Marijuana and Heart Health: What We Know and The Biggest Remaining Questions

August 10, 2020

A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association is acting as a "call to action" for greater research into the effects of marijuana, according to the statement's co-author.



This expert interview features Robert L. Page II, PharmD, a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and co-author of a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) which he describes as a call to action for more research into the effects of marijuana, in both medicinal and recreational settings on overall, but specifically cardiovascular health.

The statement outlines the increased risk of cardiovascular complications seen with marijuana use in observational studies but also highlights the lack of prospective studies examining the issue due to its schedule 1 status, which Page purports more than once has contributed to a major knowledge gap as legalization becomes more common in states and countries throughout the world.

“Attitudes towards recreational and medicinal use of cannabis have changed rapidly, and many states have legalized it for medical and/or recreational use. Health care professionals need a greater understanding of the health implications of cannabis, which has the potential to interfere with prescribed medications and/or trigger cardiovascular conditions or events, such as heart attacks and strokes,” said Page, in a statement from the AHA.

During this specific segment of the interview, Page describes whether cardiologists should be fearful of the increased prevalence of marijuana use and what the most pressing answers in need of answers in future prospective studies.

This scientific statement, titled “Medical Marijuana, Recreational Cannabis, and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association,” was published in Circulation.