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Recreational cannabis use causing non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy and cardioembolism in a young adult
  1. Budha O Singh1,
  2. Prasan Kumar Panda1 and
  3. Rohit Walia2
  1. 1Internal Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
  2. 2Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prasan Kumar Panda; motherprasanna{at}


Cannabis is one of the most common illicit drugs and has been implicated with various complications which include stroke, acute myocardial infarction, arrhythmia and limb arteritis. We are reporting a case of a young man, who is a recreational cannabis smoker along with tobacco, who developed exertional progressive breathlessness for the last 4 months, mild cough for 2 months and acute left-sided hemiparesis along with ipsilateral facial palsy for 1 day that was attributed to an acute right middle cerebral artery territory infarct. There was also gangrene in his left forearm as a result of left radial artery thrombosis. Non-ischaemic-dilated cardiomyopathy was found in contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI and he was managed in the line of decompensated heart failure; the right-hand gangrene was later amputated in the subsequent follow-ups. Hence, cannabis can lead to cardiomyopathy and resulting cardioembolism. The mainstay of management remains supportive and avoidance of the offending agent. Social education is the need of the hour.

  • cardiovascular medicine
  • heart failure
  • venous thromboembolism
  • drugs and medicines
  • global Health

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  • Contributors BOS, PKP and RW gave the concept, collected data, drafted and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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