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Patient Education

Anxiety or Uneasiness

Although medical cannabis has been shown to have calming effects and relieve anxiety, larger doses for some cannabis users may bring on mild to intense anxiety and even panic. Your personality, your genetics, and already having an anxiety disorder, all play a role in weather or not you may have this side effect. By using low-THC, high-CBD cannabis strains instead, you can reduce or even prevent an anxiety or panic event.


Strong doses of cannabis high in THC can make some people paranoid. If you become paranoid after using cannabis, do your best to remain calm. The feelings will subside. Consider playing relaxing music or try taking a warm bath or shower. You can also try switching to strains low in THC or taking straight CBD.

Thirst and Dry Mouth

You can develop what is known as “cotton mouth” as one of the side effects of medical cannabis. If this happens to you, try drinking water before you use cannabis. You can also alleviate dry mouth by chewing gum.


Chances are you’ll get the “munchies.” If you want to avoid gaining weight when using medical cannabis. When you don‘t have or want anything else to eat, brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth helps you stop eating when you have the intention of stopping.


Even though cannabis is known more for producing sedative effects, if you find yourself struggling with insomnia after using it: avoiding coffee, tea, or other beverages containing caffeine, exercising, not napping during the day, and relaxing.

Red Eyes

Cannabis dilates blood vessels, including those in your eyes, which causes your eyes to be red and bloodshot. You need to stay hydrated to keep your eyes from drying out and becoming irritated and red. You could also use natural tear eyedrops to lubricate your eyes.


Research suggests a link between cannabis use and a reduction in verbal, short–term memory. Some things you can do if you have a short-term memory impact when you take medical cannabis: Take Omega-3 fatty acids, get plenty of exercise, take B vitamins, get plenty of sleep, practice mental exercises like repetitive memory games, try white willow bark, and eat healthily.

Heightened Sensory Perception

Some cannabis users have heightened sensory experiences as one of the side effects of medical cannabis. For example, they see colors more vibrantly and hear sounds more individually. They may also experience an altered perception of time.

Drowsiness, Dizziness, and Impaired Judgment

  • Do not operate machinery, drive or perform any other hazardous activities while you are using your medical cannabis treatment.

  • Do not take any other medications known to cause drowsiness while using cannabis, like anti-depressants, sedatives, antihistamines, anxiety medications, muscle relaxants and pain relievers.

  • Do not drink alcohol after using medical cannabis. Alcohol increases drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment.

Respiratory Issues

Smoking cannabis may cause some of the same respiratory issues that tobacco smokers experience, such as having phlegm production and a daily cough. They may also get acute chest illnesses, such as bronchitis, more frequently. The easy solution to this is to try a different method of use including: Edibles, Vaporizers, Tinctured, Oils, Raw cannabis. etc.


Some people experience a sense of giddiness after using cannabis. They may giggle or laugh about trivial things. If you see you‘re especially giddy after taking cannabis and this feels unpleasant to you, you may need to select a strain with no, or very little, THC.


When you use anything regularly, you can build up a tolerance. If you do start to build a tolerance, try switching between strains.


Using medical cannabis can cause fatigue, you can try switching to a different strain to avoid this effect.

Slower Reaction Time

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cannabis significantly impairs reaction time, motor coordination and driving ability. The agency reports that studies have revealed a direct relationship between THC concentration in a person‘s blood and their driving ability.

Diarrhea and Constipation

Medical cannabis can both cause and help diarrhea and constipation. If you do experience diarrhea or constipation you may try drinking lots of water and/or eating a diet high in fiber.

Increased Heart Rate

Your heart rate can increase by up to 100 percent for up to three hours after taking medical cannabis. This rapid heart rate is known as tachycardia. Along with this, you have an increased risk of a having a heart attack for the first 60 minutes after taking cannabis. If you experience this try changing to a strain with low THC high CSD concentrations.

Impaired Balance

Medical cannabis may also throw your balance off, since it influences two areas in your brain that help regulate balance, reaction time, posture and coordination. Keep this in mind when you are using your cannabis treatment and ensure you are in a safe and comfortable environment, preferably sitting or lying down. Try lower doses if you experience any problems,


The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports some individuals may experience hallucinations, delusions, loss of personal identity and acute psychosis when taking substantial amounts of cannabis. These reactions are temporary and are more likely to occur in vulnerable individuals.


The higher the dose of cannabis you use, the more chances you have of feeling lightheaded – sometimes to a point where you feel like you are going to faint.

Urinary Retention

Individuals who use medical cannabis may have urinary retention as a side effect of ingestion. However, it may improve urinary retention if you were already having problems with it.

Slurred Speech

As a result of muscle weakness that can be induced by cannabis; medical cannabis users may sometimes experience difficulty speaking and have slurred speech. Researchers at the University of Cadiz found cannabinoids hamper the ability of neurons, which are charged with muscle orders, to transmit information. The scientists say this phenomenon also explains why individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, like multiple sclerosis, find symptom relief after taking cannabis.


Though cannabis rarely causes physical dependence, there is the chance of psychological dependency. Like with tolerance, taking breaks is essential and effective. Take a break every fourth week or so to minimize developing tolerance and dependency.

Other Ways to Alleviate Medical Cannabis Side Effects

If you‘re having side effect issues, you can try various tips to minimize or eliminate them. For instance, you should:

  • Know your limits before you medicate.

  • Don’t use more cannabis than your body can take.

  • Use cannabis as intended and recommended by your physician.

  • If you’re a new user, have a friend with you before you medicate if possible.

  • Take it slowly with edibles at first. Wait to see the effects before increasing your dose, as it can take time before you feel any effects.

  • CBD oil can minimize adverse effects even when taken after the effects occur.

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