A new study warns about the potential danger of recreationally smoking marijuana. A team of researchers from Canada found that marijuana users were 22% more likely to need emergency care or end up in the hospital than those who do not smoke cannabis. They found the results to be the same even after adjusting for other factors, such as drug and alcohol use, smoking tobacco, and a previous history of health problems.
"Cannabis use is not as benign and safe as some might think," study author Nicholas Vozoris, assistant professor and clinician investigator in the division of respirology at the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, told CNN in an email. "Our study demonstrates that the use of this substance is associated with serious negative outcomes, specifically, ED (emergency department) visits and hospitalizations."
Vozoris said that physical injuries were the leading cause of emergency room visits by marijuana smokers.
"Physical bodily injury was the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations among the cannabis users, with respiratory reasons coming in a close second," Vozoris said.
In the wake of their findings, the researchers said public health officials should discourage the use of recreational marijuana.
"Our study results should set off 'alarm bells' in the minds of the public, health care professionals, and political leaders," Vozoris said.