Is it Safe to Consume Cannabis While Taking Antibiotics?
Many use cannabis for its pain-relieving properties. A good smoke, or even a cup of cannabis-infused tea, can be just the thing to help you deal with the symptoms of chronic pain. And there are many who choose to use cannabis to combat acute pain as well. When you have a cold or the flu, for example, cannabis might help to clear your head and relax your muscles, making you feel a little better.
But what about when you’re taking antibiotics? Most people know that it’s vital, while on antibiotics, to be careful of drug interactions. That’s why your doctor always wants to know what medications you’re already taking before prescribing anything else.
So, is it safe to consume cannabis while you’re taking antibiotics?
Will Cannabis Reduce the Effectiveness of my Antibiotics?
You don’t want to see the effects of the antibiotics you’ve been given neutralized. If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, he wants you to take the full course of medication to make sure your infection is killed completely. So the idea of antibiotics’ effectiveness being lessened should absolutely be a dealbreaker.
Fortunately, the evidence so far seems to suggest that cannabis will not interfere with antibiotics. In fact, cannabis has shown in studies to have antibacterial properties itself, proving effective against the difficult-to-treat MRSA bacterium. It may be only a matter of time before doctors are ready to add cannabis to the regimen of antibiotics they prescribe for patients who are having trouble kicking a nasty infection.
On that front, then, there is probably little to worry about. Likely, you can still use cannabis while on antibiotics and the antibiotics should still do their job just fine.
What are the Risks of Using Cannabis While on Antibiotics?
Your antibiotics will probably still be effective, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t without risk. It’s important to understand that different drugs use different metabolic pathways in the liver. The metabolic pathway that processes cannabinoids is the same one used by many prescription drugs, including some antibiotics.
Is that a problem?
The short answer is likely not. Despite using some of the same metabolic pathways, most medications don’t interact negatively with cannabis. And if they do, the interactions are non-life threatening.
The somewhat longer answer is that we can’t be sure since satisfactory testing has not yet been done on cannabis and its full effects on the body. And it’s important to remember that every person is different. If you have a friend or family member who used cannabis while taking a certain antibiotic and reported no ill effects, that’s a good sign. But it’s not an absolute guarantee. Your experience might be different from your friend’s, just as everyone has a slightly different experience when getting high.
The Final Verdict?
It’s probably okay to go ahead and take your antibiotics and consume cannabis—but we highly encourage that you consult with your doctor before doing so. They are the expert on the antibiotic they’re prescribing, and they’ll be able to tell you with authority whether or not it’s a good idea. Remember that despite the legal status of cannabis where you live, bringing questions to your doctor is always allowed, and your conversations are confidential. Your doctor will provide you medical advice without legal judgment.
Remember to consume cannabis with care, and in moderation at first, when dealing with a non-chronic illness, as your body may be more sensitive to the effects of the substance.
Cannabis has been proven to safely help lessen the negative effects of many illnesses. If the illness requires antibiotics, is it safe to consume cannabis?
“Can I Mix Weed With Antibiotics?” Yes, But it Could be Problematic
Feb 28 · 5 min read
During a July 2019 Gallup poll, they found 12% of American adults claimed they use marijuana.
With so many people using cannabis, whether recreationally or for medical ailments, it makes sense that so many people are wondering, “Can I mix weed with antibiotics?”
While there’s little information available on this topic, generally speaking, it’s not usually advisable to consume other drugs with prescription medication. This holds especially true when little research has been done to prove the way the drug interacts with the medicine.
Using marijuana w hile on antibiotics isn’t advisable. However, it might not be as dangerous as some would suspect. While you shouldn’t take any of the information you find here as medical advice, this information should give you a better idea of what to expect if you decide to use cannabis while taking medicine.
What are Antibiotics Exactly?
You’ve likely taken antibiotics at one point or another. But what exactly are they?
Antibiotics either kill or stop the growth of microorganisms. Doctors will generally prescribe these drugs to fight bacterial infections.
Some antibiotics target a specific type of bacteria, while others are used to treat multiple bacterial strains. This is why these drugs are so commonly prescribed in modern medicine.
One of the problems with antibiotics is that frequent use can be problematic. Doctors and researchers are having trouble with antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result of this overuse. And this is why we still have problems like bacterial staph infections.
