Smoking marijuana, or weed as it is commonly called, may increase one’s risks of dying from hypertension, a new study has shown.
Researchers at the Georgia State University analyzed data from more than 1,200 marijuana users at least 20 years old who had smoked for an average of 11 years, and who had been enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Pot smokers ended up 3.42 times more likely to die from high blood pressure, and that risk increased about by a factor of one for each year they smoked weed.
“Our results suggest a possible risk of hypertension mortality from marijuana use,” said Barbara A. Yankey, a Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health at Georgia State.
“This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system. Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand. Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and heart attacks after marijuana use.”
The study authors also mentioned that they found a higher estimated risk to the cardiovascular system for marijuana smoking than the risk known for cigarette smoking.
“This indicates that marijuana use may carry even heavier consequences on the cardiovascular system than that already established for cigarette smoking,” said Yankey.
“However, the number of smokers in our study was small, and this needs to be examined in a larger study. Needless to say, the detrimental effects of marijuana on brain function far exceed that of cigarette smoking.”