Study of U.S. hospital figures links pot use with increased risk of stroke

New research is being presented at a conference in Montreal today linking recreational cannabis use with an increased risk of stroke.

Researchers note marijuana 'has a potential link to stroke owing to cerebrovascular effects of cannabinoids'

A five-year study of hospital statistics from the U.S., looking at a period from 2010 to 2014, shows the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period. The study was presented on Friday during the third day of the World Stroke Congress in Montreal. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

New research is being presented at a conference in Montreal today linking recreational cannabis use with an increased risk of stroke.

The study, being outlined at the World Stroke Congress, looked at five years of hospital statistics from the United States.

Researchers found the incidence of stroke rose steadily among marijuana users, even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.

The study examined 2.3 million hospitalizations between 2010 and 2014 among people who used cannabis recreationally.

It found that 1.4 per cent of those, or about 32,000, had a stroke during that same period.

The rate of stroke for marijuana users increased over the period, from 1.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent, while the prevalence of stroke among patients nationwide was stable.

The researchers note in the abstract to their study that cannabis "has a potential link to stroke owing to cerebrovascular effects of cannabinoids."

They say their findings make a case for "further prospective studies to evaluate the marijuana-stroke association amidst legalization of recreational use."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.