Smoking or vaping marijuana may trigger cardiac arrest and strokes, the American Heart Association warned Wednesday.
In the journal Circulation, the group wrote that marijuana has “the potential to interfere with prescribed medications” as well as “trigger cardiovascular conditions or events, such as heart attacks and strokes,” CNN reported.
The paper referenced studies that showed that the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, found in cannabis could lead to sudden heart rhythm abnormalities, such as tachycardia and atrial fibrillation.
THC can also cause a quicker heart rate, increase the organ’s need for oxygen, disrupt the walls of arteries, and heighten blood pressure, the group said.
One of the authors, Robert Page II, a clinical pharmacologist, said that those who plan to use the drug should consult a medical professional to assess the potential risks.
“If people choose to use cannabis for its medicinal or recreational effects, the oral and topical forms, for which doses can be measured, may reduce some of the potential harms,” Page said in a statement.
“It is also vitally important that people only use legal cannabis products because there are no controls on the quality or the contents of cannabis products sold on the street,” he continued.