The evidence for the heart damages from cannabis has grown stronger since April 10, 2017, when Kristine Ziobro went into her son’s bedroom to say good night and found him non-responsive.
The parents of Michael Ziobro believe that high-potency marijuana caused Michael’s heart to go into arrhythmia and killed him. He was 22 at the time and living at home. Michael had been taking medical marijuana for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
He thought it was safe, natural and organic. His parents found packages in his bedroom after death that had THC concentrations of 28 percent and 24 percent.
Kristine Ziobro, Michael’s mom spoke to the New Jersey state legislature a few years ago. “I feel in my heart of hearts, if Michael knew the full implications of smoking marijuana with high levels of THC, he would be alive today.” It is shocking that companies get away with calling high-potency smoked marijuana “medicinal.”
Other marijuana users report of palpitations or racing heart after using cannabis.
A few months before Michael’s death, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report on the “Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.” The summary and Chapter 6 clearly suggested evidence that marijuana may trigger a heart attack.
Newer evidence on marijuana and cardiovascular events
Since 2017, the evidence that cannabis can trigger heart attacks has increased substantially. A 2021 report by the American College of Cardiology said: “Current evidence suggests an association of marijuana use with these major cardiovascular events, including stroke, arrhythmias, and vasculopathies.”
The report also suggested that the evidence is on younger marijuana users and people without comorbidities such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Cardiac death rates have gone up since marijuana legalization, and are even higher in states with lenient marijuana laws. Heart attacks appear at younger ages than expected.
The average time of onset of acute heart attack symptoms was 5 hours after last marijuana use in young, predominantly male cannabis users (mean age 28 years)
Another study released in November 2021, suggested a 47-52% increased likelihood of arrhythmia hospitalizations in young adults who use marijuana. This study was controlled for confounding factors, such as the use of tobacco or other substances.
The coroner suggested that Ziobros do genetic testing to see if there was another explanation for his heart arrhythmia. Before young people choose to use pot, no one gets a genetic profile to find out if their heart can handle THC.
Other heart attacks from vaping or THC
Other families have reported immediate heart attack deaths in young people who were vaping marijuana. We won’t give the victims’ names for the sake of privacy. However, reports online show that the coroners ruled out EVALI or vaping lung damage as the cause of the deaths. Vaping gives an even higher hit of THC than the high-potency stuff Michael was using.
In Colorado, a baby’s autopsy revealed that he died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that is rare in a child so young.
He had been lethargic and had a seizure before going to the hospital, where he was intubated. Blood analysis confirmed the presence of Δ-9-carboxy-THC) at a concentration of 7.8 ng/mL.