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NZ Formulary

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Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (CBD and THC)

can-na-bi-di-ol and tet-ra-hy-dro-can-nab-i-nol

What does it do?

Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol is used to treat muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis.

How should you use it?

Use one spray under your tongue or on the inside of your cheek as directed.
Change the place in your mouth each time to help prevent making your mouth sore.

If using for the first time, ‘prime’ your spray by spraying a few times into a tissue before using.

When you first start, you will need to gradually increase the number of sprays until you find the best number of sprays for you. This may take up to 2 weeks.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next spray, skip the missed spray and use your next spray at the usual time. Otherwise, use the missed spray as soon as you remember. Do not use two sprays at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol including:

  • pain relief or cold and flu medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®, Codral Cold and Flu®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. cannabis).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Suicidal thoughts

Tell your doctor immediately

Unusual behaviour or thinking, hallucinations

Tell your doctor

Feeling dazed, confused, clumsy or unsteady, trouble concentrating, trouble speaking

Mood changes, drowsiness, memory problems, blurred vision

Dry mouth, changes in taste

Change of appetite, nausea

Tell your doctor if troublesome

Dizziness, tiredness or weakness

Common when you first start but should improve.

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have mental health problems or if you have ever had a drug abuse problem.
  • This product is not the same as cannabis plant, or other cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol products. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these other products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Taking alcohol and cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol at the same time may increase side-effects.
  • Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert.
  • Store the spray as directed. It expires 6 weeks after you first open the bottle. If you have any left over after 6 weeks, take it back to your pharmacy.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. November 2019

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed