A recent study found that people who smoke weed are less likely to die from heart attacks. This is good news for pot smokers, but the story has been met with some skepticism. Is this study reliable?
The is weed legal in washington is a question that has been asked many times. A closer look at the headline, shows that it is not as scary as originally thought.
Every now and again, I’ll hear about some new “dangerous aspect” of smoking cannabis, such as your brain shrinking or an increased chance of going crazy – these stories have been circulating since prohibition began.
Today, we’ll discuss the most recent “SCARE STUDY,” which claims that using cannabis as a young adult almost doubles your risk of heart attack.
That’s correct. The research is clear, according to this CNN story, and if you’re a young adult, you may have a heart attack. Except that the science isn’t clear, and if you push this research hard enough, it will disintegrate.
Today, I’ll use the old magnifying glass to examine the study team’s methods and findings and compare them to reality. Along the process, we’ll also ask a few questions.
So strap on, because we’re about to dispel some bullshit!
What method was used to do the research?
This was a “cross-sectional” research, which means it was an observational study that looked at data from a specific population at a certain moment in time. The main issue with cross-sectional studies is that the way you phrase the question has a significant impact on the outcome. The parameters you select to test also have a significant impact.
This implies that a cross-sectional research may show that Heavy Metal can cause higher suicidal inclinations. You may also phrase it in such a way that the converse is true. This is one of the first issues we need to address before diving into the study’s “science.”
Second, Canadian researchers utilized data from the United States in the study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This is a red signal since, despite the fact that Canada has had legal cannabis for years and has empirical data, the research decided to utilize data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is what the research found;
We used pooled data from the 2017 and 2018 cohorts of the American Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of US adults to conduct a cross-sectional research. We used a weighted logistic regression model to examine the link between recent cannabis use and MI history, adjusting for demographic variables, socioeconomic factors, health-related behaviors, concurrent drug use, and other comorbidities. We also looked at this link after stratifying by frequency of usage and main consumption mode.
They basically collected some data, made some measures they felt were significant, and performed some fancy math with it. Their confidence level is 95%, which implies that if someone attempts to reproduce this with real scientific data, the findings may vary.
What they discovered
According to the researchers, “young adults” — defined as individuals between the ages of 18 and 44 (WTF?) — who smoke up to four times per month are 1.3 times more likely to have a heart attack.
This age group made me wonder whether the hearts of 18-year-olds and 44-year-olds are the same. Why did they use such a diverse group of people to make their calculations? Would the findings be the same if the participants were 18-21 years old? Those in their twenties and thirties? 30 to 40-year-olds?
Nonetheless, these components are unimportant, relative to their quantities. The hearts of 18-year-olds and 44-year-olds are identical, and they arrived at this result after excluding out all other comorbidities.
When a research contradicts itself, it’s a red flag.
According to CNN, this research is “real,” and legislators will now use it to evaluate the possible dangers of cannabis. Except there’s a hidden treasure inside the research itself, tucked away in the interpretation section…
Although it has been claimed that excessive cannabis usage causes acute myocardial infarction (MI), the existing evidence is confined to case–control studies that are prone to bias and studies that depend only on administrative data.
To put it another way, they’re depending on information that isn’t complete. I’m not denying that cannabis has an impact on the cardiovascular system; nevertheless, such a statement would be unscientific.
Making conclusions based on administrative data, on the other hand, is not scientific. Despite the fact that they relied on sophisticated arithmetic to arrive at their findings.
Why do we need better research?
While this is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, it seems to me that there are still many research out there attempting to promote the dangers of cannabis, and while this is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, there should be equal studies looking at other elements of cannabis.
You’ll discover the pathological bad consequences of anything if you keep searching for them. Especially if you know how to use statistical predominance to your advantage.
People will start talking about the inherent dangers of cannabis and cardiovascular health as a result of this research, which will have an impact on the worldwide debate on legalization. This has an impact on how we legalize marijuana and is misleading about the plant’s true nature.
Prohibition has been able to survive for so long as a result of these research. They say that these rules are designed to protect us, but what we really need is good knowledge, not protection.
There is a danger in everything. Water in the correct quantity will keep you hydrated, but if you drink too much, you’ll lose all of your nutrients, which will have serious physiological repercussions.
However, just because water carries a danger does not imply we should limit access to it or allow the government to prescribe how much we should or should not drink.
Similarly, we need reliable studies to educate us about our consumption, and it’s past time to stop funding these dubious studies and say, “We need more research!”
As taxpayers who often finance these research with our tax dollars, it is critical that we scrutinize these grants more closely and ask if the money we spend to educate ourselves is really fulfilling its goal. For the time being, the research contains far too many variables that will affect the findings to be taken seriously.
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