Is there anyone who should not use cannabis? Well, yes.
There are no absolutes in life. Nothing is black or white. Everything is “50 Shades of Grey”. Okay I just wanted to say that. Really life is more like 50,000 shades of grey. I always tell my patients that medicine is a balancing act. We might do one thing to help one part of your body, but sometimes that has negative effects on another part. Medications are a good example. Think about when you pick up a prescription medication at the pharmacy. They give you a whole long sheet of paper with all the potential side effects. Even over the counter medications can have dangerous potential side effects if not used appropriately. Too much Tylenol can cause liver failure. Too much Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage etc, etc. So who should not use cannabis? (This is not an all-inclusive list. Check with your healthcare provider before you start cannabis use).
Kids and Teenagers (DEFINITELY IN THE DO NOT USE CATEGORY)
With very, very, very few exceptions, really no one under the age of 22 should use cannabis products. Why 22? The human brain continues to develop until about age 22; some say up to age 25. Studies show that cannabis, as well as other drugs and substances like alcohol, can interfere with normal brain development during these developing years. In addition, childhood and adolescences is time when we learn and develop lifelong habits which could lead to unnecessary chronic use and substance abuse as an adult.
If you have small children or teenagers in the home, LOCK UP YOUR CANNABIS PRODUCTS AND KEEP THEM SAFELY OUT OF REACH).
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women (DO NOT USE)
Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy may be harmful to a baby’s health and cause a variety of health problems for the baby, including: fetal growth restriction, greater risk of stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, and long-term brain development issues affecting memory, learning, and behavior. In addition, THC is excreted in breast milk and should not be consumed while breastfeeding.
Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
The news has recently had a field day reporting excessive cannabis use can cause schizophrenia. Research does not back this assumption, however, it does suggest that in people with a genetic predisposition or family history of schizophrenia or psychosis, certain environmental factors or events like a viral infection infection, stress, exposure to toxins, or a psychoactive experience can all be a trigger. Therefore, use of THC products is not recommended in people with a genetic predisposition or family history of schizophrenia or psychosis.
Conclusive evidence is scarce with regard to use with bipolar disorder. However, THC is associated with changes in mood. In addition, cannabis can interfere with many mental health medications. So, it is NOT recommended that people with these mental health disorders use cannabis products and should consult their healthcare provider for more information.
History of cardiac problems
THC is associated with increased heart rate (tachycardia) and lowering blood pressure (called hypotension) so patients with heart problems (think arrhythmias, heart failure, atherosclerosis) or medications that lower blood pressure or heart rate should not use THC products without first discussing it with their healthcare provider.
The therapeutic effects of warfarin (coumadin) are affected by THC and CBD.
Conversely, CBD, as it is an antioxidant, has cardioprotective effects, and might minimize the area of ischemic damage to the heart muscle. (TALK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE USING ANY CANNABIS PRODUCTS)
History of Addiction
If you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse do not use cannabis without first consulting with your healthcare professional.
Anyone taking prescription medications
Cannabis is well known to interfere with the therapeutic effects of many, many prescription medications. Therefore, if you are taking any medications at all, talk to your healthcare provider before starting cannabis use.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease. This website contains general information about diet, health and nutrition. The information is not advice and is not a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. You should always get your medical advice from a healthcare professional (HCP) knowledgeable about your individual needs. A competent healthcare professional will provide a comprehensive intake meeting where you review the conditions you want to treat and assess your prescription medications to identify potential contraindications with cannabis.