Cannabis has demonstrated ability in treating pain, and some phytocannabinoids have even shown potential for various metabolic conditions. But if you’re already taking prescription meds for those conditions, read this and then give your doctor a call.
Medical marijuana patients, even if their cannabis doctor is different from their primary care physician, will typically have their medical records including prescription information shared between clinics without breaking doctor-patient confidentiality. Most medical students do not get an education in the endocannabinoid system, which is why transparency about one’s prescription drug regimen is so important—even if your goal is to replace one drug with medical marijuana.
By sharing these details, the prescriber can make educated decisions about medication choices and teach the patient about potential contraindications or need for monitoring.
Not all interactions between cannabinoids and other drugs are dangerous. In some cases, cannabis can be exploited to mitigate the side effects of a drug to improve a patient’s quality of life. For instance, cannabinoid-opioid interactions show significant therapeutic potential. THC enhances (or “potentiates” in doctor speak) the painkilling effects of opiates, while CBD reduces withdrawal and dependence.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cannabis is known to interact with:
- Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, herbs and supplements that reduce blood clotting. Marijuana interaction may increase the risk of bleeding.
- CNS depressants. Marijuana use in combination with CNS depressants might cause an additive sedative effect.
- Protease inhibitors. Marijuana might reduce their effectiveness of these antiviral drugs.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Mixing marijuana with this type of antidepressant might increase the risk of mania.