Cannabis has physical and psychological effects but is not specific due to the near ubiquity of cannabinoid receptors in the body. Generally, its effects are described as pleasurable and relaxing because perception is altered, pain sensation is reduced, and there may be an improvement in mood. However, an effect that is desirable in one case may be undesirable in another.
Given that cannabis has a lethal-to-effective dose ratio estimated at 20,000 : 1 and does not cause physiological dysfunction or damage to internal organs, it is relatively safe as a medicine compared to recognized drugs.
The following side effects may occur at the beginning of therapy:
- anticholinergic effect
Most side effects are usually described by patients as transient, diminishing or disappearing completely during therapy.
- severe personality disorder
- psychosis, schizophrenia
- major depression
- serious cardiovascular disease
- intolerances/allergies to specific ingredients