Cannabis, like any other medication, can have adverse effects and drug interactions. These effects can range from mild (dry mouth, increased appetite) to severe (heart palpitations, platelet inhibition). As such, patients should perform a risk-to-benefit analysis with their primary health care provider and/or pharmacist to ensure that cannabis is the right choice for them.

Discussing side effects of medical cannabis requires nuance, because what is negatively perceived for one condition may be seen as beneficial for another. For example, the over-the-counter medication diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is used to treat allergy symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, etc.), but when taken, it causes the patient to become drowsy. This is a side-effect of taking the diphenhydramine. However, if a patient takes an over-the-counter sleep aid product, it likely contains diphenhydramine as the active ingredient. In this case the drowsiness is the intended effect, not a side-effect.

To read more about side effects associated with medical cannabis purchase Cannabis Primer: An Introduction to Cannabis for Consumers, Producers, Providers, Policy Makers, and Health Professionals