Many people around the United States are now legally using cannabis for medicinal purposes, and some states have even legalized cannabis for recreational use.
For the most part, cannabis is a safe substance that, when taken as per a doctor’s instructions, can alleviate symptoms of both mental and physical health conditions.
Medical marijuana users commonly report that the plant has helped them to manage their pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, and appetite.
However, when you’re also taking other medications for illness or infection, the positive benefits of cannabis use are not so clear cut. In fact, recent research suggests that mixing cannabis with antibiotics can produce some unwelcome side effects.
Read on to find out what happens when you smoke weed on antibiotics and whether or not it’s a good idea to do so.
The Basics Of Cannabis
Before we start to discuss how smoking weed while on antibiotics can affect the user, it’s important to outline some of the basic science behind cannabis use:
First of all, cannabis contains two main chemical compounds, which are known as THC and CBD.
THC is what produces the ‘high’ associated with weed consumption whereas CBD is not a psychoactive substance. It simply makes you feel more relaxed and also helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Some people choose to use only high-CBD flower when they smoke, and others may vape CBD oil for medicinal reasons. On the other hand, many people do smoke weed containing high amounts of THC for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
So, when talking about whether smoking weed is safe with antibiotics, it’s important to differentiate between the two compounds (see also “Can You Smoke Weed On Twitch?“).
Antibiotic Interactions With THC
The verdict is still out when it comes to mixing cannabis containing THC with antibiotics.
While some research suggests that the THC might actually help the antibiotics to work better, and yet more studies imply that taking THC with antibiotics shouldn’t have any effect at all, other medical experts caution that the mix of antibiotics and THC could produce unpleasant side effects.
Because certain cannabis strains, including some that are high in THC, are somewhat antibacterial, some researchers have concluded that smoking weed while taking antibiotics could actually boost the healing effects of the antibiotics (see also “Can You Smoke Weed With A Concussion?“).
However, other scientific studies have suggested that smoking weed actually diminishes your body’s ability to process the medication, which could mean that they don’t have the desired effect (see also “Does Smoking Weed Make You Age?“).
It’s also worth noting that if you’re taking antibiotics for a respiratory illness or infection, then smoking weed is very unlikely to be helpful.
Many people who have smoked THC weed while taking antibiotics have reported side effects. Weed by itself is known to produce some side effects in certain individuals, including nausea, dizziness, anxiety and paranoia.
However, it is thought that these symptoms, as well as other symptoms such as hallucinations, vomiting and diarrhea, may be more severe or more likely to occur when combined with antibiotics.
CBD And Antibiotics
Research into the interactions between CBD and antibiotics suggests that CBD may also, like THC, slow down your body’s processing abilities when it comes to antibiotics.
Therefore, as a general rule, doctors don’t recommend mixing CBD and antibiotics either, whether you’re smoking CBD flower, using CBD oil, or taking CBD gummies (see also “What Is CBD Flower?“).
With that being said, CBD generally produces fewer side effects than THC.
Because it’s not really a psychoactive substance (it doesn’t alter your body’s chemistry, hence why it doesn’t get you high) symptoms like paranoia, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and hallucinations are far less common.
Therefore, if you would like to continue to smoke weed on antibiotics, we would recommend switching to CBD flower or using another CBD product.
However, bear in mind that there’s still a chance it might slow down your body’s antibiotic processing ability, so if you don’t need to take CBD for your mental or physical health, it’s best to avoid all forms of cannabis, especially if your antibiotics are for a respiratory condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Increase The Chances Of My Antibiotics Working If I Smoke Weed?
While it’s generally a good idea to avoid cannabis altogether while taking antibiotics due to the fact that it may impede your body’s ability to process the antibiotics, some people need their cannabis prescription to manage other physical and mental health conditions.
If you’re not able to stop smoking cannabis while on antibiotics, you should let your doctor know so they can make sure the antibiotics they are prescribing have a minimal risk of side effects.
Additionally, to maximize the effectiveness of your antibiotics while smoking cannabis, you should do what you can to make sure your dose doesn’t get diminished further.
This involves not drinking alcohol, cutting out any fiber supplements, and taking antibiotics at the same time each day until the course is complete (even if you feel better before the last dose).
What Should I Do If I Experience Side Effects While Mixing Weed And Antibiotics?
Some side effects are more concerning than others. If you’re taking antibiotics and feel mildly anxious or nauseous after smoking weed, drink some water and monitor your symptoms.
If you don’t usually feel this way after smoking weed, it’s probably a sign that combining weed and antibiotics isn’t working for you.
However, if you experience more intense side effects such as severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme dizziness, or hallucinations, you should seek medical advice.
There is currently no evidence that smoking weed while taking antibiotics is dangerous, although there is some research to suggest that your body will not process antibiotics as effectively if you use cannabis during the course.
However, some studies also suggest that the antibacterial properties of cannabis might help to speed up recovery.
If you need to take cannabis for medical reasons, you may wish to consider switching to CBD products since CBD produces fewer side effects and affects your body chemistry less than THC.
If you experience any unusual symptoms or feel unwell after mixing weed and antibiotics, please seek medical attention.
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