If you get high, you are more likely to end up in the emergency room.
The study found that people who smoked cannabis were more likely to end up in the ER or be hospitalized than people who didn't.
The study, which looked at the health records of over 35,000 people in Ontario, Canada, was able to control 31 variables including histories of substance abuse, asthma, and mental and physical disorders. A control group of around 10,000 was narrowed down to just over 4,800 potheads.
The findings are striking, especially in the context of the widespread sentiment that cannabis is more or less harmless as legalization continues to spread.
The author of the study told CNN that cannabis use is not as safe as people think. Emergency department visits and hospitalizations are associated with the use of this substance.
Vozoris told the Daily Beast that "cannabis use needs to be discouraged and reduced in the population so as to help prevent serious adverse health consequences from happening to individuals and to protect our fragile health- care systems from further strain."
There was no significant association between smokin' dope and respiratory related ER visits and the increased likelihood of ending up in the hospital.
According to Vozoris in a CNN interview, "physical bodily injury" was the leading cause of hospitalization among the studied stoners. It's not harmless, but it does show a different picture from the one of a serious risk factor for lung and heart disease.
The study did not control for income. It is not likely that cannabis users skewing poor could be at play in the form of higher hospitalization rates. We don't know if residents of Ontario are representative of the broader population.
There's more research that needs to be done. Maybe it is safer to stick to the couch after a heavy bong rip than it is to drive your car or take up parkour. If you're really worried about your weed safety, it's probably a good idea to worry about counterfeit and unregulated cannabinoids.
A scientist says that smoking weed makes you nicer and less shady.