Smoking weed triples your chances of dying from high BP

There's some bad news for marijuana users who like to blaze recreationally, as a recent study from Georgia State University has linked smoking pot to cardiovascular problems, including a greater risk of hypertension, which can be deadly.

According to the study, there was no link between marijuana use and dying from heart or cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes.

Researchers say long-term marijuana use can increase the risk of hypertension, but cannabis advocates say this particular study is faulty.

The retrospective follow-up study of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants aged 20 years and above designed by the researchers. In 2005-2006, they were asked if they had ever used marijuana.

Ian Hamilton, a mental health lecturer at York University, who was not involved in the study, added: 'Despite the widely held view that cannabis is benign, this research adds to previous work suggesting otherwise'. For example, data published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the relationship between marijuana use over a 20-year duration and overall health in a cohort of 1,037 individuals. Additionally, the risk was shown to increase by four percent for every year of recreational marijuana usage.

Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that led to increases in heart rate blood pressure and oxygen demand.

Yankey pointed out that there were limitations to the way marijuana use was estimated. But, there is a lack in research on the effect of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular deaths. "We found no association between cannabis and cardiovascular risks [e.g., high blood pressure, higher cholesterol]", the authors wrote.

This self-reporting did not include any information about the amount of marijuana people used, or how long they had used it, Lawrence said. "Recreational use of drugs like marijuana and alcohol at low, moderate levels has actually been shown to be kind of positive", Jamerson reported.

'If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public'. It determined that pot use was more associated with hypertension than cigarette use was.

Some experts also noted that there are hundreds of marijuana strains, all of which could have different effects on the human body. We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to estimate hazard ratios for hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular mortality due to marijuana use. This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system.

Vanessa Coleman

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