Marijuana may up heart attack, stroke risk-if you smoke 2-9 Oz. a week

This from NORML Podcaster Russ Belville at the NORML Daily Audio Stash blog

Marijuana may up heart attack, stroke risk: study | Health | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heavy marijuana use can boost blood levels of a particular protein, perhaps raising a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke, U.S. government researchers said on Tuesday.
Levels of a protein called apolipoprotein C-III were found to be 30 percent higher in the marijuana users compared to the others. This protein is involved in the body’s metabolism of triglycerides — a type of fat found in the blood — and higher levels cause increased levels of triglycerides.
High levels of triglycerides can contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, raising the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
The study did not look at whether the heavy marijuana users actually had heart disease.
The marijuana users in the study averaged smoking 78 to 350 marijuana cigarettes per week, based on self-reported drug history, the researchers said.
The researchers said the active ingredient in marijuana, known as THC, seems to overstimulate marijuana receptors in the liver, leading to overproduction of the protein. [They] said higher levels of the protein in marijuana users could raise future risk for cardiac abnormalities, blood flow problems, heart attack and stroke.
A U.S. group supporting legal sales and regulation of marijuana disputed the findings. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said, for example, the study involved people who were extremely heavy users.
“I think the low end was 78 joints a week. That’s 10 or 11 joints a day,” Mirken said in a telephone interview.
“We’re talking about people who are stoned all the time. We’re talking about the marijuana equivalent of the guy in the alley clutching a bottle of cheap wine. If you do anything to that level of excess, it might well have some untoward effects, whether it’s marijuana or wine or broccoli,” Mirken added.
“Even if you take this finding at face value, it’s not at all clear that it has any relevance to the real world because there is still no data showing higher rates of mortality among marijuana smokers. If this was a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, where are the bodies?”

Mirken’s right. 78 to 350 joints a week? That’s 11 to 50 joints per day. Let’s see, the government-rolled joints weigh in at about ¾ gram each (you do know there are official US Federal Government joints, right?), but the folks I know roll them a bit bigger (even to the ridiculous cubit-sized 70-gram models). However, most researchers seem happy with the ¾ gram model, so let’s do the math:

Low-end = 11 joints/day = 11 x 0.75g = 8.25g/day = about 2 ounces / week
High-end = 50 joints/day = 50 x 0.75g = 37.5g/day = over 9 ounces / week

So if you are consuming daily enough cannabis to equal about one-half to two-and-one-half pounds per month, then you might run an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Personally, I’m thinking that at $300 per ounce, you’re more likely to run the risk of bankruptcy!
Yet still, note that the study doesn’t check to see if the heavy marijuana users actually do have heart disease. The research done on the health effects of even heavy marijuana smokers show little if any difference between cannabis users and their non-using counterparts, and some studies even show a benefit from cannabis in treating hypertension.
However, overeating, drinking alcohol, and smoking tobacco are proven to have deleterious effects on the heart and on health. I doubt we’re going to see any major effort to arrest the users of those substances, though.

0 thoughts

  1. Yeah, that math didn’t add up for me either and I blogged about it here. The subjects self-reported their cannabis use and I’m thinking perhaps they were lying in order to get the study participant fee. I’ve known a lot of stoners, but none that smoked that much.

  2. Well I must be a total anomaly . I consider ed my self a heavey user smoking up to ten joints a a day after halting my consumption of cannabis my colesterol rose to the 500 mark. I was placed on thr drug lipitor but after two years I ceased the use of Lipitor and began smoking once again this time at a rate of two to five joints a day. And for seven years my colestorol rates remained in the normal range. Last year I again ceased partaking of the herb. and In eight months my colesterol has once again been placed on Lipitor. So imho this is just another bunch of junk sience

  3. Hi, I’ve addressed the issue of medicinal marijuana on my pain blog and, as a nurse, I just can’t understand the whole issue of denying it to people who need it.
    This particular study you have here is a good example of how people are trying to prevent it from ever happening, too. Unfortunately, they seem to be winning.


  5. I’m only eating novadays without any heating and seems like if something like this could happen to have a cardiovascularic problems with a cannabis, it’s because of the smoke. Not because of the plant or these 70 pharmaceuticals with it. Tobacco cigarette seems to the the worse with all of these chemicals in it, when company increase something there.
    With joint, tar which comes after cordious, healthy oils are burning, is not in a same way healthy anymore. When cannabis is a syhtostat cancerkiller before, not after burning. Even cannabis specialists and older and wiser smokers are mostly denying this point, that’s why I’m feeling sad for. That’s also why these problems around the politics of cannabis using seems to keep going on when we are not creating this culture as more on a healthy standards.
    Eat, don’t smoke.

