As with using many supplements, regimens, or medications, there are often side effects. While subtle and relatively minor, medical marijuana is not without its own potential side effects. It’s important to know and understand these prior to using cannabis for the first time – or as you use it regularly.
While generally accepted as a safe and manageable treatment, it’s important to note that marijuana affects everyone differently. That’s why starting low and going slow is crucial for beginners.
Here are the potential side effects of using medical marijuana.
Physical side effects
Many cannabis users experience a variety of physical symptoms as a result of use, including:
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
Cardiovascular and respiratory issues
Smoking cannabis can potentially cause cardiovascular issues (like high blood pressure), as well as worsen any existing respiratory conditions.
Impairs cognitive function
Using marijuana can affect both memory and cognitive function. It can also impair your judgement, attention, and coordination; which is why you should never drive or operate machinery under the influence of marijuana.
Mental health effects
While medical marijuana is well documented for helping users with issues of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it’s important to tread lightly. Cannabis can sometimes worsen symptoms in those who suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Negative effects with other drugs
When used in combination with anesthesia or other drugs, medical marijuana can have some severe side effects. Be sure to speak with a medical professional before using cannabis along with other medications.
Other potential side effects
Other side effects include:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Impaired balance
- Slow reaction time
If you experience any severe side effects, be sure to stop treatment immediately and speak to your doctor or care provider for the next best steps.