This New Study Has Some “Heartbreaking” Findings for Marijuana Users – Fox Business

 In Health

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Pardon the pun, but the marijuana industry is growing like a weed.

Heading into Election Day, half of the country had already approved medical cannabis, and another four states (along with Washington, D.C.) had approved the sale of recreational pot. After Election Day, four more states had gained recreational approval (California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts), while residents in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas approved their respective medical cannabis initiatives/amendments. According to New Frontier Data, in partnership with ArcView Group, the legal weed industry could be worth $21 billion by 2020, up from an estimated $7.9 billion in 2016.

We only need to look at rapidly changing opinions on marijuana to understand why we’re witnessing a “green revolution.” National pollster Gallup, which has measured public opinion on pot from time to time over nearly five decades, found in its 2016 survey that 60% of respondents want to see it legalized nationally, an all-time high. It’s also more than double the 25% approval rating cannabis received just two decades ago.

Even the pot industry has its shortcomings

But marijuana’s expansion hasn’t been without its fair share of speed bumps.

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In August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency denied two petitions that would have possibly rescheduled cannabis. The DEA cited a lack of understanding of the safety of the drug, minimal understanding of its chemical makeup, and a lack of clinical evidence of its medical benefits, as reasons why it was choosing to leave its scheduling unchanged. Keeping pot as a schedule 1 substance means it remains federally illegal and is not recognized as having medical benefits.

This DEA decision also perpetuated two substantial disadvantages for the industry, including an inability for marijuana-based companies to take normal business deductions on their taxes and a difficulty in securing basic banking services ranging from checking accounts to lines of credit. Both factors work to slow the pot industry’s expansion efforts.

Last week, in the wake of election euphoria, the marijuana industry hit yet another speed bump.

This study could leave marijuana users “heartbroken”

At the annual scientific conference of the American Heart Association, researchers from St. Luke’s University Hospital Network released their findings from a large, backward-looking clinical study. Needless to say, the findings may be a bit “heartbreaking” for regular marijuana users.

Image source: Getty Images.

Lead investigator Dr. Amitoj Singh and his team attempted to connect the dots to see whether there was a link between marijuana use and stress cardiomyopathy. Stress cardiomyopathy is a sudden weakening of the heart muscle that can affect its ability to pump blood throughout the body. As the name implies, it’s often brought about from emotional or physical stress, and in rarer cases can lead to more serious effects, such as cardiac arrest.

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