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November 12, 1973

Electrocardiographic Effects of Marihuana

JAMA. 1973;226(7):789-790. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230070049021

To the Editor.—  With respect to the results of their study, Kochar and Hosko (225:25, 1973) found that after high doses of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, there was a reduced amplitude of the T-wave associated with S-T elevation in subject 1; a flattening of the T-wave without S-T-segment change in subject 2; and an absence of T-wave change in the remaining five subjects. Moreover, from the reproductions of the electrocardiograms, it is possible to ascertain the nature of the changes in subject 1, which were those the authors had particularly considered a justification for their claim that marihuana may possess a cardiotoxic property. However, so far as I can judge, even though the race of the subject was not mentioned, the findings (equivalent persistent S-T elevations throughout and slight variations in the form of the T-wave) constitute characteristic traits of the "normal S-T variant."1 The matter of race was introduced, because in