Drug interactions with cannabis can range from mild to moderate. With responsible use, cannabis can even increase the effectiveness of many commonly prescribed medications for pain, inflammation, seizures, and anxiety. Since cannabis compounds act to regulate our body’s biological responses, patients may end up reducing their dose of medication or even replacing it altogether with cannabis. Here are a few common drug interactions with cannabis.
Cannabis use has been associated with lower fasting insulin levels, decreased insulin resistance, improved carbohydrate metabolism, and blood sugar control. The biggest risk cannabis use with diabetes is hypoglycemia. Patient with diabetes can unintentionally lower their glucose levels. Hypoglycemia unawareness can occur when patients don’t feel any negative symptoms, due in part to confusing the symptoms with effects of the drug.
Blood Pressure Medication
Repeated cannabis use has shown to lower heart rate and pressure immediately after consumption. First time or novice users, however, may experience a mild to moderate increase in blood pressure and heart rate right after smoking or within ten to 15 minutes after. Cannabis users can develop a tolerance to these initial effects after a few days of consuming cannabis.
THC and CBD in marijuana can increase the effect of pharmaceutical medications used for blood thinning or drugs that carry the risk of blood thinning. Cannabis is a natural blood thinner with anticoagulant properties. With two blood thinners in the mix, cannabis can inhibit these drugs’ metabolism and displace it from its protein binding site to make the blood thinning more effective.
Cannabis and opioids can work well together to manage chronic and severe pain. In fact, cannabis can help reduce the opioid dosage to prevent opioid dependence. Cannabis and opioids can be particularly helpful for treatment-resistant cases or those with intractable pain. Pain relief THC tinctures can be a potent, effective, consistent, and discreet replacement or addition to your current pain relief regimen.
Pairing marijuana with alcohol provides patients with a boost of THC concentration in the blood. Whether you take a small or large dose of cannabis and alcohol, you will experience the effects of cannabis more acutely. For this reason, many people drink less alcohol when they consume marijuana.
Research shows that CBD drug interactions occurs with the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system. This system exists within the liver and is responsible for metabolizing nearly all of the drugs you consume. CBD products can inhibit the processing time of these drugs leading to higher levels of the drug in the system at a time. One study specifically cited that CBD increased blood concentrations of epilepsy and anti-seizure medication in children. An easy remedy is to lower the dose of medication when taken with CBD products like CBD extracts, capsules, oils, and more.
Recreational and medical marijuana drug interactions can be synergistic to improve your condition. The key is mild to moderate use of cannabis to prevent patients from being unaware of side effects to their medication.