Canadian Study Finds Cannabis Use Disorder Associated with Higher Risk of Heart Disease Interview with:
Anees Bahji, BSc(H), MD, CISAM, CCSAM, DABPN, FRCPC (pronouns: he/him/his)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary
Ph.D. Student, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary
Addiction, Concurrent Disorder, and General Psychiatry
Opioid Dependency Program, Sheldon M. Chumir Centre
Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine Service, Calgary
Adult Addiction Centre, 6th Floor, Foothills Medical Centre What is the background for this study?

Response: The background for this study is rooted in the need to understand the potential health implications of cannabis use disorder (CUD), especially in relation to cardiovascular health.

Cannabis has become increasingly popular for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and it is essential to assess its impact on various health outcomes. What are the main findings?

cannabis medical marijuana

Response: The main findings of our study suggest that Canadian adults with cannabis use disorder appear to have approximately a 60% higher risk of experiencing their first cardiovascular disease (CVD) event, such as a heart attack or stroke, compared to those without CUD. This highlights a potential association between cannabis use disorder and increased risk of CVD events. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should take away the awareness that cannabis use disorder , characterized by problematic and compulsive cannabis use, may be associated with an elevated risk of first-time cardiovascular disease events. While our study provides valuable insights, it’s important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the complex relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular health. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: As a result of this study, we recommend further research that delves into the underlying mechanisms of the association between cannabis use disorder and cardiovascular disease. Future studies could explore factors such as the specific impact of different modes of cannabis consumption, the role of individual genetics, lifestyle factors, and potential interactions with other health conditions. Additionally, examining the impact of cannabis use patterns, duration, and frequency on cardiovascular health outcomes would be valuable.

Response: I’d like to emphasize that our study contributes to the ongoing dialogue surrounding the health implications of cannabis use disorder and its potential links to cardiovascular health. It’s important to approach these findings with a balanced perspective, recognizing that more research is needed to fully understand the nuances of this association. We do not have any additional disclosures to report. Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?


Bahji A, Hathaway J, Adams D, Crockford D, Edelman EJ, Stein MD, Patten SB. Cannabis use disorder and adverse cardiovascular outcomes: A population-based retrospective cohort analysis of adults from Alberta, Canada. Addiction. 2023 Sep 27. doi: 10.1111/add.16337. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37766508.

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Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by