German researchers have determined that the deaths of two heart-attack victims in 2011 and 2012 were related to their marijuana use.
"We assume that these are very rare, isolated cases," says one of the study's authors, Dr. Benno Hartung.
His conclusion is that cannabis, which can raise heart rate and blood pressure, contributed to the deaths of two male patients, aged 23 and 28.
In England, where there was a recent report of death by marijuana, Dr, David Nutt, chair of Britain's Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, warned: "People with vulnerable hearts should be informed of this risk with cannabis."
A study in 2000 by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston revealed that "in the first hour after smoking marijuana, a person's risk of a heart attack can shoot up nearly five-fold… but dropped to 1.7 times in the second hour, suggesting a rapid decline in the acute cardiac effects."
According to the study, "other immediate triggers of heart attacks" include cocaine, exercise and sex.