New Stanford study found a link between increased heart attack risk and use of marijuana, and found that a molecule present in soybeans could help to reverse these effects
A team of scientists at Stanford University conducted a new study and found a robust link between regular use of marijuana and increased heart attack risk. According to the study published in the journal Cell on April 29, 2022, THC can cause inflammation in blood vessel cells and the scientists call for users of medical marijuana to be aware of increased cardiovascular risks. The researchers studied data of nearly 500,000 people to find the link.
In this new study, the team studied the data by age, gender and body weight. Studying this data of 500, 000 people the scientists found that the subjects who were smoking marijuana more than once every month had high risk of heart attack before the age of 50 than normal users. The team then investigated the mechanism behind this link. The scientists focused particularly on THC as they found that the cannabinoid was promoting inflammation in human endothelial cells that were grown in the lab. Endothelial cells line the inside of the heart and blood vessels and inflammation of these cells is an important indicator of cardiovascular disease. Further, the scientists found a molecule that can block this inflammation causing properties of THC without affecting the psychoactive effects of the drug. Genistein, a naturally occurring molecule found in soybeans doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, which makes it useful for blocking THC’s adverse properties.
Furthermore, the team tested this in mice and found that genistein reduced endothelial dysfunction in THC treated mice without affecting effects of the drug on the central nervous system of the animal. As per the team, this new research requires through clinical trial to find more about genistein’s effects on users of marijuana and heart attack risk.