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Marijuana and your heart: Why you may want to think twice before sparking up everyday

A new study showed that those who smoke marijuana daily have a third higher chance of having a stroke or developing coronary artery disease

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While the National Institute of Health said drugs containing cannabinoids have shown to be helpful in treating rare form of epilepsy, side effects from cancer or chemotherapy, and loss of appetite associated with HIV/AIDS-- one unpublished study shows that smoking marijuana daily may not be so helpful when it comes to heart health. 

Dr. Gregg Silverman joined First Edition Monday to discuss the effects of smoking marijuana daily on your heart. 

"We are going to upset some people," Silverman said at the top of the interview. "There's an unpublished study out there that suggests that those people who smoke marijuana on a daily basis have a third higher incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke."

In contrast, monthly cannabis use was not associated with a significant increase in the risk of CAD. The study focused on those who smoke marijuana daily and did not have research for those who use marijuana edibles.  

"They didn't really say anything about edibles because they can't quite do this. What it turns out, if you smoke marijuana you still get a lot of the problems associated with smoking," Silverman said.  "A lot of the same toxic chemicals you get with smoking or vaping are also in marijuana. It's not exactly the cleanest panacea for all problems, so just be aware of that."

The study — which has not yet been published — will be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology on Sunday, March 5.

"They took thousands of people and matched them up on an age and kind of medical history type of things, turns out that those people had a third incidences higher of heart disease," Silverman said.

While medical marijuana can be beneficial in certain situations, Silverman warned of the dangers of daily recreational smoking.

"Understand that you have to be careful with the long-term use and chronic use of marijuana," Silverman said. "There may be other, better options for you to deal with your stress or other things."

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