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  • "Medical marijuana gave me my life back. I can make plans again, work again, enjoy life again, all because of medical marijuana. It saved my life." by HCB, Former Client
  • "Medical marijuana has given me some mental peace that I have not experienced in 50 years. It doesn’t take it away but it does soften the past experiences of combat." by Richard B., Former Client
  • "I applied for medical marijuana and pain reduced big time. Now I can relax and sleep, now I can volunteer and do all the activities I love." by Mary, Former Client
  • "After my first treatment I noticed a difference right away. I had no side effects and was able to fully function. I suggest you try it and change your life." by Steve R., Former Client
  • "Overall I am extremely happy and would recommend this to anyone who could benefit. It is truly an amazing medicine and I just hope enough people can open their eyes wide enough to see that." by Jill, Former Client
What are the Side Effects of Medical Cannabis?
February 21, 2024

Category: Medical Marijuana in Mississippi

People use medical cannabis to find relief from a wide array of conditions, from chronic pain to depression. However, like any medication, there are potential side effects associated with its use. While the positive effects of medical marijuana typically outweigh the side effects, it’s still important to be aware of the potential risks involved. Knowing what to expect may help you prepare for and manage any side effects that may arise.

Common Side Effects of Medical Cannabis

Before we dive into the potential side effects of medical cannabis, it’s important to note that everyone reacts differently to medication. While some people may experience certain side effects, others may not. In addition, the intensity of side effects may vary from person to person. Common side effects of medical marijuana include:

Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth or cottonmouth, is a common side effect of cannabis use. This happens because marijuana contains compounds that interact with the brain receptors that are responsible for saliva production. As a result, people who use cannabis may experience a decrease in saliva production. A dry mouth may cause an increased risk for gum disease, tooth decay, plaque buildup, and canker sores.

It’s essential to drink plenty of water and limit your caffeine intake to help combat a dry mouth. Furthermore, sucking on hard candy or chewing sugarless gum may stimulate saliva production. There are also mouthwashes available that may help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. Breathing through your mouth may make your mouth drier, so remind yourself to breathe through your nose when possible.

Dry Eyes

Another common side effect of medical cannabis is dry eyes. This is thought to be caused by the same compounds that interact with the receptors responsible for saliva production. When these receptors are activated, they may also cause a decrease in tear production. This may lead to symptoms such as red, irritated, or itchy eyes. One way to relieve dry eyes is to use lubricating eye drops. Blinking often and resting your eyes when possible may also help mitigate dry eyes. 

Fatigue

Fatigue and sleepiness are common side effects of marijuana use. This is thought to be caused by the interaction of cannabis compounds with the brain receptors responsible for regulating sleep. As a result, people who use cannabis may find it challenging to stay awake and may experience an increased need for sleep. While this is great for those who have insomnia, it may not be ideal for everyone. Each medical cannabis strain may have different effects. Some strains may be more likely to cause fatigue than others. If you’re concerned about feeling tired after using cannabis, ask the professionals who work at your medical marijuana dispensary to help you choose a strain that is less likely to cause fatigue.

Dizziness

Some patients report feeling dizzy after using medical cannabis. This may be caused by the interaction of cannabis compounds with the brain receptors that are responsible for balance. Additionally, people who use cannabis may also experience vertigo. To help relieve dizziness, drink plenty of fluids and get up slowly when standing up from a sitting or lying position.

Slow Reaction Time

If you’re using medical cannabis, it’s important to note that your reaction time may be slower than usual. As a result, you should avoid activities that require quick reflexes, such as driving or operating machinery. The combination of dizziness and a slow reaction time can make it difficult to perform these activities safely. Therefore, it is best to use cannabis after you have completed any errands or obligations that require you to be alert and aware.

 Increased Appetite

Many medical marijuana users experience an increased appetite, more commonly known as the “munchies.” Medical cannabis is often used to help people with a lack of appetite. However, this may also cause overeating or lead to weight gain. Eating healthy foods and snacks may help control your appetite. Moreover, being aware of portion sizes may help you avoid weight gain.

Cognitive Impairment (Short-term)

Marijuana use may cause short-term cognitive impairment. This means that you may have difficulty thinking clearly, solving problems, and making decisions. While this may not be a major concern for some people, it is crucial to be aware of this side effect. If you’re using medical marijuana, you should avoid activities that require clear thinking. Having a to-do list and setting reminders on your phone may help you stay on task.

These are just a few of the potential side effects of medical cannabis. Remember that everyone reacts differently to marijuana. If you begin to experience any side effects, it may be necessary to speak with your medical marijuana doctor. They can help you adjust your dosage or choose a different strain. Other side effects to be aware of include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Reactions with other medications

Dosing Medical Cannabis

Many of the side effects of medical marijuana may be controlled by adjusting the dose. It’s crucial to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed. This may help you achieve the desired effect while minimizing side effects. It’s also imperative to be aware that the effects of cannabis may not be immediate. In some cases, it may take an hour or more to feel the full effects.

If you’re new to using medical marijuana, give yourself plenty of time to see how it affects you. It’s best to use it when you don’t have any other obligations and can relax. This will help you avoid any potential accidents or injuries that could occur as a result of the side effects. The best way to determine an appropriate dose is to contact a dosing support center or talk to your medical marijuana doctor. They can help you find the correct dose for your individual needs.

Get Your Mississippi Medical Cannabis Card with TruReleaf MD

If you’re an Mississippi resident and are interested in using medical marijuana, take our patient survey to see if you qualify for a Mississippi medical marijuana card. Contact us today and discover the benefits of treating your condition with medical marijuana.