Study shows that marijuana consumers are good candidates for heart transplants

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Research from the Indiana University School of Medicine shows positive results for cannabis users

Marijuana users may be candidates for heart transplants, according to new research by cardiologists. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine have come together to further investigate this issue. Their findings were recently published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

According to the conclusions reached, the specialists state that the medical and scientific establishment must broaden and recontextualize its understanding of cannabis use and heart transplantation. This, as a result, suggests the potential for a completely new approach to determining transplant candidacy.

Lead author Onyedika Ilonze, MD, said transplantation is a life-saving option for patients with end-stage heart failure. However, unanswered questions about the legality and acceptability of cannabis use have prevented many patients from receiving transplants. It is controversial whether people who use marijuana should be considered candidates for transplantation, the author asserts.

The paper was drawn from an analysis of more than 200 publications, and reviews of pre- and post-heart transplant considerations related to cannabis use. It also makes comparative processes in relation to physicians’ attitudes toward cannabis and opioids. Ilonze and his team concluded that many of the reasons physicians choose not to perform a transplant on patients who use marijuana are based on old data or have no scientific basis.

“We need to learn more about the interactions between cannabis and immunosuppressants, and to study the association between cannabis use and transplant survival,” Ilonze added. “Clarifying this will move us forward and help us establish a standardized evaluation process.”