Cannabis has been dubbed ‘the new tobacco’ by doctors after new research found it could be as damaging to the heart as smoking cigarettes.
One study found that in regular users, the drug significantly increased blood pressure and heart rate in the same way that heavy smoking does.
In the experiment, scientists in Canada, where recreational use is legal, gave 21 healthy volunteers who smoked cannabis a ‘vape’ containing the drug.
A single breath was enough to change the part of the nervous system responsible for blood pressure and heart rate, according to the scan.
Cannabis has been dubbed ‘the new tobacco’ by doctors after new research found it could be as damaging to the heart as smoking cigarettes (file image)
The changes could be enough to increase the risk of heart attacks in unhealthy patients, they warned.
“When the tobacco industry started, we didn’t know the harms of smoking,” said Dr. Abbas Alshami, a cardiologist in New Jersey who participated in the study.
It was only once it became widely used that we began to see the health consequences and take steps to limit it. Unfortunately, millions of people die preventable deaths before this happens.
I feel like we’re going through the same thing right now with cannabis. We are appalled by what we are seeing, and would like to see much stronger restrictions reimposed. Many people here [in the US] You don’t know if cannabis is harmful, but obviously, it is.’
In regular users, the drug significantly increased blood pressure and heart rate, according to one study (file image).
In another study, American researchers examined nearly 35 million hospital admission records.
Cannabis users are just as likely to develop conditions that threaten the heart’s blood supply, including sudden coronary syndrome (heart attack and angina), as heavy cigarette smokers.
Other studies have found that regular cannabis users, such as chronic kidney disease, which affects 3.5 million Britons, are more likely to develop heart disease than non-users, with over-60 users also more likely. For a stroke to occur.
A study has found that cannabis users have the same risk of heart problems, including sudden coronary syndrome (heart attack) and angina, as heavy cigarette smokers (file image).
American Heart Association pharmacologist Professor Robert Page says he believes cannabis is ‘absolutely the new tobacco’ in terms of heart risk.
“Cannabis is a psychotropic drug that affects not only the brain but also the nervous system, so what we’re seeing in these studies makes a lot of sense.”
Worryingly, we’re seeing an increased risk of heart attack and stroke even among young adults, who are the biggest recreational users of cannabis. This is a sign that further research is needed.’
Recreational cannabis use is legal in 19 US states. However, it remains illegal in the UK for recreational purposes.