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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cannabis causes a 34% increase in coronary artery disease (CAD)

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Reginald examines the heart of the study…

The study claims that daily cannabis smoke is associated with a 34% increase in the chances of CAD

As more and more states legalize cannabis, the once taboo plant is making its way into the mainstream. Whether you use it for recreational or medicinal purposes, you’ve likely heard some conflicting information about its effects on the human body. Some people swear by it, claiming it helps with everything from anxiety to chronic pain, while others warn against it, pointing to its ability to damage the lungs and impair cognitive function. So what is the truth?

Well, the truth is, it’s complicated. Hemp is a complex plant that contains hundreds of different chemical compounds, each of which can interact with the human body in different ways. This means that everyone’s experience with cannabis is unique, with some people finding it calming while others finding it stimulating. And as more and more people admit to using cannabis, researchers are finally able to collect more data about its consumption and effects.

However, as a forever skeptic, I know it’s important to approach these studies with a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, we’ve seen time and time again how stats can be manipulated to bring out some favorable results.

That’s why in this article, I’m going to take a closer look at the latest study claiming daily Cannabis use increases the chances of coronary artery disease Arterial disease (CAD) by 34%. I will examine the methods researchers use to reach this conclusion and discuss what it means for those who use cannabis regularly.

But don’t worry, I’m not here to scare you away from cannabis altogether. In fact, I believe education is the key to making informed decisions about its use. That’s why I’ll also be giving “Good Heart Health Tips” at the end of the article, so you can continue to enjoy cannabis while taking care of your heart. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to indulge in it, you can do it way too well.

So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the complex world of cannabis and its potential impact on our bodies.

A closer look at the study’s claims

The American College of Cardiology released a study indicating that daily cannabis users increased the odds of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) by a third, compared to those who had never used the drug.

The study analyzed health data from 175,000 people and found that daily marijuana users were 34% more likely to develop CAD than those who had never used the drug. The research team used the randomized Mendelian method, a genetics-based approach, to determine a causal relationship between cannabis use disorder and CAD risk, using data from an independent genetics consortium.

Cannabis use disorder is a psychiatric disorder that involves frequent marijuana use and dependence — but we also know that the DSM is a bit overrated.

After adjusting for age, gender, and major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the results indicated that daily cannabis users were 34% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who had never used marijuana.

The study indicates that it is important for people to be aware of The risks associated with cannabis use and inform their doctors if they use cannabis so that doctors can take appropriate steps to monitor their heart health.

The datasets used in this study did not differentiate between different forms of cannabis use, such as smoking, eating foods, or other forms.

Therefore, it is critical to examine the health effects of these different forms of cannabis consumption in future studies.

The main points:

    • Daily cannabis use increases the odds of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) by a third.
    • It was found that daily marijuana users are 34% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who have never used the drug.
    • Mendelian randomization, a genetics-based approach, was used to determine the causal relationship between cannabis use disorder and CAD risk.
    • It is important to be aware of the risks associated with cannabis use and to inform physicians of cannabis use when monitoring for heart conditions.
    • More research is needed to understand the health effects of different forms of cannabis consumption.

How to lie with statistics

When it comes to interpreting data, there are a lot of common mistakes that researchers can make. I’m talking about mistakes that can turn your results from trustworthy into just another sexy headline.

One mistake researchers often make is to overgeneralize results. You cannot assume that the results of a study of 175,000 people are representative of the entire population. This is like saying that you can judge the taste of a cake by just trying one crumb. In addition, the study only analyzed data from the All of Us Research program, which may not be representative of cannabis users as a whole.

Another error is the assumption of causation from correlation. Just because there is a relationship between daily cannabis use and CAD, it does not mean that one causes the other. There could be other factors that play a role, Like lifestyle habits or genetic predisposition, which contributes to the development of CAD.

But hey, let’s give credit where credit is due. The study analyzed a huge sample size and used a genetics-based approach to establish a causal relationship between cannabis use disorder and the risk of coronary heart disease. This sounds pretty legitimate, right?

However, there is a problem. We don’t have direct access to examine the datasets ourselves, so we have to trust the researchers’ analysis and interpretation of the data. It’s like trusting a cook who says the food is delicious, but you can’t taste it yourself.

So how can we protect ourselves from possible incorrect results? First, we need transparency in scientific research. Researchers need to be upfront about their methods and analyses, and they must report all findings, not just those that support their hypothesis.

Second, peer review and replication of studies is essential. We need other researchers to review and critique the study to identify potential biases and limitations that could affect the results. It’s like a group of judges in a baking competition. They all have different tastes and opinions, but together they can decide on the best cake.

Interpreting scientific research can be like walking through a minefield. There are a lot of potential biases and limitations to consider, and we have to trust the researchers’ analysis of the data.

However, by demanding transparency and peer review, we can better ensure the accuracy and reliability of results.

So the next time you see a sensational headline about the latest scientific study, remember to approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism and a desire for more information — unlike the mainstream media that released the same article.

Media as a control variable

The media can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they can help disseminate important information quickly and effectively. On the other hand, they can also contribute to spreading misinformation and bias. Take, for example, the recent media frenzy about the study linking daily cannabis use with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Once the study was released, every news outlet seemed to be running the same story, complete with the same quotes and stats. This mass transcription of the story gave the impression that the study was valid and reliable.

However, as we discussed earlier, there are several potential issues with the study that could threaten its validity. First, it has not yet been peer-reviewed, so we don’t know if other experts in the field would agree with its conclusions. In addition, there may have been unintended biases in the way the data was collected, analyzed, and interpreted. And let’s not forget the possibility of deliberate manipulation of data, whether by the researchers themselves or by third parties.

But with the media exaggerating the story and presenting it as fact, many people are now convinced that daily cannabis use poses a serious threat to their heart health. They may not be aware of potential flaws in the study or the fact that it was not rigorously peer-reviewed. This is a problem because media can also be a variable that we need to consider when doing cannabis research. Journalists may have their own unconscious biases or agendas that influence the way they write about studies. They may also tend to cover studies with attention-grabbing titles, rather than methodologically sound studies.

It is important to remember that just because a story is widely covered in the media does not necessarily mean that it is true or accurate. We need to approach media coverage with a critical eye and consider potential biases and flaws in the studies that are reported. Until the study linking daily cannabis use to CAD undergoes peer review and further scrutiny, we cannot consider it law.

This does not mean that we should not take these findings seriously. Quite the opposite, if you have a history of heart disease – you may want to be aware of these facts. We still find that the majority of cannabis users do not have these issues, however, it is good to be on the lookout.

Good practices for heart health

Taking care of our heart is crucial to living a healthy and fulfilling life. In addition to being aware of the potential risks associated with cannabis use, there are many other steps we can take to promote heart health.

First and foremost, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can have a huge impact on our heart health. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Regular exercise is also key to good heart health. Even moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the heart muscle.

Managing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga can also help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Avoiding or quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels, and even passive smoking can harm heart health.

Monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels is also important for maintaining a healthy heart. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can help detect potential problems early and prevent serious heart problems.

In summary, here are some key practices to promote a healthy heart:

    • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet
    • Do regular physical activity
    • Manage stress with relaxation techniques
    • Avoid or quit smoking
    • Monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
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