Weed delivery has never been more popular. This is because cannabis affects everybody differently. Unlike drugs containing just one active chemical, weed has over 550 active compounds, over 100 of which, the U.S. National Library of Medicine tells us, are cannabinoids. All of these affect the body. Unlike single-compound drugs that treat just one issue, cannabis effectively treats near all of them.
However, this impressively diverse array of chemicals also interacts with other substances. For example, if you drink and smoke weed, you might feel notably more stoned than intended. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, using cannabidiol, or CBD, could prove risky if used with Warfarin. It is important to know of potential interactions if using weed with the most common drug classes:
Stimulants stimulate the production and release of specific neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, namely dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. They make you feel alert, awake, aware, confident, energetic, and blissfully happy. However, they also raise blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, they contribute hugely to paranoia and anxiety. Think of caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, et al.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, acts in much the same way as stimulants do. Although the effects of mixing cannabis and stimulants depend on both the person and the dose, THC can raise heart rate too. It can also cause thoughts to race, as well as anxiety and paranoia. While this is not the case for everyone, it can happen. Fortunately, CBD counteracts the effect of too much THC and can help to calm you again.
Many self-treat effectively with weed alone. Those using medications to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin, might find instant relief with cannabis instead. Others benefit from the combination, while still others feel overwhelmed and unable to study. According to a 2015 study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, mixing Ritalin with weed can further stress the heart in some individuals.
Depressants do just that: They depress the body, as opposed to stimulating it. This helps to relieve anxiety, relax muscles, and induce a sense of calm. In high doses, depressants are drowsy. Disorienting. They can negatively affect balance and thinking, outright sedating, tranquilizing even. Valium, Xanax and alcohol are common examples. There are more. In large doses, mixing any with weed can get rough.
The more GABA activity in the body, the slower the central nervous system. THC, in big doses, is mildly depressant. Mixing it with some of these drugs increases the likelihood of sedation. Alcohol, however, makes the brain more susceptible to the effects of THC. This greatly increases psychoactivity, causing even greater impairment. This is, of course, worse in some individuals than in others.
Now, CBD increases blood circulation. Due to its pharmacokinetic effect, CBD prevents the breakdown of benzodiazepines, a primary class of depressants. This leaves it circulating longer in the body, keeping drug levels high. This can cause confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness. While none of this is dangerous, it can feel unpleasant. Mixing both in high doses is not advisable.
Opioid drugs interact with the body’s own opioid receptors. They work by changing your perception of pain. They trick the brain into thinking pain is less than it is and they increase pain threshold in the spinal cord. OxyContin, methadone, morphine and Tramadol are common opioid examples. Opioids treat pain very effectively. Cannabis does too, if not more so, and offers hope for those with dependency issues. Anyone can purchase it from a local weed dispensary where such products are available for sale.
In this way, cannabis can help to reduce the quantity of opioids needed to control pain. By so doing, it reduces the risk of opioid addiction or overdose. One monkey study showed no correlation between THC and opioids on cognitive issues, such as memory loss or impulsivity. However, a cannabis and opioid combination will make you sleepy, highly sedated even. Weed enhances the sedative effect of opioids.
As with all sedatives, cannabis can exacerbate this effect. However, unlike opioids, which affect the area of the brain responsible for breathing control, cannabis is milder and leaves you to breathe unhindered. Despite heightened sedation, this mixture does not make opioids deadlier than they already are on their own. In fact, it might well just make them slightly safer.
Hallucinogenic substances are psychedelic. They alter mood, perception, or thought processes. While most have their own unique mechanism of action, they all activate 5-HT2A receptors, those responsible for serotonin. Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and ketamine are some examples of this drug class, but THC can be too, if taken in high enough doses. Effects of either are individual- and dose-dependent.
Many report that cannabis heightens psychedelic activity, whereas others say that it helps when purchased from a legal weed dispensary to mellow the experience. All agree that too much of either can be overwhelming. Together, in moderate doses, they seem highly complementary. The safety profile of both cannabis and psychedelics is extremely good. Combining them is unlikely to cause any serious issues, now or later.
Data is scarce, however. Having said that, anecdotal evidence exists aplenty. People have been using cannabis with psychedelics safely for centuries. In fact, mixing the two heightens the awe-inspiring and mystical experiences common with hallucinogens. Smoking small doses of weed during the trip also appears to lower the chance of having a bad experience, whereas higher doses can increase it.
THC appears to interact less with pharmaceuticals than CBD does. CBD interacts with most medications, over-the-counter drugs too. Blood thinners like Clopidogrel and Warfarin are examples of this, as are heart medicines like Amiodarone, immunosuppressive drugs Tacrolimus for transplant patients, and antihistamines like Loratadine. Websites even detail these interactions extensively.
CBD suppresses the metabolic pathway that these drugs use to work, expressing inhibitive effects similar to St. John’s Wort or grapefruit. When suppressed, it takes longer for medicines to work their way through the body. Drug levels can accumulate and circulate longer in the blood. As a result, side effects are likelier, so discuss cannabis use with your doctor first, wherever necessary.
When mixing cannabis with any substances, psychoactive or not, prescription or no, effects are often unexpected and significant. Whenever using weed with non-prescriptions, go slowly and be mindful of your consumption. Dosage is always key. It gives you control of your buzz. Edibles are especially potent and can take a few hours to work, making it even more important to dose accordingly and pace yourself.
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Because cannabis affects individuals differently and is very dose-dependent, experimentation is part of the adventure. When using other drugs, for whatever reason, be intelligent and take your time. Effects are temporary, never permanent. This makes cannabis safe for use therapeutically. It might even work better than the other drugs you take anyway. Most important, weed delivery is just a few minutes away.