The latest version of Apple’s iPhone software gives users an option to track medications and learn about possible drug interactions with other substances—including marijuana.
As the cannabis legalization movement has evolved, the technology giant has been gradually revising policies over the years that generally align with the normalization of cannabis. The latest example is the iOS 16 update to Apple’s Health app.
Users can tell the Health app if they use alcohol, cannabis or tobacco to search for “potential interactions between medications on your list.”
A footnote on Apple’s press release about the Health app update last week says that the medication and interaction information “is evidence-based content licensed from Elsevier, a leading publisher of health and science information.”
“The Medications feature should not be used as a substitute for professional medical judgment,” the tech company cautions. “Additional information is available on the labels of medications, but users should consult their healthcare provider prior to making any decisions related to their health.”
While marijuana remains federally illegal, there have been a number of studies published over the years that suggest cannabis could interact with pharmaceuticals like warfarin. According to Drugs.com, there are nearly 400 “known” interactions between prescribed medicines and marijuana, 26 of which it categorizes as “major.”
Many states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational purposes also have labeling requirements for marijuana products to caution consumers about possible health risks. Most of those warnings focus on impaired driving and common side effects of cannabis like drowsiness.
Florida’s medical cannabis law does require labels to list possible contraindications, but it’s not clear what source health officials use to compile that list.
In any case, the Apple update that lists cannabis alongside the federally legal substances alcohol and tobacco does serve as another example of the mainstreaming of marijuana in Big Tech.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Kyle Jaeger on Marijuana Moment
Published: September 21, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News