Medicine

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

As the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana continue to spread across the USA, so too have usage rates for the drug, especially in younger demographics.

The investigators assessed 1,213 participants for 19,569 follow-up years; four percent smoked cigarettes only, 5% had either previously smoked tobacco or used marijuana, 21% used marijuana only, 34% didn't use either substance, and 20% now used both cigarettes and marijuana. Yet, a handful of researchers have taken strides to push the limits of various research endeavors, to better understand the underlying biology of cannabis' effects on the body.

Lead author Barbara Yankey from Georgia State University, said: 'It is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks'. "However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality".

Researchers studied cannabis users between 2005 and 2011, looking at how long they had used the drug for and their general health.

However, the study found no link between marijuana use and deaths from heart or cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes. "Only participants eligible for mortality follow-up were included".

Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of [cardiovascular disease].

"In this specific study, authors conflate subjects" reporting of having "ever used' cannabis as evidence of current and habitual use". Death from hypertension included multiple causes, such as primary hypertension and hypertensive renal disease.

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Neither cigarettes, nor marijuana was used by 34% of the total participants; 21% of them used only marijuana, while 20% used both marijuana and cigarettes.

"It does not prove that if you choose to use marijuana you are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease", Prasad told The Oregonian.

Marijuana use increases the risk of dying from high blood pressure by more than three times, new research reveals.

For more on marijuana and heart health, visit Harvard Medical School. Scientists said the risk grows with every year of use. As compared to non-users who had 3.42 times higher risk of death from hypertension.

"Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand", she said. "Needless to say, the detrimental effects of marijuana on brain function far exceed that of cigarette smoking". They also found that the higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with a use of marijuana than the cigarette smoking.

Armentano acknowledged that cannabinoids (a class of chemicals found in marijuana, - the most well-known is THC, a psychoactive) do affect blood pressure - a subject that he has written about previously.