What is the Current Knowledge About the Cardiovascular Risk for Users of Cannabis-Based Products? A Systematic Review


Purpose of Review

The purpose of the study was to examine the published evidence on the cardiovascular risk related to the use of cannabis-based products by performing a systematic review of recent literature.

Recent Findings

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that cannabis use represents a risky behavior as it may lead to many adverse effects, and in particular, cardiovascular effects.


A systematic review of articles published between January 1, 2011 and May 31, 2016 was performed in agreement with the PRISMA statement. Articles presenting data on humans exposed to cannabis-based products and suffering from any cardiovascular condition were eligible for inclusion. The inclusion process was based on a search algorithm and performed in a blinded standardized manner. Overall, 826 articles were found in the literature search, 115 of which remained after performing the inclusion procedure. These were 81 case reports, 29 observational studies, 3 clinical trials, and 2 experimental studies. A total of 116 individuals was the subject of case reports. The mean age was 31 years (95%CI = 29–34), and patients were more frequently men (81.9%) than women (18.1%). They mainly suffered from ischemic strokes or myocardial infarctions. Data provided by the 29 included observational studies evidenced an association between exposure to cannabis-based products and cardiovascular disease. Currently, this evidence is stronger for ischemic strokes than for any other cardiovascular diseases. While the data are limited, there is some suggestion that cannabis use may have negative cardiovascular consequences, particularly at large doses.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance•• Of major importance

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The authors thank the professionals from Toulouse University library, in particular Agnès Thiercelin, as well as Nathalie Bel, from the public health and clinical research documentation center (Centre Régional de Documentation en Santé Publique et Recherche Clinique, Inserm UMR 1027) for the precious time they took to answer our questions concerning the databases explored in this review.

Authors’ Contribution

EJ and VR: conception and design, search algorithm, literature search, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the first draft, and critical revision of the article draft for preparing the final version. MLM: conception and design, analysis, and critical revision of the article draft for preparing the final version. VW: conception and design and critical revision of the article draft for preparing the final version.

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Correspondence to Emilie Jouanjus.

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Emilie Jouanjus, Valentin Raymond, Maryse Lapeyre-Mestre, and Valérie Wolff declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Dr. Jouanjus and Dr. Raymond would like to share first authorship.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Coronary Heart Disease

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Jouanjus, E., Raymond, V., Lapeyre-Mestre, M. et al. What is the Current Knowledge About the Cardiovascular Risk for Users of Cannabis-Based Products? A Systematic Review. Curr Atheroscler Rep 19, 26 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-017-0663-0

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  • Cannabis
  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Medical cannabis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Stroke
  • Systematic review