How many pharmaceutical ads have you seen during which the announcer reminds you to tell your doctor about all the medications you are currently using? There is a reason for this, and it is the same reason you should tell your doctor that you are using cannabis. The reason is found in a simple phrase: drug interaction.
You may be in a situation where your doctor wasn’t willing to help you get a medical cannabis card. So instead, you went to another medical provider willing to help you out. You are using medical cannabis regularly despite the fact that your GP has no idea. Well, your GP needs to know before they write you another prescription.
All Drugs Interact
All drugs interact with one another inside the human body. In fact, you can say the same thing about any and all substances human beings ingest. That is just the way the body works. In some cases that involve prescription medications though, the interactions can be dangerous. Even when they are not, drug interaction could render one of the drugs inactive.
Based on what we know right now, mixing cannabis with the most frequently prescribed medications doesn’t result in serious interactions with potentially dangerous side effects. But that does not mean such an interaction couldn’t take place. It is always possible that there is a very dangerous interaction just waiting to be discovered.
Drug interactions can lead to all sorts of unintended consequences. In some cases, the combined effects of two drugs create an entirely different effect that wasn’t previously anticipated. In other cases, combining two medications makes both stronger. In still other cases, the effects of one are reduced while the effects of the other are boosted. This is why doctors need to know.
Pharmacists Should Know, Too
Do you know who else should know about your medical cannabis consumption? Your pharmacist. Actually, your pharmacist is likely to know more about drug interaction than your doctor. That is because pharmacists are trained specifically in pharmacology. Doctors receive very little pharmacological training. They are trained in biology and physiology.
As long as we’re speaking of pharmacists, your medical cannabis pharmacist needs to know about other drugs you are taking. The reasons are the same. They need to know about your other medications so that they can anticipate how these might interact with medical cannabis.
For this reason, it is a good idea for medical cannabis patients to track their experiences with all the medications they take – not just medical cannabis. Tracking gives the cannabis pharmacist a bit of extra knowledge that often results in better advice.
Beehive Farmacy out of Utah routinely encourages patients to track their medications. They say the state also encourages tracking, even going so far as to offer a downloadable form patients can use on their mobile devices or print hard copies of.
Negative Drug Interactions Are Real
If you have never knowingly experienced a negative interaction between two drugs, you might find it hard to understand the seriousness of this issue. Rest assured that negative drug interactions are real. They may not necessarily be as serious when medical cannabis is one of the drugs in question, but such consolation would be pretty insignificant to the first person who suffered a serious issue after combining cannabis with another drug.
Your doctor needs to know that you are using medical cannabis. He also needs to know of any other medications you’re taking. The fact is that drugs interact all the time. Such interactions generally don’t cause serious problems. But when problems do arise, they can actually be life threatening.