Marijuana abusers are at increased risk for stroke. Preliminary evidence from cerebrovascular perfusion data

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Jun;939:413-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb03652.x.


We have recorded blood flow velocity in the anterior and middle cerebral arteries by transcranial Doppler sonography in abstinent marijuana abusers (n = 16) and control subjects (n = 19) to assess the effects of prolonged marijuana use of the cerebrovascular system. The pulsatility index, a measure of cerebrovascular resistance, and systolic velocity were significantly (p < 0.005) increased in marijuana abusers compared to the control subjects. These findings suggest that cerebral perfusion observed in 18-30 year old marijuana abusers is comparable to that of normal 60 year-olds. Thus, chronic abuse of marijuana might be a risk factor for stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cerebral Artery / physiology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / complications
  • Marijuana Abuse / physiopathology*
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / physiology*
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / chemically induced