Canadian researchers find habitual cannabis use when young could be linked to heart disease later on

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What is being called the first study to consider specific risk indicators for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in young, healthy cannabis users has found that consuming weed when young may increase the risk of later developing heart disease. So suggests a new study, published in the  Journal of Applied Physiology , out of the University of Guelph (U of G). Investigators explored the associations of cardiovascular structure and function with cannabis use in ostensibly healthy young participants. The 35 subjects, half of whom were cannabis users, were between the ages of 19 and 30. Of those who used weed, they reported smoking cannabis several times a week over the last several years. Past or current cannabis use not associated with greater chance of hypertension ‘Will cannabis usage during the week before surgery help or hurt me?’ After living with chronic pain for years, a disabled and retired army corporal turned his life around using cannabis Researchers “found subtle, but potentially important changes in heart and artery function,” notes a statement from the University of Guelph. “Young, healthy and cannabis users demonstrate altered cardiac mechanics and greater aortic stiffness,” adds the study. Using ultrasound imaging on all subjects, investigators measured arterial stiffness and arterial function, namely the ability of arteries to appropriately expand with greater blood flow, which are indicators of cardiovascular function and potential disease risk. The findings indicated arterial stiffness was greater and cardiac function was lower in  consumers compared to non-users. The team was surprised to see no difference in artery dilation in response to changing blood flow, notes Christian Cheung, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the university’s Human Performance and Health Research Lab. Pointing out that cigarette-smokers normally experience stiffer arteries and lower vascular and heart function, “we don’t yet know why in…

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