In the study, researchers examined data from more than 9,000 people on their history of marijuana use and their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), one marker of inflammation that is frequently linked with people's risk of heart disease.
About 40 percent of the people in the study said they had never smoked marijuana, while 48 percent reported having smoked the drug at least once in their lifetimes, but not in the past 30 days. About 12 percent (1115) said they smoked marijuana recently, or at least once in the past 30 days. The researchers found that the people who smoked in the last month had lower CRP levels than those who had never smoked the drug.
The new evidence "points toward possible anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis smoking," the authors wrote in the study, published online Nov. 28 in the Journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
However, the researchers remain cautious about the possible implications of their findings, as previous research on CRP levels and marijuana use in people has been scarce and the results of other studies have been inconsistent.
Read More: Live Science