When you pick up a prescription at the pharmacist, they usually ask whether you’re using other medication. This is a precaution to rule out possible interactions between medicines. However, any (regular) cannabis consumer ought to know about potential interactions between medicines and weed, too. A number f cannabis compounds may alter, block, or reinforce the effects of certain medication. This blog explains.
Interactions Between Cannabis And Medication
If you are using medication, you should always be aware of potential interactions with other medicines as well as with other substances. We know, for example, of at least 82 interactions between medication and caffeine, 25 of which are considered moderate to severe. Cannabis contains a considerable number of active organic compounds, including cannabinoids like THC and CBD as well as terpenes and flavonoids; any of which could potentially influence how certain medicines work.
If you use weed and you start taking medication, or if you’re already using medicines and you want to enjoy cannabis, it can really pay to do some research. Discussing the subject with your doctor can be a good idea. Just try to be frank and start an open conversation so you know what to expect while your physician is up to date with your situation. Simply ask your doctor what the potential interactions between cannabis and your current medicines could be.
In some cases, marijuana can boost or aggravate the effects of prescription drugs. That may sound like a good thing, but this isn’t necessarily so. Be aware that cannabis can intensify the effects of medicines (which can be deeply unpleasant and even dangerous) as well as make any side-effects more severe. On the other hand, weed can make certain meds less effective. That means you should always get qualified medical supervision when combining medication and marijuana.
Growing Cannabis Plants As Medication
When you think about it, it’s not very surprising to know that cannabis and medicines can interact with each other. After all, the notion of ‘medical marijuana’ exists for a reason; and people have been growing cannabis seeds to create their own plant-based medicines for thousands of years. Our blogs can tell you more about medicinal growing and the potential of cannabis for symptoms such as:
Of course, it’s wonderful to know that growing cannabis seeds can help control certain conditions and symptoms, but this medical potential comes with downsides, too. The effects of weed can disrupt, alter, and reinforce the effects of medication. We provide some important examples below.
Cannabis And Tranquillizers
If you are planning on using tranquillizers (like diazepam, lorazepam, or oxazepam, for instance), then caution is advisable. These are drugs that may be prescribed in case of anxiety disorders and severe sleep issues. They affect GABA neurotransmitters in the central nerve system to help people relax. Certain cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis may also have tranquillizing effects. Any possible interactions between cannabis and the calming effects of tranquillizer medication depend on factors such as potency and dosage of both marijuana and medicines used. In principle, cannabis tends to add its effects to those of any tranquilizer drugs without altering how the medication works. Cannabis also appears to leave drug blood levels intact. Nonetheless, it can be dangerous to use such drugs together with cannabis. Be very careful whenever tranquillizers are involved, and always make sure to consult a doctor.
Cannabis And Mediation: Blood Thinners Or Anticoagulants
The use of anticoagulant medication (blood thinners) while consuming cannabis may entail risks. Both THC and CBD could potentially influence the effectiveness of such medication (including examples like heparin). This may also occur with other drugs that have anticoagulant properties such as ibuprofen. Such interactions could be explained by several mechanisms, such as by the liver enzymes required to break down both anticoagulants and certain marijuana compounds.
THC can also block the prescription drug warfarin from binding to specific protein locations. This may lead to elevated blood levels of this drug, which in turn may increase the risk of haemorrhage. Research shows that cannabis consumers ought to lower warfarin doses by up to 30%. On the whole, however, combining cannabis and blood thinners may entail serious health risks, and should never be attempted without guidance of qualified medical experts.
Cannabinoid and opioids (such as oxycodone, fentanyl, buprenorphine, and methadone) can mutually influence each other’s effects. Both classes of compounds affect the endocannabinoid system, and cannabis can compound these drugs in their analgesic potential. In certain instances, cannabis may even be a preferred analgesic over opioids, in light of its fewer and less severe side-effects and the addiction risks involved in opioid use. But could cannabis be used in combination with painkiller medication? That might help reduce risks of dependency on regular pain medication.
A small-scale study conducted in 2011 investigated 21 participants suffering from chronic pain. They used opiates twice a day, but throughout the study, they also received cannabis 1 to 3 times a day. The results indicated that using cannabis alongside opiates does not increase optiate blood levels. Patients did report 27% less perceived pain, however. The researchers concluded that cannabis seems safe to use for purposes of increasing the analgesic capacity of opiates. Moreover, cannabis could theoretically reduce the need to use such opioid painkillers, which would come with obvious health benefits.
Blood Sugar Medication
There have not been many studies investigating how cannabinoids such as THC and CBD interact with blood sugar medication. We do have several general studies investigating overall health of certain population groups. Strikingly, these indicated that generally speaking, cannabis consumers appear less affected by obesity or diabetes as a group. This may be due to the ability of cannabis to reduce insulin resistance. However, this also makes it additionally important to monitor blood sugar levels closely for al diabetics who combine insulin and cannabis. Only combine cannabis and such drugs when under medical supervision.
Is It Safe To Combine Cannabis And Medication?
Of course, we cannot simply draw one overruling conclusion here: there are simply too many types of medication; even if we don’t add individual differences and symptoms. Cannabis itself likewise comprises a whole range of active compounds, each of which may produce particular effects. In some instances, combining cannabis and medicines may have synergistic effects that could add up to help relieve your symptoms. However, the risks of such combinations usually outweigh the potential benefits. Be sure to always consult your doctor on such matters, to ensure you are sufficiently aware of any potential risks involved. Your health is your most valuable asset: treat it accordingly.
If you are planning to order your own cannabis seeds for application as medicine, then be sure to use all the information you can find and make use of the options offered by our various premium strains.
Disclaimer: Local laws and legislation on cannabis cultivation and germination of seeds vary between countries and states. Amsterdam Genetics products and information are exclusively intended for use in areas where such use is fully legal. Check your local rules; do not act in conflict with the law!