iPhone users will now be able to use their mobile phones to learn about how cannabis interacts with other drugs after the tech giant issued a software update that allows its customers to track medications. Apple has kept its eye on cannabis reform efforts over the years, steadily revising its internal policies to make sure they align with the changing laws.
With more people than ever using marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, Apple has rolled out the technology to help these users learn about drugs that could interact with marijuana. They will be able to do this via Apple’s Health App, an application that gathers health data from the Apple Watch and iPhone into one centralized and convenient location. A medications feature will allow users to build and manage a list of medications, and track them. American users will only have to point their phone cameras at the label of a specific medication and the app will alert them if it will interact with any of the medications they are already taking.
Users will also be able to add cannabis, alcohol and tobacco to their list of medications to see if there are possible interactions between medications on their list. According to a footnote on the tech giant’s press release, the Health App will use evidence-based content from health and science information publisher Elsevier to provide users with information on medication interactions.
This update is especially important now that millions of Americans are using cannabis. Despite limited research on cannabis drug interactions, some studies have found that the plant can interact with pharmaceutical medications such as warfarin. Additionally, Drugs.com estimates that there are about 400 known interactions between marijuana and prescription medications and categorizes 26 of these interactions as major.
Even as dozens of states have legalized either recreational or medical cannabis, a majority of them have passed labeling policies that require cannabis producers to warn customers against potential health risks on their product labels. However, most of these warnings have focused on side effects such as drowsiness and the danger of cannabis-impaired driving. In Florida, producers in the medical cannabis market are required to include a list of possible drug interactions on labels.
Apple still cautions against using the Medications feature in the Health App as an alternative to professional medical advice. The tech giant says that even though medications often provide a list of possible interactions on their labels, users should make sure they consult a medical professional before making any decisions involving their health.
With this new iPhone software update, the users of marijuana from licensed manufacturers such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) can access pointers about any potential interactions that could exist between marijuana and their other medications, thereby enabling them to make informed choices.
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