There is still no clear consensus on whether cannabis can increase the risk of stroke.
A new study from the Neurology Clinical Practice, an official journal of American Academy of Neurology, investigated the relation between cannabis use and ischemic stroke.
“Previous studies that investigated cannabis use and risk of stroke have had conflicting results, some showing a decreased risk and others showing a greatly increased risk,” said study author Carmela V. San Luis, M.D., of the University of Mississippi.
“Our observational study looked specifically at recent cannabis use by reviewing drug testing data for people admitted to the hospital. While more research is needed with larger numbers of people, our study lends support to the studies showing that cannabis use does not increase the risk of stroke.”
The study which was published on June 3rd, 2020, involved 9,350 people, 18 years old or older who had been admitted to hospital and screened with a urine test for drug use. Those who tested for drugs other than cannabis were excluded.
Of those who tested positive, 130 of 1,643 people, or 8%, had an ischemic stroke. Of those who tested negative, 16% had an ischemic stroke or 1,207 of 7,707 people.
The results were then adjusted for other factors affecting stroke risk (age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sickle cell disease, obesity, smoking etc) and it was found that there was no link between cannabis use for increased or decreased risk of ischemic stroke.
“Our research adds to the list of studies with conflicting results, so it is important to continue to investigate stroke risk and cannabis use,” stated San Luis. “Future studies are now needed in larger groups of people that not only include data from drug screenings but also dosing amounts as well as a person’s history of cannabis use.”