A newly developed application can enable pharmacists as well as other medical professionals to enhance patient safety. This can be achieved by using the app to predict how cannabinoids, such as those found in medical cannabis, may interact with any other medications that a patient is taking.
Researchers at Penn State University developed the app, called CANNabinoid Drug Interaction Review (CANN-DIR). The app works by evaluating how various cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, found in different over-the-counter or prescription medical cannabis products interact with the other medicines that a patient is taking. The app has a database containing the common drugs that people access in hospitals and pharmacies. A healthcare worker or other professional simply inputs the cannabis compounds found in a product and then selects from a list of drugs to see what form any drug-on-drug interactions could take place.
For example, one may find that certain cannabinoids may slow down or accelerate the metabolism of a given active ingredient in a prescription drug. In such a case, the healthcare provider would tweak the dosage of the said drug in order to meet the intended therapeutic goals while avoiding any adverse events resulting from the drug-on-drug interaction.
Kent Vrana, who led the research team behind this app, explains that it is crucial that people realize that CBD, THC and other cannabis compounds may affect the rate at which other drugs are broken down or metabolized in the body. He adds that by using the app, it is possible to have a meaningful conversation with a patient regarding possible interactions between a given combination of cannabinoids and the conventional drugs being used by the patient.
This app has the potential to provide a meaningful way in which cannabinoids can be used safely alongside other medications. It can also help to address the reasons why some professionals in the mainstream medical field are hesitant or opposed to medical marijuana and CBD products that the public can readily access from retail stores, medical cannabis outlets or even the black market. This is because the app avails science-backed information to address the concerns of the healthcare professional.
The research team was composed of people from the university’s medical school and a team of computer science professionals at the same university. The first version of the app went live on March 22, 2022, and the team is now focused on making a second reiteration of the app, which they hope will rate higher in terms of its user friendliness for caregivers and patients themselves.
This app will hopefully give patients the reassurance they need that using cannabis products from licensed suppliers such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) can be safe and helpful if necessary precautions are taken, such as talking to one’s doctor beforehand.
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