Does Cannabis Interfere with Antibiotics?

mix marijuana with antibiotics

If you’ve ever wondered if you can mix marijuana with antibiotics, you’re not alone. Many people are prescribed antibiotics to deal with bacterial infections, and, though antibiotics are incredibly effective against many issues, they also come with their own list of potential issues. As an example, if used in a higher dose or for longer than recommended, antibiotics can result in the development of bacteria that are stronger and more difficult to eliminate. And, as you may have guessed, antibiotics can interact poorly with other medicines that you might be used to taking. Here we will explore the potential issues you might incur when mixing marijuana with antibiotics.

Safety issues with mixing antibiotics with cannabis?

Despite what might be otherwise suspected, cannabis doesn’t actually seem to have significant interactions with most types of antibiotics. That being said, there are no clinical studies that are comprehensive which analyze the health impacts on mixing marijuana with antibiotics. However, there haven’t been significant reports on individuals suffering from the effects of mixing cannabis with antibiotics.

You might already be aware that cannabis does have a history of not playing well with some other drugs, like morphine or ibuprofen. But, we do recommend that you check with your doctor if you have been prescribed antibiotics and have been habitually using marijuana for either its medicinal or its recreational value.

Potential unpleasant reactions from mixing cannabis with antibiotics

While the risk of adverse reactions when mixing weed and antibiotics is not major, there is still always a possibility of such a reaction when mixing medications. The potential risk of an adverse reaction occurs because how one drug acts on the human body’s organs, systems, and functions can influence how a second medication of any type gets metabolized by the body.

If, when partaking in cannabis while also on antibiotics, you notice any side effects, you might want to reduce your marijuana usage by up to 50 percent until you’ve finished your run of antibiotics. And, if the side effects that you are seeing are more extreme or unpleasant, you might consider refraining from cannabis use altogether until you have finished your full dose of antibiotic therapy.

Times to avoid using antibiotics alongside marijuana

Occasionally there may be times when your doctor advises against utilizing marijuana while using antibiotics. In these situations, please follow your doctor’s advice. For example, you may have a condition that could be made worse by the use of marijuana. 

If you’re nursing a respiratory infection, say, you would want to avoid vaping or smoking cannabis until your infection has subsided. If you felt the need to still partake in medical marijuana in this situation, you could give marijuana in edible or tincture form a try, keeping in mind that the dosage of these forms is quite different than the dosage when smoking or vaping cannabis.

Alternatives to marijuana when using antibiotics

Don’t worry—if you are unsure about using marijuana alongside your prescribed antibiotics, you do have some other options. For example, CBD (officially known as cannabidiol) could prove very useful. CBD is well known for its ability to activate CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, but it doesn’t change your body chemistry. In other words, it has the potential to provide relief but will not provide the same high as the entire plant, which also contains THC.

CBD is thought to prove especially useful if you are suffering from issues like nausea or anxiety, or even chronic pain. Just be aware that high doses of CBD do have the potential to interfere with your liver’s ability to metabolize, which could lead to further side effects (which you want to avoid!). Most sources advise sticking to less than 20 milligrams in a day.

Marijuana as an antibiotic replacement?

Some anecdotal evidence collected in various research studies has even shown that marijuana itself may actually have some antibacterial properties. Specifically, in Italy, a study was done in 2008 that looked at all of the major cannabinoids in cannabis and tested them against bacteria that is known to be resistant to antibiotics. Surprisingly, researchers discovered that all five of the cannabinoids tested effectively fought the bacteria.

That being said, there is, unfortunately, a lack of evidence that would suggest that marijuana could fully replace antibiotics. But, perhaps, in some scenarios, marijuana may complement the use of antibiotics.

Is combining marijuana and antibiotics for you?

The bottom line is that if you are already a frequent, regular marijuana user and you are prescribed antibiotics, it is unlikely that you’ll notice any major unpleasant reactions when using cannabis alongside your antibiotics. But, keep in mind that marijuana could make the side effects of some types of antibiotics more intense or adverse and be prepared to scale back on your cannabis use if that’s the case for you.

Please always consult your doctor if you have any specific questions about marijuana use alongside antibiotic use. Everyone is different and has different reactions to medicine of any kind. And, if you’re looking for a great source for marijuana before, during, or after your antibiotic use, be sure to check out Growers Choice Seeds for our incredible selection of high-quality cannabis seeds.

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