I have high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Can I still use cannabis for my back pain?

Hi. I’m Dr. Dan Stein, Neurology of Cannabis owner, medical cannabis expert and board-certified neurologist and I would love to answer that question for you and any other questions you might have.

Here in the Neurology of Cannabis clinic, we often see patients who have other medical problems. In those individuals, we need to know if cannabis can still be used. What about their other medications? Are there interactions with things like blood thinners? Is it safe to use cannabis therapy and will the individual’s doctors agree?

Fortunately, I am also a board-certified neurologist as I said and I have general medical training. So even though we’re recommending cannabis therapy, we take into account the whole person, all the medical problems. We look at drug-drug interactions to make sure that the cannabis therapy is not going to cause a problem.

For example in patients that are using Coumadin or warfarin as a blood thinner, it’s important to monitor the effect of Coumadin when cannabis therapy is added. It can throw off the effect and it needs to be monitored. But that’s not a reason not to use cannabis therapy. It’s just a reason to be careful when using it.

Similarly, patients who have high blood pressure sometimes are on medications to lower the blood pressure. In certain cannabis users, the blood pressure can be lowered even further as a result of cannabis. So we have to be careful that that blood pressure doesn’t go too low. Some of you may have had an experience with cannabis where you feel light-headed or woozy. Well, that’s the cannabis effect on blood pressure. So it’s important to take into account not only the initial reason patient comes – the patients come into the clinic for cannabis but who the patient is as a whole. What are the conditions they have? What are the medications they’re taking? And if cannabis therapy can still be used safely to resolve those symptoms they want to treat.

I wanted to share this information with you because I want you to know what to expect when you start your cannabis therapy. You may have your own questions or concerns and want to ask them here in the clinic or by phone. You can reach us. We would love to hear from you. So if you are a Florida resident, permanent or seasonal, and would like to reach out to us, please call, 941-400-1211 or email info@neurologyofcannabis.com.