Smoking cannabis puts people at a higher risk of heart failure and heart attacks, warns a new study.

Scientists found taking cannabis comes with substantial risks and could have a negative impact on the heart and blood vessels, with no benefits for cardiovascular health.

Many countries have legalised cannabis and attitudes have changed towards its medicinal and recreational use.

But findings from the new American study reveal chemicals in the drug such as THC could interfere with prescribed medications or even trigger heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers say cannabis also does not appear to have any well-documented benefits for the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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They add although the drug may be helpful for conditions such as spasticity, associated with multiple sclerosis, healthcare professionals need more understanding of its health implications.

Study author Professor Robert Page, from the University of Colorado, said: ‘Attitudes towards recreational and medicinal use of cannabis have changed rapidly and many states have legalised it for medical and/or recreational use.

‘Health care professionals need a greater understanding of the health implications of cannabis, which has the potential to interfere with prescribed medications and/or trigger cardiovascular conditions or events, such as heart attacks and strokes.’