How Cannabis Interacts With Pharmaceuticals


It is no surprise that many people worldwide are having incredible success using cannabis as a medicine. Patients are using edibles, vapes, and other products alongside their other doctor prescribed medications. Unfortunately, the research hasn’t been completed to find out exactly what kind of interactions cannabis is having with many medications. However, using basic logic and some animal studies, we’ve broken down the possible ways cannabis could interact with some commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals.



These pharmaceuticals are meant to help regulate the serotonin production in the brain in an attempt to create a more balanced mood. In some cases, patients taking antidepressants may develop serotonin syndrome (SS). This condition can cause anxiety, agitation, headache, and more. Depending on the dose, cannabis can cause a spike OR a drop in serotonin levels. And although cannabis isn’t known to cause or agitate SS, those taking antidepressants should be aware of the amount of each that they are taking.



Cannabis is often used as a sedative, so logically, cannabis can create an even more sedative effect than originally intended with a prescribed dosage of traditional pharmaceuticals. So, be careful when mixing cannabis products with prescribed sedatives. It is especially important not to mix cannabis and prescribed sedative medications together while at work, watching the kids, driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. 


Beta Blockers & Blood Pressure Medication

In order to lower the effects of adrenaline, beta blockers lower blood pressure. With cannabis, some people find that their blood pressure goes both up and down, sometimes within the same session. These facts alone make it clear that blood pressure medication and beta blockers might not be the right pharmaceuticals to mix with cannabis. 



Those who are prescribed opioids are finding that they can lower their prescribed dose when adding cannabis to the daily regimen. This is especially important for those who are tired of the negative side effects that go along with prescribed opioids. In comparison, the side effects of cannabis are much more tolerable. 


Many cannabis patients are lacking educational resources they need to properly medicate while on prescribed pharmaceuticals. It always best to speak openly with your family doctor to ensure you are on the right track while using medical cannabis in conjunction with your existing prescribed medications.

June 13, 2018

by Cara Wietstock

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Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.


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