Medical marijuana, as the name implies, is used for medicinal purposes and has been legalized in many states for that purpose. Other states in the Union have decriminalized and legalized cannabis for recreational usage independent of its medicinal functions. Whichever way you use cannabis you should be aware that there are some health risks involved if you take other substances or drugs in combination with or at the same time that you use marijuana.

If you are taking benzodiazepines such as lorazepam or diazepam, Cannabis could actually amplify the drowsy side effects brought on by these drugs. The same goes for codeine and most other opioids, along with barbiturates, alcohol and some anti-depressants. The labels of these drugs usually warn you not to operate machinery or drive a vehicle while taking them and that cautionary note should be doubled or event tripled if cannabis is ingested with them.

Cannabis, in some people, can cause blood pressure to decrease. This can be a serious problem if that person is already taking medication to lower his or her blood pressure. Ask your physician if the two should be taken together safely. Diabetics who are taking insulin or other drugs to maintain their blood sugar levels should see a physician before using marijuana also, as the herb could also influence the blood sugar prescription to the detriment of the patient. If you are taking the diabetic drug metformin to control your blood sugar, marijuana has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of that medicine, because the cannabinoids in cannabis resist the lowering of blood sugar which metformin was designed to do. Diabetics who use marijuana and metformin should always check their blood sugar levels to see if marijuana has disturbed the effectiveness of metformin in lowering their blood sugar.

People who take blood thinners, like aspirin, warfarin, ibuprofen or naproxen should be aware that marijuana taken in combination with these can increase the risk of bleeding. It’s a synergistic effect, that is, the cannabis simply enhances the effects of the blood thinners making your blood even more fluid and thus easier to bleed out if you are injured.

Cannabis can interact with all kinds of drugs and herbs that you might be taking for a specific health reason. It’s always best to check with your doctor or medical professional before combining any herbs and medicines. And never operate machinery or drive a car when using marijuana or any other herb or drug that can effect your response time and alertness. Be safe – Be Happy!