Since antibiotics are so prevalent in the United States, it’s essential to know whether or not they can be used with cannabis. These drugs help millions of people every year. However, with cannabis use becoming so common, the question about using antibiotics with marijuana must be answered.
To get the full story, High Times recently asked Terry Roycroft, the president of Canada’s Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRI) several questions. Let’s explore what he said to get a better idea of the big picture.
Is Combining Weed With Other Drugs Dangerous?
Roycraft says, “There’s a number of drug interactions for numerous everyday things. For example, even with caffeine, there are 82 drug interactions out there and some of them are moderately severe to severe.”
While many advise steering clear of drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics, the only two medications that demand one to avoid drinking are metronidazole and tinidazole. However, other things are capable of producing an adverse interaction with antibiotics — for example, grapefruit.
Grapefruits can impact how the body metabolizes some medications. This includes some antibiotics we use to treat some stomach, respiratory, and other infections. Roycraft states that this fruit can be used to safely navigate combining weed with antibiotics.
Roycraft explained, “The reality is that there [are] very little interactions with cannabis. In fact, the antibiotics are not on the contra-indicator list [the list of symptoms or conditions that makes a procedure inadvisable] with cannabis.”
The fact of the matter is that while there could be some interactions, any effects someone feels when combining cannabis with antibiotics will be mild. Some doctors are even analyzing whether some antibiotics will work better when combined with marijuana.
Roycraft delved further into this idea, saying, “For instance, when we’re treating someone that’s on pain medication and we introduce cannabis, we will cut their [antibiotic] dose in half immediately and they get the same benefits as they would, and the same reactions as if they were taking the full amount.”
While any interactions are mild, someone taking antibiotics with marijuana will still feel the combination.
Medical nurse Jessie Gill specializes in medical marijuana. She explains how marijuana could interact with some macrolide antibiotics. She wrote on Quora, “Marijuana inhibits a specific enzyme in the liver, cytochrome p450. This enzyme is used in many medications — including some antibiotics.”
Gill went on to say, “What this means is that the effect of the medications will be increased. That also means you’d be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects and adverse reactions from the antibiotics.” She advises using causing when combining medicines, including marijuana.
Can I Combine CBD With Antibiotics?
CBD and antibiotics might actually offer some benefits. This non-psychoactive chemical compound derived from cannabis and hemp plants has been displayed some remarkably effective anti-bacterial properties.
According to a study at The University of Queensland Australia, some Australian scientists found that CBD kills numerous bacteria strains, including some that traditional antibiotics find resistant. However, more studies are necessary to determine whether or not the potent cannabinoid can replace some antibiotics.
Dr. Mark Blaskovich, the senior research chemist at the Centre for Superbug Solutions, had this to say during a Newsweek interview:
We still don’t know how it works, and it may have a unique mechanism of action given it works against bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, but we still don’t know how. So far, we have only shown it works topically, on the skin surface. To be really useful, it would be good if we could show that it treated systemic infections e.g., pneumonia, or complicated tissue infections, where you have to give it orally or by intravenous dosing. A very preliminary study didn’t show that it works in these difficult models.
Dr. Blaskovich also had this to say about the study:
Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation. The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.
So is Consuming Cannabis on Antibiotics Safe?
While there is a risk of increasing the side effects of your medications, it seems that there’s not much risk associated with mixing cannabis and antibiotics. Even though some caution must be taken, the potential adverse side effects aren’t necessarily severe.
Would someone using medicinal cannabis be told to stop using cannabis if they need to take antibiotics? It’s unlikely.
The majority of medical professionals are using grapefruit as a guide for cannabis use with antibiotics. If you shouldn’t eat grapefruit or drink its juice with an antibiotic, you probably shouldn’t mix cannabis with the medication.
Need help getting started with medical marijuana? Choosing CannabisRxHealth as your medical consultants makes getting an MMJ card as easy as 1, 2, 3. Contact us for an appointment, get evaluated and card-certified, and take your card to the dispensary.
With so many people using cannabis, whether recreationally or for medical ailments, it makes sense that so many people are wondering, “Can I mix weed with antibiotics?” While there’s little…