A small study that was recently conducted in France has raised questions about whether smoking pot can increase the risk for heart related conditions and diseases, especially in populations which are already at higher risks for heart issues. It is important to remember that the study was small and there were some flaws in the results because the study was based on reported cases which involved marijuana abuse. The study results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on April 23. and the study involved 1,979 case reports of marijuana abuse. Some are saying that the study findings are not reliable while others admit that there are flaws but stand by the findings in spite of this.
Smoking pot can lead to higher heart related risks for individuals who are already at a higher than normal risk. Out of the 1,979 cases of marijuana abuse included in the study 35 of the individuals had cardiovascular complications. 20 involved heart attacks and 9 of the cases involved heart related deaths. Lead study author and University Hospital of Toulouse faculty member Emilie Jouanjus stated “This unexpected finding deserves to be further analyzed, especially given that the medicinal use of marijuana has become more prevalent and some governments are legalizing its use.” Mitch Earleywine, who is a psychology professor at State University of New York at Albany and a board chair of the marijuana advocacy group NORML, refuted the study findings. According to Earleywine “If those are the chances of having cardiac complications as a French cannabis user, my first thought is that using cannabis protects people from cardiac problems. We need a comparison group of people who don’t use cannabis to know their rate of cardiac problems, but, as the authors point out, we simply don’t have those data.”