In an investigation of the French Addictovigilance Network reports, researchers found a possible link between cannabis use and cardiovascular complications.

Emilie Jouanjus, PharmD, PhD, and members of the French Association of the Regional Abuse and Dependence Monitoring Centres (CEIP-A) Working Group on Cannabis Complications, analyzed anonymous patient data reported to the French Addictovigilance Network in relation to psychoactive drug use in France. From 2006–2010, there were 1,979 spontaneous reports related to cannabis use, of which 35 cases (1.8%) corresponded to cardiovascular complications. An increase was seen from 1.1% in 2006 to 3.6% in 2010 of all cannabis-related reports. The majority of those patients were male (85.7%) with an average age of 34.3 years.

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The investigators identified 20 cases of acute coronary syndromes, 10 peripheral complications (eg, lower limb or juvenile arteriopathies, Buerger-like diseases), and 3 cerebral complications. Furthermore, 9 cases lead to patient death (25.6%).

The authors concluded the evidence supports the notion that cannabis may be a cardiovascular disease risk factor in young adults, and practitioners should recognize this as a possible trigger for cardiovascular complications in young patients. They believe a prospective study of cardiovascular cases at hospital admission would be a starting point for future research into cannabis complications.

For more information read the full article in the Journal of the American Heart Association.