A woman from Louisiana, is the first ever person known to die from smoking marijuana. Much skepticism about this is coming from different cannabis experts. However, the coroner who examined this woman is convinced that marijuana was the cause of her death. They went on to say they are 100% sure this was the cause.
WPXI reported this anonymous 39-year-old woman, died back in February. Now, the official cause of death has been documented as THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main ingredient found in marijuana.
From what is understood, someone would have to consume between 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC found in marijuana to die. There were no other traces of any other kind of drug in her system according to St. John the Baptist Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut.
“It looked like it was all THC, because her autopsy showed no physical disease or afflictions that were the cause of death. There was nothing else identified in the toxicology — no other drugs, no alcohol,” Montegut, who has been St. John the Baptist’s coroner since 1988, told The Advocate. “There was nothing else.”
Dr. Christy Montegut also said, “I definitely did some research before I came to the conclusion that this was the cause of death.” Montegut’s opinion is, this 39 year old woman likely consumed enough THC oil through vaping, to get a high enough dosage that her system reacted. This caused her to stop breathing and induced an attack comparable to respiratory failure.
“At high levels, marijuana can cause respiratory depression, which means a decrease in breathing, and if it’s a high enough level it can make you stop breathing,” Montegut explained.
In the State of Louisiana, medical marijuana has been legal since 1991. In the United States, Americans are known to use marijuana billions of times a year. This information comes from Keith Humphreys, who formerly was a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Keith also said, “That means if the risk of death was one in a million, we would have a couple thousand cannabis overdose deaths a year.” And that hasn’t happened before.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there have been no official reports of teenagers or adults dying solely from marijuana before. Most experts are skeptical of any marijuana-related death statistics. This woman dying was a tragedy and further research will have to be conducted regarding marijuana use.