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Cannabis is as bad for the heart as cigarettes.

That’s according to a report in today’s Irish Daily Mail.

Two separate studies from the US and Canada found that the drug increases heart rate significantly in the same way that heavy smoking does and that the odds of cannabis users developing acute coronary syndrome were the same as for frequent tobacco usage.

One American doctor says that he believes cannabis is ‘absolutely the new tobacco’.

Cannabis legalisation has progressed at a significant speed over the last number of years. The drug is now legal in 19 American states with the U.S. House Of Representatives passing a Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill earlier in the year. Some have called for similar action in Ireland, with a poll showing around 4 in 10 people are now in favour of legalising cannabis for recreational and medicinal use.

However, groups such as the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland say the potency of cannabis doubled between 2006 to 2016. While the number of hospital admissions of young people with a cannabis-related diagnosis rose by 300% between 2005 and 2017.