Nearly 4,000 Canadians died from opioid overdoses in 2017, according to new data released by the federal government’s special advisory committee on opioid overdoses – a new all-time high. According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 72,000 people in the US are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017 — nearly 200 a day. That’s up from 2016, which was already a record year in which roughly 64,000 people in the US died from overdoses. Annual deaths from cannabis overdose: 0
The dependence rates for medical cannabis is approximately 9%, which is the same rate as caffeine. Compared to many prescription medications and illicit substances, this rate of dependence is relatively low.
Cannabis containing THC does have the ability to impair those that consume it, which is why it is rarely recommended in significant doses outside of sleep control. The same rules would apply to cannabis as taking a narcotic with the potential to impair you – no driving, operating machinery, etc. Many legal medications have the ability to impair the patient taking them, such as: Antihistamines (drowsy/dizzy/ blurred vision), motion sickness/anti-nausea drugs (drowsy/dizzy/ blurred vision) muscle relaxants (drowsy/dizzy/confusion), cough suppressants (DM) – (morphine derivative/sedative) smoking cessation (Zyban) – (vision changes/ringing in ears/anxiety). Care must always be taken when starting a new medication to see how your body reacts, which is why the ‘start low, go slow’ mantra is so prevalent in the medical cannabis industry.
As with any medication, medical cannabis carries the potential for side effects. These potential side effects need to be considered prior to commencing medical cannabis treatment and should be discussed with your authorizing health care practitioner.