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J Addict Med. 2010 Dec;4(4):191-6. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3181beb022.

Cannabis arteritis: review of the literature.

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From the Departments of Addictology (OC, MG) and Internal Medicine (ML), University Hospital of Lille, Lille; and Department of Addictology (LK, CA, A Benyamina, A Boissonas), Paul Brousse University Hospital, Villejuif, France.


Consumption of cannabis in young adults has continued to increase in recent years. Cannabis arteritis was first described in the 1960s, but the number of cases has continued to increase. We reviewed current knowledge of the different types of cannabis arteritis in young adults and found 70 cases of cannabis arteritis in the literature. We discuss physiopathological arguments in favor of cannabis vascular toxicity per se, although we did not find sufficient evidence to identify cannabis arteritis as a specific diagnostic entity. Many factors suggest a link between cannabis consumption and arteritis in young adults, but it is difficult to say whether this type of arteritis is similar to thromboangiitis obliterans. We were unable to demonstrate a formal association between cannabis smoking and the development of thromboangiitis obliterans, because most case reports showed associated tobacco smoking (97%) and the number of years cannabis had been smoked by the participants was mostly unknown. Cannabis consumption would however seems to be an aggravating factor, together with tobacco, in arteritis, which occurs in young adults.

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