Article by Julia Veintrop, Cannabis Life Network
A drug interaction happens when two or more compounds come in contact with each other and create an effect. Because of its broad range of effects, cannabis can cause a variety of interactions with pharmaceutical drugs.
In this article, we will provide you with a general idea of how cannabis can interact with some of the most common pharmaceutical drugs. Please note though, that this article does not in any way constitute medical advice regarding cannabis and pharmaceutical drugs.
Drug interactions are nothing to play with and can cause lethal consequences. Always speak with your health professional before adding anything to your current medication regimen.
Cannabis and Antidepressants
We still know very little about the interactions between cannabis and antidepressants (pharmaceutical drugs), as few studies have taken place. A big part of the reason for this is the fact that we are all unique. You can give two people the same strain and antidepressant and get two completely different reactions. Plus, each strain can contain a completely different blend of cannabinoids and terpenes. It’s hard to say how each person will react.
There have been a few studies done on treating depression with cannabis and the results were mostly positive. The benefit that most people found was being able to use cannabis to treat depression as the moment called for it. As antidepressants are usually taken once in the day, cannabis can be used as a breakthrough booster.
Cannabis Interaction with Sedatives
Sedatives work by slowing down the mechanisms in the central nervous system and cannabis affects these same receptors. Because of this, using cannabis can increase the effects of sedatives. In fact, there have been some studies that show that regular cannabis users often require more medication for sedation in the operating room. If you are taking sedatives and are thinking about using cannabis, be sure to start off very slowly in a comfortable environment.
Because the endocannabinoid system regulates our pain receptors, cannabis can increase the effects of painkillers. Cannabis targets our CB1 and CB2 receptors which in turn send messages to our opiate receptors. Depending on the person and the circumstances, this can be both desirable and highly dangerous.
Pros of Including Cannabis with Painkiller Pharmaceutical Drugs:
- Pain and anxiety can be relieved using lower doses of pharmaceuticals.
- With a broad range of therapeutic effects, cannabis can relieve some of the negative side effects associated with prescription pain killers. By indirectly targeting an overstimulated receptor, cannabis can be an effective treatment for opiate withdrawal.