If you take antibiotics, can you also use cannabis?
Experts speak out on whether you can indulge in cannabis while on antibiotics. As we all know, alcohol consumption is prohibited during drug treatment. But what about the consumption of cannabis under treatment?
It is crucial to be attentive to drug interactions! It is necessary to be vigilant about your consumption when taking medication. The combination of certain substances can lead to adverse reactions or increased effects.
Fighting bacterial infections requires taking antibiotics, these prescriptions come with strict guidelines. A crucial, and often overlooked question remains: is it safe to get stoned on antibiotics?
Terry Roycroft of Canada's Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center Inc. is Canada's expert on the subject and can answer this burning question. With over a decade of research and study on marijuana, Roycroft and the MCRCI team work closely with physicians who specialize in the medical use of cannabis.
Fortunately, according to the expert, smoking marijuana while on antibiotics may not be as dangerous as once thought.
Can you smoke weed on antibiotics?
Antibiotic therapy is a way to fight bacterial diseases, either by eliminating the bacteria or by preventing its expansion. Unfortunately, some bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics, which makes treatment more complicated.
As for the consumption of cannabis under antibiotics, the answer is not simple. Due to the federal prohibition of marijuana, extensive studies on the interaction between antibiotics and cannabis are limited, making it difficult to determine their joint effects.
How dangerous are the interactions?
As Roycroft explains, everyday substances can interact with medications, citing the example of caffeine, with 82 recorded interactions, some of which are moderate to severe.
In the UK, the National Health Service advises caution when consuming alcohol while on antibiotics, with only two drugs – metronidazole and tinidazole – requiring complete abstinence. Even seemingly harmless fruits like grapefruit can interact negatively with antibiotics.
Grapefruit's impact on drug metabolism, including antibiotics used to treat infections, has led experts to use it as a benchmark for studying cannabis interactions. Roycroft notes that this fruit can interfere with the effectiveness of several medications.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis has very few interactions with antibiotics, Roycroft says, noting that antibiotics aren't even on the plant's list of contraindications. The few interactions that have been identified are mild, and doctors are even investigating the possibility of improving the effectiveness of antibiotics by adding marijuana to them.
Roycroft Explain how the combination of cannabis and antibiotics can yield positive results. When treating patients on painkillers, the introduction of cannabis often allows the dose of antibiotics to be halved while still achieving the same benefits and reactions as with a full amount.
While the interactions between antibiotics and marijuana are mild, they can still be felt by those who choose to mix the two. Jessie Gill, a medical marijuana nurse, warns that certain macrolide antibiotics like troleandomycin can interact with cannabis.
Gill warns that marijuana inhibition of cytochrome p450, a liver enzyme used by many medications, including antibiotics, can amplify the effects of the medication and increase the risk of experiencing side effects and adverse reactions. In his words on Quora, “Marijuana inhibits a specific liver enzyme, cytochrome p450. This enzyme is used by many drugs, including some antibiotics, which means that the effect of the drug will be increased and the risk of experiencing side effects and adverse reactions will be higher.
What about consuming CBD?
Surprisingly, studies reveal that CBD may possess antibiotic properties. According to Newsweek, scientists in Australia have found that cannabidiol effectively kills several strains of bacteria, including those that are resistant to traditional antibiotics. While these results are intriguing, there is still a long way to go before CBD can fully replace antibiotics.
Center for Superbug Solutions senior chemist Mark Blaskovich remains cautious about these findings. He told Newsweek: “We still don't understand how it works, and it may have a distinct mode of action against bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics, but we don't know that yet.
Blaskovich adds that research so far has only shown their effectiveness on the surface of the skin. For this to be constructive, we need to prove that it can treat systemic infections such as pneumonia or complex tissue infections that require oral or intravenous administration. Unfortunately, early studies did not show promising results in these difficult scenarios.
So, should we consume cannabis under antibiotics?
According to Roycroft, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to mixing cannabis and antibiotics. However, some people may experience increased side effects from the drug. The Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center Inc. has patients who use both, and it does not advise stopping cannabis use.
Whether they want to mix cannabis with antibiotics is up to the individual, and consulting a medical professional is always a safe bet. However, using grapefruit as a benchmark can help determine if there may be any potential conflicts with medications. If there's a warning against taking grapefruit with your antibiotics, it may be best to avoid combining the two with cannabis. Of course, getting expert advice from your doctor is always a smart move.
Ultimately, the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center Inc. would not tell its patients to stop using cannabis while taking antibiotics. If you're still concerned about mixing the two, you should talk to a medical professional. He can use grapefruit as a guide, because there are contraindications between grapefruit and certain medications.
In the end, whether it's cannabis and antibiotics or any other combination of substances, it's always best to be on the safe side and consult a medical professional. They can guide you to make the best decisions for your health and well-being.