Marijuana Implicated in 2 Fatal Heart Failures
Pair of young men in Germany both suffered arrhythmias
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2014 2:00 AM CDT
A young man smokes a marijuana cigarette at a park where people gathered to mark the First Worldwide March for Regulated Marijuana in Montevideo, Uruguay, Saturday, May 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/Matilde Campondonico)

(Newser) – Marijuana has a reputation for being a safe drug, but some researchers say there is mounting evidence that the drug is associated with adverse heart complications. In two new case studies, two young men in Germany—ages 23 and 28—with no drugs other than THC in their systems and no known health issues (though the 28-year-old had used other drugs up until a few years ago), both died due to complications from abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. "After exclusion of other causes of death, we assume that the young men died from cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis," the researchers conclude. They added that the two men may have also been predisposed to cardiovascular risks.

Though the researchers tell LiveScience there have been some "quite unpleasant reactions from individuals" following their report, and while some researchers say there isn't a strong enough link to implicate marijuana, there is mounting evidence that there are "marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in young people," an author of a similar study said in an American Heart Association statement. Either way, one toxicologist says people should proceed with caution: "Some people who are predisposed to cardiac events may be particularly vulnerable to potential harmful effects of marijuana use, and the new report shows this." (Berkeley, meanwhile, recently voted to give free medical marijuana to the poor.)

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Aug 15, 2014 1:32 AM CDT
ClobberDobson No medical value? Then why does the federal gov hold a patent on the medical benefit of cannabinoids? There has not been one death in 5000 yrs directly from cannabis use. Publication numberUS6630507 B1Publication typeGrantApplication numberUS 09/674,028PCT numberPCT/US1999/008769Publication dateOct 7, 2003Filing dateApr 21, 1999Priority dateApr 21, 1998Fee statusPaidAlso published asCA2329626A1, 4 More »InventorsAidan J. Hampson, Julius Axelrod, Maurizio GrimaldiOriginal AssigneeThe United States Of America As Represented By The Department Of Health And Human Services American Judge Francis Young studied all the evidence in 198 and ruled that "marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume." The federal agency NIDA says that autopsies show 75 people per year are high on marijuana when they die, but this does not mean marijuana is a factor in any of their deaths. Deaths per year from: tobacco=340,000-395,000 Alcohol (not including accidents)=125,000+ Drug overdose (prescription)=14,000-27,000 Drug overdose (illegal)=3,800-5,200 Marijuana=0
Aug 13, 2014 9:21 AM CDT
not surprised.
Aug 11, 2014 3:55 PM CDT
Nothing medical about marijuana. It's about getting high. Not that that is a bad thing. But it will screw with your heart. Lots of people end up in the emergency room after smoking pot due to elevated blood pressure, arrhythmia and palpitations. It's not a universal cure-all. It is actually the cause of great anxiety in many people. There are plenty of negatives about it. Anyone who isn't aware or in denial is obviously stoned. There is a price to pay for getting high. There is no absolutely harmless substance out there.