Side Effects

What You Should Know

Short-Term Physical

  • Increased heart rate for up to 3 hours after treatment may
    increase the chance of heart attack — older patients and those with heart problems may be at higher risk
  • Increased appetite
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Blood shot eyes and dilated pupils
  • Impaired body movement
  • Breathing problems (particularly when Cannabis is smoked)

Short-Term Mental

  • A psychotropic high
  • Euphoria
  • Altered senses
  • Altered sense of time
  • Changes in mood, which can include anxiety and paranoia
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory


  • Dependency and a mild withdrawal syndrome
  • Cancer and cardio-pulmonary damage when Cannabis
    is smoked
  • Complications with child development during and after
  • May affect brain development in children and teens
  • Hallucinations, paranoia and worsening symptoms in patients
    with pre-existing schizophrenia

Precautions While Using Cannabis

  • Women should not consume during pregnancy or while breastfeeding except on the advice of the certifying practitioner, and in the case of breastfeeding mothers, including the infant ’s pediatrician
  • May cause dizziness, drowsiness and impaired judgment
  • Do not drive, operate machinery or perform hazardous activities
  • Consuming alcohol will increase dizziness, drowsiness and impaired judgment
  • May increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness e.g., antidepressants, antihistamines, sedatives, pain relievers, anxiety and seizure medicines and muscle relaxants


  • Bergamaschi M.M., Queiroz R.H., Zuardi A.W., Crippa J.A. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1; 6(4):237-49.
  • Carter GT1, Weydt P, Kyashna-Tocha M, Abrams DI. Medicinal cannabis: rational guidelines for dosing. IDrugs. 2004 May; 7(5):464-70.
  • Grotenhermen Franjo. 2003. Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Pharmacodynamics of Cannabinoids. Clinical Pharmacokinetics. 42(4): 327-60.
  • Russo E., Guy G.W. A tale of two cannabinoids: the therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses. 2006; 66(2):234-246.

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