The use of marijuana for recreational purposes has been given the green light in a few countries, with SA courts currently still deciding on the issue.
While it certainly has its uses, it can be damaging as well. A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology stated that Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension.
Due to a lack of research on the topic, the team had to look back at a study conducted between 2005 and 2006. In this study, people were asked whether they used marijuana and if they answered yes, they were considered users. These people also revealed when they started using it, which gave the team the number of years they had been active users.
Using the mortality data from 2011, the researchers could estimate the associations with marijuana use, the duration of the use and death from hypertension, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
Among a total of 1 213 participants, 34% used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers and 4% only smoked cigarettes. The average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years.
Marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from hypertension. Compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension and a 1.04 greater risk for each year of use. There was no association between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.