Information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics.
The researchers analyzed 1,213 people aged 20 or over who had been involved in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
"We found that marijuana users had a greater than threefold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use", Yankey said in the release. "If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public".
"Compared with no marijuana use, cumulative lifetime and recent marijuana use showed no association with incident CVD [cardiovascular disease], stroke, or transient ischemic attacks, coronary heart disease, or CVD mortality", the authors of that study wrote. "Only participants eligible for mortality follow-up were included".
To get an approximation of how long the participants had been consuming marijuana, the scientists looked at the age people had when they first tried marijuana and subtracted this from their current age.
Recent studies show that roughly 50 percent of US adults have tried marijuana at least once, but only 12 percent are current consumers of cannabis. Participants who used marijuana and were past-smokers consisted of 16%, and past-smokers and those who smoke only cigarettes were 5% and 4% respectively. In 2005-2006, participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana.
However, no effect of use of marijuana on deaths due to cerebrovascular disease or heart disease was found. For each year of marijuana use, the risk of death from hypertension increased by 1.04 times. The researchers estimated the associations of marijuana use, and duration of use, with death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease, controlling for cigarette use and demographic variables including sex, age, and ethnicity. "This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system", Yankey said.
This is nevertheless a first helpful step to assess the long-term health risks posed by marijuana.
"However, although this paper has limitations there is enough evidence from other research to strongly suspect marijuana use increases the risk of some forms of heart disease, and it is certainly not harmless". Despite certain campaigners emphasizes cannabis is safer than tobacco, the Study shown that use of marijuana is more risky for the heart than cigarettes. However, governments globally may be making a mistake since a new research study has revealed that marijuana can increase cardiovascular risks.