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A Closer Look At The ‘Smoking Weed Causes Heart Attacks’ Headline Scare

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

Essentially, they took some data, created measurements they thought was important and did some fancy math. Their confidence level is 95%, which means that there may be fluctuations in their results if someone tries to replicate this v let’s say with actual empirical evidence. What they found According to the researchers, their data shows that “young adults” — classified as people between the age of 18 and 44 (WTF?) — are 1.3 times more likely to suffer a heart attack if they smoke up to 4 times per month.

This age group got me thinking: Are 18-year-old and 44-year-old hearts the same? Why did they include such a wide demographic to create their calculations? Would they have the same results if it were 18-21 year olds? 21-30 year olds? 30-40 year olds?

Nonetheless, according to their numbers, these elements are not important. The 18-year-old heart and the 44-year-old-heart is exactly the same and once they have eliminated all other comorbidities, they came to this conclusion. When the study contradicts itself CNN reported this study to be “true” which will now be used by lawmakers to assess the potential risks of cannabis. Except, within the very study – buried down in the interpretation section you can find this gem…

Although heavy cannabis use has been reported to trigger acute myocardial infarction (MI), the current evidence is limited to case–control studies that are prone to bias and studies relying solely on administrative data.

RELATED: Smoking Marijuana Is Not Good For Your Heart, Says American Heart Association

In other words, they are relying on data that isn’t telling them the whole picture. I’m not saying that cannabis doesn’t have an effect on the cardiovascular system – to say this would be nonscientific.

However, to make conclusions on administrative data is also non-scientific. Even though they utilized complex math to make their conclusions. Why we need to have better studies It seems to me that there are still many studies out there trying to promote the harms of cannabis and while this is not a ‘bad’ thing necessarily, there needs to be equal studies looking at other aspects of cannabis.

When you’re constantly looking for the pathological negative effects of anything – you’ll find it. Especially if you know how to play around with statistical prevalence.

Right now, you’ll begin to hear people talk about the inherent risks of cannabis and cardiovascular health based on this study, which will influence the international discourse on legalization. This influences how we legalize and is disingenuous to the truth behind the plant.

 

It is because of these studies that prohibition could thrive for so long. They claim these policies are meant to protect us – but what we need is not protection but proper education.

Everything has an inherent risk. Water in the right amount will give you life sustaining hydration, however, take too much water and you’ll remove all of your nutrients which will end up causing some major physiological consequences.

Yet, the fact that water has this inherent risk doesn’t mean we restrict it from people or have the government dictate how much we should or should not drink.

Similarly, we require accurate studies to inform us about our consumption, and it’s time we end the grants for these flimsy studies that have no real merit and say, “We need more research!”

As citizens who often fund these studies with our tax dollars, it is imperative that we place a higher degree of scrutiny on these types of grants and question whether or not the money we spend on making us more informed is actually serving its purpose. For now, the study has far too many factors that will alter the results that it cannot be taken seriously at all.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

The Fresh Toast is a daily lifestyle platform with a side of cannabis. For more information, visit www.thefreshtoast.com.

The Fresh Toast