No green light for cannabis two years post-legalization

During a joint plenary session centred around substance use and heart health, Dr. Bob Reid of the UOHI and Dr. Michael Givertz of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, contemplated whether the cardiovascular benefits of cannabis outweigh the risks.

Dr. Reid’s message to patients is still one of caution: “If you’re not currently a cannabis user, there is no reason to go out and become one,” he told The Beat. “If you are consuming cannabis and are concerned about your heart health, and if you want to reduce your risk of having an adverse cardiovascular event, avoid black-market sources and consider ingesting products with the lowest possible levels of THC.”

Dr. Reid advises against taking combustible forms of the drug, too. He said: “Don’t smoke it. There are additional cardiovascular risks that come with the carbon monoxide and products of combustion.”

A recent study of a cohort of 700 patients admitted to the UOHI revealed 14% had used cannabis in the past year and 6.3% were daily users. Of those surveyed, 90% report they are still purchasing the drug through black-market sources rather than Canada’s legal supply.

The Beat Nov 2020