Medical experts are casting doubt on a Louisiana coroner's claim that a woman died of a marijuana overdose, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Prior to this reported Louisiana death, no one in recorded human history ever died of an overdose of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis, or marijuana, plant.
As reported last week by The Inquisitr, St. John the Baptist Parish Coroner Christy Montegut claimed that a woman in his parish died from a cannabis overdose. Specifically, the 39-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment in February, with no obvious cause of death. There were no signs of trauma, and her internal organs all appeared to be healthy. The only thing even remotely amiss, according to Montegut, was that the woman had "elevated" levels of THC in her system. To be exact, she had a THC level of 8.4 nanograms per milliliter of blood, which is estimated at 15 times the discretion threshold.
Montegut was forced to conclude that the woman died of a THC overdose, according to The New Orleans Advocate.
"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. There was nothing else," he said.
However, that claim is coming into dispute, reports the Chronicle.
Several physicians have pointed out that humans have been getting high off of cannabis for thousands of years, and in those millenia, not one adult human being has died as a direct result of ingesting too much cannabis, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Similarly, Keith Humphreys, a former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, points out that the math simply doesn't add up. Millions of Americans use cannabis, he says, many of them daily. That adds up to billions of cannabis doses consumed annually in the U.S. Even if the odds of death from cannabis overdose were one in a million, math alone would say that there should be "a couple thousand" cannabis overdose deaths per year.
Meanwhile, the deceased's boyfriend says that the woman had been treated for heart issues days before she died.
Montegut, for his part, is standing by his report, according to New Orleans' WWL-TV.
"I'm 100 percent sure of the readings we've found. I definitely did some research before I came to the conclusion that this was the cause of death," he said.