New mHealth App Helps Providers ID Marijuana, CBD Interactions With Other Drugs – HealthLeaders Media

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   April 06, 2022

Penn State researchers have developed an mHealth app that allows care providers and phramacists to identify drug-drug interactions at the point of care for patients using marijuana or CBD

Penn State is taking aim at the growing popularity (and legalization) of marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) products with an mHealth app designed to help providers identify how those products might interact with other medications.

The CANNabinoid Drug Interaction Review (CANN-DIR) app is a free web-based resource targeted at healthcare providers and pharmacists. Developed by researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, it allows users to select the cannabinoid product that a patient is taking and provide information on how it reacts to over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Penn State is taking aim at the growing popularity (and legalization) of marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) products with an mHealth app designed to help providers identify how those products might interact with other medications.

The CANNabinoid Drug Interaction Review (CANN-DIR) app is a free web-based resource targeted at healthcare providers and pharmacists. Developed by researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, it allows users to select the cannabinoid product that a patient is taking and provide information on how it reacts to over-the-counter and prescription medications.

“Some drugs can affect the way others are broken down by the body, which can be problematic in the case of medications with a narrow therapeutic index,” Kent Vrana, the project leader and Eliot S. Veseli Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, said in a press release. “People may not realize that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinoil) and CBD products have the ability to change the way other drugs are metabolized, and it’s an important conversation for patients and health care providers to have with each other. CANN-DIR can help facilitate those conversations and provide useful information for health care providers when prescribing medications to their patients.”

The app is an ideal example of how clinical decision support is going digital, through online resources that can be accessed on laptops, tablets and other mobile devices at the point of care.

“The goal of CANN-DIR is to provide health care providers an additional resource to improve patient safety by reducing unintended drug-drug interactions,” added Paul Kocis, a clinical pharmacist at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center who created the database with Vrana. “We hope this resource will also focus attention on how cannabinoids can affect the metabolism of other medications.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states, as well as Washington DC and Guam, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while 37 states, Washington DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have approved the medical use of marijuana. And just this month, the US House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana, though a similar bill now before the Senate isn’t expected to pass.

Eric Wicklund is the Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.


Eric Wicklund is the Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.
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