Weed wacker: NIH study links use of pot smoking with increased heart attacks and strokes


A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health has unveiled findings regarding a link between frequent cannabis smoking and greater risks of heart attack and stroke.

Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the research draws from data collected from nearly 435,000 American adults and is of the largest investigations into the relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular events.

According to the findings, people who reported daily cannabis use exhibited a 25% increased likelihood of experiencing a heart attack and a 42% heightened risk of stroke compared to non-users.

Even less frequent use was associated with elevated cardiovascular risks, with weekly users facing a 3% higher chance of heart attack and a 5% higher likelihood of stroke.

Abra Jeffers, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study and a data analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital, highlighted the similarities between cannabis and tobacco smoke, as it relates to the release of toxins during combustion.

“Smoking cannabis appears to also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Jeffers said.

While the precise mechanisms linking cannabis to heart disease remain unclear and were not the focus of the current study, researchers speculate on various factors, such as numerous “endocannabinoid receptors” in the body’s cardiovascular tissues, which may interact with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

The study utilized data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2016 and 2020. Researchers evaluated the association between cannabis smoking frequency and self-reported cardiovascular outcomes, adjusting for factors such as tobacco use, demographics, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, physical activity levels, and socioeconomic status.

David C. Goff, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, emphasized the significance of these findings.

“Asking patients about their cannabis use during routine medical exams will help us learn more about the long-term effects of marijuana on the body,” he said.

As weed legalization continues to rise nationwide, the study points to the potential risks associated with its regular use. Heart disease remaining the leading cause of death in the United States. In Alaska, cancer is the leading cause of death, followed by heart disease. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death for Alaskans, according to the CDC.

The leading causes of death in Alaska in 2021, according to the CDC, include other conditions that are often related to drug use, such as accidental deaths and suicide. Here are the CDC’s top-10 causes of death in Alaska:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Accidents
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
  5. Stroke
  6. Suicide
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease
  8. Diabetes
  9. Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis
  10. Influenza/Pneumonia


  1. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as smoking is smoking although pot theoretically has fewer added chemicals. What would be interesting to know is if edible use has any bad health side effects. Besides impairing judgement and thus increasing sucseptibility to accidental death etc.

  2. I don’t care regarding adult usage. Everything, including aspirin, has risks.

    Put the information out there, let adults make adult decisions.

      • Don’t even try, son. You’re like a little girl playing with her mom’s makeup.

        You’re not smart enough to debate my stools, much less me.

  3. I wouldn’t believe what the CDC has to say about anything. Even if they told me my hair was on fire and I could smell the smoke.

  4. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to legalize this harmful drug. But the tax revenue is great and many enjoy it while working at home.

  5. How many deaths in Alaska were attributed to the Covid Shot, is anyone collecting that data? Seems like there have been some unusual // uncharacteristic cardiac arrest issues after the Covid Shot was released, possibly related to mRNA.

  6. I don’t know who you associate with, but personally speaking, I, along with almost everyone I know, have had the full series of Covid shots and not a one of us have had any sort of significant side effect. So these assertions are not borne out by my direct experience. Maybe you have with a particularly vulnerable crowd for some obscure reason?

  7. There has been a huge increase in deaths due to cardiac arrest and strokes since the advent of the covid ‘vaccine’. You would think that would make more news, but I guess the people in charge of the media want to look the other way. Life insurance reports show that all cause mortality is way up especially in the 19-49 year old male population.

  8. Righttt! Nobody believes the NIH. The open border leads to an increase in fentanyl deaths in a study by thinking average Americans to the tune of at least one hundred thousand per year.

  9. Thanks for sharing the important facts from this study Suzanne. The pro-drug Democrats continue to embrace drug usage despite the massive amounts of data that these drugs are dangerous, and a massive drag on society. That’s why many Democrat run cities are failing cesspools.

  10. This is so not news. There have been several respected studies over the years that all show a link between marijuana use and cardio vascular disease.

    In the interest of being fair, how about we compare the adverse health effects of alcohol and THC?

  11. Is this the same CDC that wanted me to get a vaccination?

    Wear a mask?

    Said I would die if I didnt? Guess what.

    Yeah. Roll me another joint. The CDC are clowns.

    • Exactly! The only people I know that are dying from heart attacks, strokes etc are all either people who are severly overweight with other medical conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc – or they have had the COVID shot and multiple boosters.

  12. Is this the same NIH that wanted me to get a vaccination?

    Wear a mask?

    Said I would die if I didnt? Guess what.

    Yeah. Roll me another joint. The NIH are clowns.

  13. If the NIH funded it, it is meant to create fear. I don’t agree with using marijuana for the sole intention of getting high. But, if its medicinal properties help people with glaucoma, cancer, or other issues, I am not opposed to its use. The Creator put everything on this earth for a reason. Looking forward to learning the truth about everything in God Almighty’s time.

  14. Hopefully most Alaskans got the placebo and not the deadly vaccine that causes heart attacks and cancer later in life. Three of my friends who took the vaccine died shortly after and one had to be hospitalized. I know people in their 90s still smoking weed. I don’t believe anything the NIH tells us.

  15. Funny the CDC doesn’t list alcohol abuse as a leading cause of death. Particularly in AK. Gosh I wonder why? I also see a lot of irony in people who apparently have zero experience with cannabis use denigrating actual users of cannabis all while extolling the virtues of their own alcohol consumption. “I can control it” said every drunk ever. Hysteria rules within the ranks of the undereducated.
    My body my choice. Right?

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