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Association Between Recreational Cannabis Use and Cardiac Structure and Function (sciencedirect.com)
18 points by bookofjoe on Dec 24, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments

Geez. Unless there is there is some mechanism posited, it is hard not to roll ones eyes at studies like this. How would, hypothetically, the THC, and other cannabinoids in canibus cause this to happen given their effect on the endocrine system? The sample size looks large at over 3k until you see that the regular use group is 47 and the infrequent use group is just past 100. So we have 20x non-users to users based on self-reporting. Is this solid statistics at the least? It could be, but it is a bit misleading. Are the correlations stated after removing confounds? It reads like that is not necessarily the case. Either way, frankly, correlations with no posited mechanism are tremendously unconvincing unless there is way more evidence.

I'm also quite skeptical, but if this actually is accurate, I don't think the potential for a mechanism of action is necessarily that far-fetched. My heart rate absolutely increases to some degree for an extended period of time when I consume sativa cannabis, for example, and I don't think this is uncommon. Changes in heart rate could potentially alter aspects of the heart, over a sufficient length of time.

Even if that weren't the case, cannabis contains lots of psychoactive compounds which aren't fully understood, and even for the ones we do seem to understand, the brain and body are incredibly complex and chaotic systems and could possibly exhibit unexpected effects when exposed to them.

N=47 for current users and 97% of the study population was White. I'm baffled as to how this kind of stuff can inform population health.

They literally explain their rationale in the next sentence: "Current regular users were more likely to be younger, male, and current tobacco smokers and have greater levels of social deprivation compared with rare/never users and previous regular users. They were also less likely to be taking antihypertension medication."

Also, 82% of the UK's population is white, so 97% (especially given that these are older people) isn't really that surprising. I'm baffled how pro-drug proponents consistently ignore correlative evidence that points to regular cannabis use being problematic.

My thoughts precisely. I am a self-identifying proponent for marijuana legalization, which is why my initial reaction was to balk at the study. However, upon rereading the study, they make it abundantly clear that their study is not providing any definitive conclusions by any means.

“Discussions on the potential public health impact are hampered by gaps in evidence and variable quality of available data. Little or no mention of cannabis exists in CVD risk assessments or lifestyle advice guideline.”

Furthermore, they explain that much more research is required to come to any sort of conclusion on its effects on the general population.

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