Chapter 23: Cannabinoid-Based Medicines: Patient Safety Considerations
Authors: MacCallum CA, Lo LA & Boivin M
Cannabis education is an important step toward mitigating risks and promoting patient safety. It is important for healthcare providers to understand the considerations, precautions, relative contraindications, and contraindications associated with cannabinoid use. This allows for healthcare providers to accurately assess the benefits and risks of medical cannabis use for each patient individually. General contraindications for cannabis use include those who have severe and unstable cardiac and pulmonary conditions‚ psychosis, those who are pregnant/breastfeeding, and adolescents.
As with any psychoactive medication, strategies to mitigate cannabis adverse effects include “starting low and going slow,” shorter trial period, more frequent monitoring and reassessment for efficacy, adverse events, and drug interactions. The majority of adverse effects are THC dose-dependent. As such, CBD-dominant products may be a useful alternative to THC or in addition to mitigate risks.