In surprising news of the day, a new German study purports to have found the first two deaths linked to marijuana use—a claim that contrasts multiple other studies which suggest that marijuana doesn't have any fatal implications.
Researchers studied 15 people whose deaths were reportedly linked to marijuana use and found that in 13 cases, cause of death was unrelated. In the last two cases, researchers said the drug was to blame for the deaths of a 23-year-old and a 28-year-old, though autopsies found that the younger one had an underlying heart condition and the older one had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Still, the researchers believe the marijuana use caused a sudden change in heartbeat, leading to death from cardiac arrhythmia. [Tweet this shocking news!]
“To our knowledge, these are the first cases of suspected fatal cannabis intoxications where full post-mortem investigations...were carried out,” researchers said in the study. “After exclusion of other causes of death, we assume that the young men experienced fatal cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis.”
One of the most glaring criticisms of the study is that the sample size of 15 was very small. Additionally the German Association for Drugs and Addiction has come out against the study, saying that cannabis does not cause the heart to stop, but that instead, most related deaths are due to the circumstances of use, not the drug itself.
Do you think an excessive use of Mary Jane (do people still call it that?) will kill you, or do the claims seem overblown? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us @Shape_Magazine!