Cannabis is an herbal drug that is made from the Cannabis plant. It contains chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found in the highest levels in the leaves and flowers of cannabis. These are the parts of the herb that are used to make medicine.
Don’t confuse cannabis with hemp, a similar plant. Hemp contains very low levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), less than 0.3% according to legal standards. Both hemp and cannabis also contain other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), and others. Unlike hemp, cannabis is illegal under federal law in the U.S. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. But some states have legalized or decriminalized the use of cannabis.
Some people take cannabis by mouth or as a spray to be applied under the tongue for symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Some people also use cannabis for nausea, vomiting, an eye disease called glaucoma, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
What other drugs interact with marijuana?
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.
May potentiate CNS depression w/ concomitant use with CNS depressants (e.g., barbiturates, ethanol, anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics, sedating H1-blockers, SSRIs, and TCAs).
Use of marijuana with sedating anticholinergics may result in additive tachycardia and drowsiness.
Other: cocaine, disulfiram,ethanol, protease inhibitors, sildenafil, theophylline, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin.
Cannabidiol, an inactive constituent of cannabis, may weakly inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP1A2, 2C19, 2D6, & 3A4).
Cannabis is also a minor substrate for CYP2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 3A4.
Severe interactions of marijuana include:
Marijuana has serious interactions with at least 21 different drugs.
Marijuana has moderate interactions with at least 286 different drugs.
Marijuana has mild interactions with at least 84 different drugs.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.
Effects of Drug Abuse
Effects associated with use of marijuana, includes the following conditions: tolerance, psychological or physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, altered sensorium, dizziness, drowsiness (somnolence), fatigue, reduced coordination, cognitive, impairment, impaired balance, euphoria, paranoia, hallucinations, mood alterations, panic, anxiety, low blood pressure (hypotension), high blood pressure (hypertension), rapid heart rate (tachycardia), flushing, fainting (syncope), dry mouth (xerostomia), nausea, vomiting, distortion of taste (dysgeusia), tooth discoloration, anorexia, increased appetite, oral candidiasis, diarrhea, constipation, urinary retention, skin rash, dry eyes, blurred vision, allergy, cough and sore throat (pharyngitis).
Use caution if there is a history of substance abuse or mental illness, hepatic disease, cardiovascular disease, seizure disorder, in use with geriatric patients or when operating machinery or driving. Non-pharmaceutical preparations may be contaminated with fungus, which may be hazardous to patients with compromised immune systems.
Pregnancy and Lactation
There is insufficient data regarding safety to the fetus in pregnancy, therefore avoid use in pregnancy.
THC found in Marijuana is reported to be concentrated and is secreted into breast milk, therefore avoid use when lactating.
The type of medical marijuana you take will probably depend on your illness and symptoms.
There’s some controversy about the physical effects of each kind of marijuana. There are three main plants, which are:
Sativa These plants are tall and have long, narrow leaves. They’re usually grown outdoors. Some people believe sativa plants have more of a stimulant effect. This type of marijuana is sometimes used during the day because it’s known to increase energy and alertness.
Indica These plants are short, have wider leaves, and are typically grown indoors. Indica plants are thought to be sedatives and have a more calming effect when taken medicinally. For this reason, this type of marijuana is sometimes taken at night.
Hybrid A hybrid is a combination both sativa and indica plants, and contains characteristics of both.
Taking Marijuana for Medical Purposes
Medical marijuana can be consumed by:
Inhaling smoke With this method, you pack a small amount of dried cannabis into a pipe or rolling paper.
Then, you light it and inhale the smoke from the mouthpiece of the device. While it’s inexpensive and easy, smoking marijuana could be harmful to your lungs because many other toxins are produced by the creation of smoke.
Using a vaporizer To vaporize marijuana, place a small amount of dried cannabis or cannabis extract into a vaporizer machine and inhale it.
This option allows you to inhale a vapor instead of smoke.
Consuming edibles :
You can infuse cannabis into butter or oil and cook it in different foods.
Medicinal marijuana is often mixed into brownies, cookies, lollipops, ice cream, gummy bears, chocolate bars, and other foods.
Consuming cannabis this way is a popular alternative to inhaling it, though some experts have cautioned that the potency of edibles varies immensely, and can cause strong side effects that last for hours.
In a 2015 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that “because absorption is slower [with edibles], the onset of effects is delayed … and duration of intoxication is longer when THC is ingested compared with when it is smoked.”
Using tinctures or sprays A tincture is a concentrated form of medical marijuana that’s often mixed with alcohol, glycerin, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil (found in coconut oil).
You can squirt or spray the solution under your tongue. It can also be mixed with water or other beverages. A downside to using this method is that it can be expensive.
Wearing a dermal patch A small patch can deliver marijuana through the skin. It’s most often worn on the wrist, foot, or ankle. One dose can last up to eight hours.
Applying other topical products Salves, ointments, lotions, oils, and sprays are all used for applying medical marijuana. These topical options typically don’t cause a “high.”
Medical vs. Recreational Usage
Marijuana is taken for medical purposes to ease symptoms associated with different illnesses.
But it’s also used for recreational purposes to alter a person’s state of consciousness and achieve a “high.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), marijuana is the most popular recreational drug used in the world.
Marijuana and Alcohol
Marijuana targets areas of the brain involved in memory and concentration, and can affect movement, coordination, and reaction time.
Even a moderate dose of marijuana can impair your ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform any activity that requires you to be alert.
These effects can increase dramatically if you combine marijuana with alcohol.