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Can Marijuana cause drug interactions?

Marijuana is now legal in many U.S states, and is consumed legally in states where it isn't legalized as medical marijuana or just illegaly, by millions of people.

Marijuana does interact with other drugs and with food. The main problem with detecting cannabis interactions is when people do not report using it.

When marijuana is taken with alcohol, benzodiazepines (drugs that treat anxiety) or muscle relaxants, the combination can result in "central nervous system depression," which means that people can experience decreased breathing and heart rate, and loss of consciousness.

There also have been reports of people experiencing a rapid heart rate and delirium after using marijuana while taking older forms of antidepressants (known as tricyclic antidepressants).

Marijuana may also interact with drugs that are broken down by enzymes in the liver known as cytochrome P450 enzymes, according to the Mayo Clinic. That's because a compound in marijuana called cannabidiol can inhibit these enzymes. Therefore, marijuana may prevent other drugs from being broken down properly, and as a result, levels of these other drugs may be increased in the blood, which "may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions," the Mayo Clinic says.

The Mayo Clinic says marijuana can increase the drowsiness caused by some drugs, including diazepam (Valium), codeine, antidepressants and alcohol, and so people need to be cautious if they drive or operate machinery after using these drugs with marijuana.

When talking to your doctor, it is important that you tell him if you are using Marijuana, even if it is illegal in your state or country. many drug interactions with marijuana are known to science, and can be avoided.

Live well!

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