigators focus on the known cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral effects of marijuana inhalation. Temporal associations between marijuana use and serious adverse events, including myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, cardiomyopathy, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and cannabis arteritis have been described. In conclusion, the potential for increased use of marijuana in the changing legal landscape suggests the need for the community to intensify research regarding the safety of marijuana use and for cardiologists to maintain an awareness of the potential for adverse effects.

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