  6. Pingback: legalize marijuana
  7. None of you guys smoke 9oz a week? 1 ounce on weekdays, 5 + 4 on the weekend 2oz for sat and sunday. Wait, wait wait… is it possible to smoke 2oz in 1 day? 58gs… so lets say its 1g joints that 58…

  8. I enjoyed reading this hope others find it interesting,I do have a Question is there any other vitamins are food that would show up postive on THC in blood system?

  9. who smokes that much in a week? jesus that’s a lot of money.
    you know what’s worse for you than smoking that much herb? eating burgers and fries and chicken nuggets from macdonalds. I don’t see anyone clamoring to lock up fat people.

  10. All because of joints… sad really, I smoke 4-6 nice fat bong rips out of my Illadelph or my RooR keeps me lifted as fuck for 2 hours, then I repeat.. .5 every 2 hours 5-6 .1ish rips, now you people that smoke joints may look at .1 like nothing but you put a .1 in a bong rip and hoot it its a hell of a fuckin toke thats for sure.. ill take 10 nice bong rips over a .75 joint ANY day..

  11. I almost had a heart attack because of cannabis, my heart rate increased to 170 while resting, I thought I was going to die and had horrible chest and heart pain.
    I will never touch cannabis again, and will never recommend this to anyone.
    There are much more fun and exhilarating things in life than being stoned and doing nothing, like surfing, traveling and having sex.

  12. I think vaporizing may have less health effects, just from an educated guess, since with vapor, you are not inhaling something that has been burnt.

  13. I smoke ounce and a half a week and I feel like I am having a heart attack every time I smoke wasn’t always like that but for the last year I have noticed symptoms of heart attack trying tocut baxk

  14. There was a study published this month February 2013)in Stroke citing cannabis as a cause of arterial narrowing in the brain and a cause of stroke in the under 40’s

  15. Who the HELL smokes 37 grams of marijuana in a day? Even chronic smokers would not have the time to smoke so much while still being able to afford it. You’d have to be in your cubicle with a joint in order to attain such a feat.

  16. I believe it says between 8- 37 grams a day- that means four and a half times less. Now it becomes not an unreasonable amount to smoke. Many people grow their own so cost can be a negligible issue.
    There was two recent studies of cannabis causing stroke in the under 40’s and having a propensity to cause intra arterial narrowing.

  17. Either this or a similar study was completed by french researchers. In Europe, it’s uncommon NOT to mix tobacco in with your herb.
    Smoking a blunt vs a pure joint of organically grown herb I would imagine to be two very different experiences both in terms of effect, and also what you are inhaling.
    If a study is going to bne conducted that has any merit to it, all variables must be accounted for, or the findings are questionable.
    That being said, too much of anything is not good for you.

  18. The estimations of the amount smoked are absolutely preposterous. I smoke periodically throughout the day, every day, and the most I’ve ever smoked is 2 oz/mo. Nowadays, it’s around 1 oz/mo. To claim 2 oz/week as a low rate of consumption is more than ridiculous—I can’t even come up with a serious enough word for the unfathomable nature of this claim.

  19. U guys r trippin I live n NorCal n grow n everybody around here does to.. I roll chopper 4 gram backwoods blow thru a couple packs a day sometimes. 5n a bak..20gs a bak…2paks is 40. And ya rite300 an ounce…..shit grows out the ground. More like free50.. make more money than I’ve ever spent on weed… u guys r backwards as hell

  20. U guys r slow. I live n NorCal n grow like Everybody else here. roll a couple packs of backwoods a day sometimes or more. Plus joints bongs pipes or wutever..Straight chopper 4gram blunts5n a pak 2paks is10…4gs a wood is 40gs a day EASY same with all my homies.. we go be cheifin..A week adds up to being snoop doggs daddy . N 300 a zip more money like free50 shit grows out the ground remember. We do just the opposite of spending hella money on tree. U guys r laggin I’m so glad I ain’t u guys. I’m snoops long lost daddy n u guys r arguing over someone smoking a lil over an ounce a day. My grandma litterally smokes way more than all u. Step yo game up 530 livin

  21. My grandma litterally smokes way more than all u guys. I live in NorCal n grow just like everybody else. Smoke like 2paks of backwoods a day sometimes or more. Plus joints n pipes n bongs n dabbers. N a chopper 4 gram woodX10=40grams+easily a day or same with all my homies…straight cheifers. So this must means I’m snoops daddy … plus300a zip….actually its free50 shit grows out the ground remember.we actually do just the opposite of spend hella money on tree. U guys better step yo game up.arguing over other people smokin a lil over an ounce a day. Hahaha…

Leave a Reply