A new study implied that marijuana users could face a threefold risk of dying from high blood pressure than non-users. Alarming as it sounds, keep in mind that studies have their limitations and aren’t “absolutely” conclusive.
Some of the limitations of the study are:
- They defined marijuana “regular users” as any individual that tried the drug (even only once)
- The marijuana to whom each user used wasn’t really investigated in terms of strain, quality, chemical component, and so on.
More importantly, the study provided some insight for future studies regarding the perceived effects of marijuana on the human heart. Below are some of the most significant findings that they’ve uncovered.
‘A greater than three-fold risk of death’
According to Barbara Yankey, a doctoral student of epidemiology and biostatistics at Georgia State University and the lead author of the study, in a quote taken from Business Insider, said, “We found that marijuana users had a greater than three-fold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use,
In Yankey’s paper, which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, she looked into more than 1,200 individuals aged 20 and older.
Last 2005, the same participants were asked whether they used marijuana or hashish. Those who answered “yes” were considered marijuana users, while those that said “no” were classified as non-users.
The data they gathered from the participants were then merged with the statistics on death pulled from all causes. Each death was, of course, examined to rule out any factor that could mud the results of the study.
As per review, the team found out that users were found to be 3.42 times more likely to die from high blood pressure compared to those who have never used marijuana in their lifetime. The risk of death for users increases by a factor of 1.04 each year of use.
Limitations of the study
Before agreeing to the study results, one should look into the limitations and integrity of the study. One of the limitations noticed was that the study categorized anyone who testified in using marijuana as a “regular user.” This is a poor assumption and a poor round-up of subject categorization. This could greatly compromise the study results because what if not all of those who said “yes” weren’t regular users?
Second, the study was purely observational. The observation method was to follow a group of people and report on what you’ve witnessed on this flock. The problem with the observational method is, “medical veracity” was devoid of the picture. What if the symptoms witnessed weren’t necessarily due to high blood pressure?
Another issue of the study was the nature of the cannabis market. Not all cannabis products are regulated. People might have used a wide array of strains with different THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) percentages.
Nevertheless, with all these limitations, the study still proves to be a basis for future research on the heart and marijuana. Marijuana as it is might not be so good for hypertension but some of its components such as CBD or cannabidiol have several evidence linking it to lowering high blood pressure because of its inherent power to soothe inflammation.