Recreational smokers of marijuana are 3 times more likely to suffer from hypertension than nonsmokers of pot.
That is the conclusion of a study done by researchers who combined data of those who responded to questions on marijuana use during the 2005 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with data from the 2011 public-use linked mortality file of the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers hypothesized that smoking marijuana would increase cardiovascular disease, and their study confirms that link.
The researchers, from the School of Public Health, Georgia State University, also found that each year of marijuana use increased the likelihood of hypertension.
Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I Drug by the DEA and FDA, direct research is difficult to conduct. Using data-mining techniques is currently the most realistic way to determine marijuana safety at a time when more states are legalizing recreational use. For a more in-depth look at this issue, see Pot Research: Why It Matters. And consider signing our petition asking the DEA to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II Drug so it can be more easily studied.