Cannabis has become a preference as a medical treatment among millions across the globe. Getting an MMJ card has become easier than ever. You can find trained medical marijuana doctors in New York by simply logging in to your computer and using telemedicine to connect for a face to face consultation. Who knew cannabis would come such a long way from a gateway drug to medication. It’s because the medical potential of this green herb is becoming known far and wide. If you aren’t living under a rock, you may have heard about how medical cannabis can help with different heal issues ranging from cancer and PTSD to anorexia and insomnia. But, while there is no denying of the therapeutic aspect of cannabis, it does have a few side effects that every consumer must know before becoming a part of the medical marijuana revolution.
Like any other medication, medical cannabis also has a flip side. But, don’t worry, the side effects are not as severe as other pharmaceuticals. You can manage it using a few tips. So, let’s take a look at the many side effects of medical cannabis and the ways to deal with it effectively.
One of the most commonly reported side effects of cannabis consumption is dry mouth or cottonmouth. You may not experience it in your first few sessions but after some time, the dryness becomes prominent. Most people often associate cottonmouth with smoking or vaping but that is not completely true. Even if you take cannabis pills, dryness can occur. That’s because the real reason behind a cottonmouth after consuming cannabis is its cannabinoids, especially Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
There are CB receptors located around the mouth and the salivary glands. Since THC binds with the CB receptors, it does the same with the ones around the glands and regulates the secretion of saliva. The drop in the saliva is significant which is why you feel like your mouth is a desert. But, cottonmouth isn’t dangerous or anything serious. Dryness in the mouth doesn’t mean that your body is dehydrated too. But, even then you need to take care of the situation and thankfully I have some tips that can help.
Whenever you have a cannabis session, have a water bottle by your side. Keep having a sip before, after and during your dose. It will keep up the hydration level and maintain moisture in the mouth. You could also have a chewing gum after a session to avoid cottonmouth. Chewing gum can help avoid a drop in saliva production by limiting the regulatory signals from the endocannabinoid system.
Another common side effect of cannabis consumption is red eyes. You may have come across people who develop red, bloodshot eyes after having their dose of cannabis. The symptom may or may not show up every time you consume cannabis. It varies from person to person.
The reason behind this side effect is the fluctuation in blood pressure. After consuming cannabis, the blood vessels and capillaries including the ocular capillaries dilate. So the heart compensates in this situation of low blood pressure by pumping more blood. As a result, the blood flow increases to the eyes thus reducing the intraocular pressure. This is why the eyes turn red.
The easy solution to this problem is eye drops. You can find over the counter eye drops that will soothe your redness. Also, staying away from THC strains can help reduce the occurrence of red eyes.
If you go around talking to some cannabis consumers, you will hear the word ‘munchies’ quite often. Munchies are the fancy word for the increase in appetite caused by consuming cannabis. This effect may not be a side effect for everyone because it is one of the reasons why cannabis is used in the treatment of anorexia and people suffering from lack of appetite.
Why do munchies happen? It’s the working of the cannabinoids specifically THC. The cannabinoids react with the CB receptors in the body and affect the production of hormones like ghrelin and leptin. It increases the production ghrelin which stimulates the feeling of hunger and reduces levels of leptin which is meant to regulate hunger. In addition to this, THC increases the sensitivity of your olfactory senses. So, now that you are feeling hungry and the food smells delicious, you will get the munchies.
So, how do you deal with these munchies? First, try using low THC strains if your condition allows. If that’s not possible or the munchies still develop, the only way to deal with them is by eating. But, don’t munch on anything you have in your pantry or you will be looking at a rise in the weighing scale. Keep a selection of healthy snacks, fruits and food items. It will help you deal with hunger as well as stay healthy.
Even the first time consumers will agree that cannabis causes fatigue. Your energy levels drop and you feel like lying on the bed all day. Well, that’s the working of THC.
THC is a psychoactive component that causes intoxication. It means that it will interact with your brain and alter its functions. One of these alterations is the decrease in the production of dopamine. Since dopamine is responsible for your energy levels and motivation, its reduction will cause fatigue. And as the use of cannabis continues, the effects may also escalate.
You can deal with cannabis fatigue by monitoring your dose. Do not consume more than you need and plan your timings for each dose. Consult with your 420 doctor to get the right instructions about your dose.
But, let me clear it out that only some strains cause fatigue. There are cannabis strains that are used to cheer up the mood and increase energy levels. So, be sure of the type you use.
Overdosing with cannabis is very common among beginners. Since cannabis dose can be very different for different people, overdosing can happen while estimating the correct amount.
The effects of an overdose are stronger and sometimes even intolerable. Some of them are paranoia, impaired reflexes, lack of perception, anxiety, severe fatigue and headache. In the worst cases, the patient may need hospitalization to deal with the excessive effects.
The best way to prevent an overdose is to learn how to microdose. Never overestimate a dose. Always stay low, observe your body’s response and slowly increase the dose if required. But, accidents do happen. In that case, you can try these tips to sober up.
- Sleep it out.
- Stay in a safe place to avoid risky situations.
- Eat and drink water to flush out excess THC.
- Try CBD to counter the high.
- Home remedies such as black pepper are also effective.
- Distract yourself.
High Tolerance Levels
Cannabis tolerance is an inevitable part of cannabis consumption. While tolerance isn’t always a side effect but in some cases, it reaches a level where your body starts enduring the cannabinoids and after some time low doses of cannabis become ineffective. So you may have to shift to higher doses or stronger strains to achieve the same effects. In this case, you have to bring the tolerance level back to normal.
The foolproof way of dealing with cannabis tolerance is abstinence. In the cannabis world, it is called a tolerance break. The duration can be anywhere from a few days to months depending on your tolerance level and requirement. Or you could also slow down the development of tolerance by reducing your indulgence or by shifting to CBD for some time.
Now that you have gone through the side effects of medical marijuana and the different ways to deal with it, you can assure that your session is smooth and safe.