Cannabis and prescription drugs: how do they interact?

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The medications or antibiotics that doctors prescribe are often made from complex chemical components that can interact with other seemingly harmful substances, like caffeine. However when combined they can cause a lot of unpleasant effects for the consumer.

The use of medical cannabis has recently been legalised in a large amount of countries thanks to the therapeutic properties that studies across the world have discovered. Due to this many people have started to wonder how cannabis can interact with other medications.

Sugar in the blood: THC possesses therapeutic properties, it activates the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the body, that provoke a stress reaction in the cardiovascular system which can increase the consumption of cardiac oxygen, while blood flow is reduced in the coronary arteries. Some data suggests that cannabis has the ability to reduce insulin resistance, improving metabolic processes and regulating blood sugar levels. However, there are also studies that contradict these findings, arguing that cannabis can effectively diminish the effectiveness of certain drugs used to treat diabetes, so blood sugar levels should always be monitored and controlled.

Sedatives: Cannabis may have a sedative effect. For this reason, when mixed with other drugs to induce sleep, it can have a particularly intense sedative effect. However, it should be noted that some strains of CBD can act as a stimulant, which can be useful at waking the consumer up after a long period of sleep.

Opioids: A study conducted in 2011 by Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist at UC San Francisco, found that there was no real change in the levels of opiates in the blood after exposure to cannabis. As a result, 27% of participants found that their overall level of pain had decreased after using medicinal cannabis. Dr. Abrams then concluded that consuming cannabis alongside opioids could eventually help to reduce opioid consumption and therefore reduce the risk of addiction and negative side effects.

Overall, cannabis is a complex element composed of over 100 different cannabinoids that have different therapeutic effects on the body. Due to the complexity of the plant, before combining medical cannabis with other medication it always recommended to consult a specialist beforehand.


About Nuria

Cannabinoid expert. Copywritter focused on medical information. Searching for the last investigations of medical cannabis around the world.

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