The Potential Risks and Side Effects of Using Medicinal Cannabis for Pain Relief

If you’re considering using medicinal cannabis for pain relief, it’s important to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with its use. In this article, we will explore the potential risks and side effects of using medicinal cannabis for pain relief and answer the most important question: is medicinal cannabis safe?

What are the potential risks and side effects of using medicinal cannabis?

Psychoactive effects: One of the primary concerns with cannabis use is its psychoactive properties. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, can cause a range of effects, including euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time, impaired memory, and increased appetite. These psychoactive effects can affect daily functioning and may not be desirable for everyone, particularly those who need to remain alert or perform complex tasks.

Cognitive impairment: Cannabis use, particularly with higher THC concentrations, can lead to temporary cognitive impairment. It can affect attention, concentration, memory, and learning abilities. This impairment can have an impact on tasks requiring mental clarity and may pose risks, especially when driving or operating machinery.

Respiratory issues: Smoking cannabis, like smoking tobacco, can potentially lead to respiratory issues. Regular cannabis smoking can cause chronic bronchitis, cough, and increased risk of lung infections. It is important to note that these risks are associated with smoking rather than other forms of cannabis consumption, such as vaporising or using edibles.

Addiction and dependence: While the risk of addiction to cannabis is relatively low compared to substances like opioids or alcohol, it is not without the potential for dependence. Regular and long-term cannabis use can lead to psychological dependence, where individuals may feel a strong desire to continue using it despite negative consequences.
Is medicinal cannabis safe?

The safety of medicinal cannabis depends on various factors, including the individual’s overall health, medical history, and the specific cannabis product used. In general, cannabis is safe to use and should not cause serious illnesses beyond those associated with the method of smoking.

While cannabis itself is not associated with fatal overdoses, it is important to note that it can have interactions with other medications. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating medicinal cannabis into a treatment regimen, especially if taking other medications.

The quality and source of medicinal cannabis products play a significant role in safety. It’s recommended to obtain cannabis products from licensed producers who adhere to quality standards and provide accurate labelling of THC and CBD concentrations. This ensures that the cannabis you use is pure and uncontaminated with other substances.

If you want to find out more about medicinal cannabis, or if you have questions about the safety and use of medicinal cannabis, contact our expert advisors today at the London Cannabis Clinic.