Cannabis and your Heart

Cannabis has been legal for medicinal use in Canada since 2001. Since 2018, many cannabis products have been legal for recreational use, including dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis seeds for cultivation. In 2019, cannabis edibles, topicals and extracts (including cannabis vape products) became legal. 

There is currently little high-quality scientific evidence about the impact of recreational cannabis use on heart conditions and stroke. 

  • Emerging evidence shows an increased risk for heart disease and stroke from the effects of cannabis on blood pressure, inflammation of the blood vessels and cardiac arrhythmias1,2,3,4 
  • Other reports link cannabis use with cardiovascular emergencies, including heart attack, arrhythmias, heart failure, stroke and cardiac arrest 
  • Some research shows that long-term or excessive use of cannabis, increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.1,3,8 
  • Respiratory illness and deaths in the United States have been linked to vape products, many of which are cannabis (THC) vaping products obtained through informal sources.9 

Heart & Stroke recommends reviewing the Lower-Risk Cannabis User Guidelines to assess the safest modes of cannabis use. Consumers should follow guidance and advisories from Health Canada related to vape products and if vaping cannabis, always obtain THC extracts for vaping from authorized dealers.