A new study out of Penn State warns that the various cannabinoids found in cannabis (“marijuana”) may interfere with a variety of prescription medication, including commonly prescribed drugs. Research into this topic is particularly important in light of the growing use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. Among other things, the researchers encourage doctors to explore the potential of cannabinoid-medication interactions among their patients.
Cannabis has long been used recreationally, with many having claimed various health benefits from the plant over the decades. In more recent times, various states and governments have legalized cannabis and its compounds to various degrees ranging from full legalization to legalization only when used for certain medical conditions.
In addition, CBD products have become widespread and legal in many places where the full plant product and isolated THC products still aren’t legal. These cannabinoids have various effects on the body, and may also have interactions with many different types of prescription medication.
The new study, which was recently published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, identified 57 medications that may experience interactions when consumed alongside cannabinoids. All of these medications are what are known as having a “narrow therapeutic index,” meaning there’s a thin line between just enough and too much — between being helpful and harmful to the patient.
Many different drug types are included on this list, including common ones like antibiotics, antifungals, thyroid medication, and various heart drugs. Patients are encouraged to be honest with their doctors about whether they’re consuming any cannabis products and doctors are encouraged to explore the potential for drug-drug interactions in these patients.
The full list of prescription drugs that should be ‘closely monitored’ in patients who also consume cannabinoids can be found in the study, including things like: