“Cannabis use is not as benign and safe as some might think,” said study author Nicholas Vozoris, assistant professor and clinician investigator in the division of respirology at the department of medicine at the University of Toronto.
“Our study demonstrates that the use of this substance is associated with serious negative outcomes, specifically, ED (emergency department) visits and hospitalizations,” Vozoris said in an email.
Significant risk of hospitalization
The study, published Monday in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research, looked at national health records data for over 30,000 Ontario, Canada, residents between the ages of 12 and 65 over a six-year period.
When compared with people who did not use marijuana, cannabis users were 22% more likely to visit an emergency department or be hospitalized, the study revealed.
Respiratory problems from smoking weed was the second leading reason users seek emergency care, the study found.
The finding held true even after adjusting the analysis for over 30 other confounding factors, including other illicit drug use, alcohol use and tobacco smoking.