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Marijuana: Risks for the Primary Care Doc

Marijuana: Risks for the Primary Care Doc

  • Hypersensitivity to Cannabinoids
  • Cardiovascular Diseases including:
    • Arrhythmia
    • Heart failure (any kind)
    • Poorly regulated Hypertension
    • Ischemic heart disease
  • History of Psychotic Disorders
    • (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective)
  • Family History of Psychotic Disorders
  • History of Drug Abuse
  • Family history of Drug Abuse
  • Males intending to start a family
  • Children less than 18 years old
  • Pregnant or breast feeding females                  

Serious Risks:   

  • Severe Psychiatric Side effects
    • Psychosis
    • Anxiety
    • Mood Disorder
  • CNS Depression
    • Decreased Cognitive Performance
    • Impairs Short Term Memory
    • Impairs Attention, Coordination and Balance
    • Impairs Judgment
    • Impairs motor skills.
  • Tachycardia
  • Drug Abuse Potential
  • Hepatic Dysfunction – Transaminitis


  • CNS Depressants adverse effects are enchanced
  • Anticholinergics increase tachycardia with marijuana
  • Cocaine worsens tachycardia with marijuana
  • Sympathomimetics can worsen tachycardia with marijuana

Adapted from:

  • NIDA Research Report Series Marijuana Abuse. NIH. Pub# 10-3859
  • Handbook of the Medical Consequences of Alcohol and DrugAbuse / John Brick, editor.-2nd ed. p. cm. And referenced articles
  • Smith,PF, “GW-1000. GW Pharmaceuticals, “Curr Opin Investig Drugs, 2004, 5(7):748-54 {PubMed 15298072]. Author: Michael Dekker, D.O.

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