Researchers at the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Branch of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-Intramural Research Program in Maryland and the Ciphergen Biosystems in Freemont, California, studied 18 heavy marijuana users and 24 non-drug users as a control group.
People with major medical and psychiatric illnesses, hypertension, head injury, HIV positive, alcohol dependency and other drug usage, were excluded from the study.
Linked to Increased Tryglycerides
The study found increases in apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III) in the marijuana users. Increases in apoC-III levels in the blood occur in parallel with increases in triglyceride levels, the researchers wrote.
They researchers still do not understand why delta-9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (THC) causes increases in apoC-III levels, but its increase might be the reason that some heavy marijuana users are at an increased risk for heart attack and strokes.
Jayanthi, S., et. al. "Heavy Marijuana Users show Increased Serum Apolipoprotein C-III levels: Evidence from proteomic analyses" Molecular Psychiatry. 13 May 2008. More Information: