Comparing Medication Warning Labels with Cannabis

Recently, we came across a printed warning label that came with a cannabis-infused product. It struck us to see how relatively small and brief the warnings are for a cannabis product, having previously looked into warning labels on psychotropic medication. The differences are shocking.

Of the few warning points for the cannabis product, you can see that they primarily are instructions on safe consumption practices. They all surround keeping cannabis products away from children, starting low and slow, consulting a physician if pregnant or mixing with another substance, and not driving while under the influence. All of these are fairly similar to things like alcohol or common medications, like NyQuil.

Compare this short list to the warnings and side effects of a very common psychotropic medication, like Lexapro. Beyond the official FDA warning that use can worsen depression and cause suicidality, this website lists the alarmingly long range of possible side effects.

These are just 18 of the over 50 possible side effects listed on the website:

• Headaches
• Nausea
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
• Libido decrease
• Weight gain
• Bodily pain
• Flu-like symptoms
• Abnormal bleeding
• Blurred vision
• Decreased concentration
• Dizziness
• High blood pressure
• Lethargy
• Migraines
• Vertigo
• Tremors
• Vomiting


We completely understand how facing the possibility of all of these risks would be daunting. If the goal is to treat anxiety or depression, it can feel overwhelming to be given a treatment option that might not just cause a series of uncomfortable side effects, but also carries the risk of worsening symptoms and suicidal thoughts.

Comparing these risks with those of a natural substance like cannabis is a night and day difference. It is especially striking to bare in mind that to date there have been no deaths caused by cannabis overdose.

On the other hand, it can be intimidating to try a substance like cannabis, considering there isn’t much research on the long-term effects of cannabis use, as we discussed in our last post. There is also state and federal legislature to consider, not to mention social stigma and lack of information on low-dose cannabis use for issues like stress and difficulty sleeping.

Here at Rebalan, our goal is to share as much information and experience as we can, so that those seeking natural, healthy treatment can make an informed decision on what path to take.