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By East Hill Medical |    May 05, 2018

Is Medical Marijuana Dangerous?

Is Medical Marijuana Dangerous?

If you have never spoken with a medical marijuana doctor you may have some questions. Here are some common concerns patients may have when considering a visit to medical marijuana clinic to seek treatment.

What is medical marijuana used for?
When prescribed appropriately by a medical marijuana doctor, medicinal cannabis may help to alleviate a broad array of conditions. These include but are not limited to: multiple sclerosis (MS), pain, seizures, inflammation, substance use addictions, mental disorders, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases that affect the immune system.

Can I become addicted to marijuana?
As with any substance, extensive marijuana use may be habit forming. However, true addiction to marijuana is only seen in severe cases of extensive marijuana use and is highly unlikely. Someone is dependent upon a drug when they experience symptoms of withdrawal. Those who frequently use marijuana and then stop the use of the drug often report feeling irritable, having difficulty sleeping, and struggling with a decrease in appetite. These symptoms usually subside within 2 weeks after quitting marijuana use.

The probability of a medical marijuana patient becoming addicted to marijuana is extremely low. Medical marijuana doctors are trained to prescribe the proper dosage and the appropriate form of intake to meet the needs of each individual patient.

Can I overdose from marijuana?
A toxic overdose of cannabis is not possible. However, you can consume more than necessary, making you quite uncomfortable for the duration of its effects. When you have consumed too much marijuana you may feel nausea, panic, anxiety, dizziness, and emotional distress. In extreme cases of excessive marijuana consumption, people can have episodes of psychosis. A lapse in judgement due to overuse of the medicine may result in injury and poor coordination due to disorientation.

How do I know if I’ve ingested too much?
Uncomfortable effects of consuming too much medical marijuana include:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

These effects usually pass anywhere within a few minutes to a few hours.    If you take the appropriate dosage as prescribed by your medical marijuana physician, you will likely not experience any of these symptoms.

Can I drink alcohol if I am using marijuana as medicine?
Marijuana accents and changes the effects of other substances. It is not advised to consume alcohol at the same time of consuming marijuana as the effects of drinking are intensified when these substances are combined.

What are the Side Effects of Medical Cannabis?
Some patients may experience side effects that are unwanted while some patients may interpret additional effects as helpful to their condition. Some side effects of medical marijuana include:

  • Increased Appetite - Patients may combat an unwanted increase in appetite by taking their prescription of medical cannabis right before bedtime. They may also want to consider keeping healthy food available rather than binging on junk food.
  • Red or Dry Eyes - This is not harmful to health. Patients may use over the counter eye drops to reduce redness and dryness of the eyes.
  • Drowsiness or Insomnia - Some patients may benefit from the sleep aid provided by some strains of cannabis. However, if it interferes with daily activity, patients may want to try taking their dosage close to bedtime.
  • Dry Mouth and Thirst - Patients should stay hydrated to maintain good health in general. Drinking plenty of water will help reduce this side effect.
  • Anxiety - Depending on the patient’s individual body chemistry, it may take some time to discover which strain of medical marijuana is the right kind. Patients should feel at ease rather than anxious. Sometimes dosage must be adjusted to acheive a relaxed state of being rather than the opposite.
  • Forgetfulness - Sometimes patients might experience a sensation of short-term memory loss. By changing the time of day the medicine is ingested, patients may avoid struggling with this side effect.

The benefits of medical marijuana are still unfolding as more studies are conducted each day. The benefits certainly outweigh the risks, as the risks are minuscule in comparison to other drug prescriptions. As with any symptom or treatment, claims of success are contingent upon individual needs, conditions, and experiences. A consultation with a medical marijuana doctor is necessary for determining treatment for your condition. To find a medical marijuana clinic or apply for a medical marijuana card near you, follow the link below.