cannabis antibiotics
cannabis antibiotics

Cannabis and Antibiotics - What is the Deal, Can You Smoke Pot While Using Antibiotics?

If you are taking antibiotics can you also use cannabis?

Posted by:
Chiara C on Monday Feb 6, 2023

antibiotics cannabis

Experts weigh in on the question of whether it's okay to indulge in cannabis while on antibiotics. As we all know, alcohol consumption is a no-no while on medication. But what about cannabis use on medication?


It is crucial to be mindful of drug interactions! There's the need to be vigilant of your consumption when taking medication. Combining certain substances can result in adverse reactions or heightened effects.


Fighting bacterial infections requires antibiotics, but with these prescriptions come strict guidelines. A crucial yet often overlooked question remains: is it safe to spark up while on antibiotics?


Canada's Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc., Terry Roycroft, is the Canadian expert on the matter and canaanswer the burning question. With over a decade of research and study on marijuana, Roycroft and the MCRCI team work closely with doctors who specialize in the medical use of cannabis.


Fortunately, according to the expert, smoking marijuana while on antibiotics may not be as harmful as previously believed.


Can you smoke weed on antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a go-to for combating bacterial diseases, either by eliminating the bacteria or hindering its expansion. Unfortunately, some bacteria have developed antibiotic immunity, making treatment more challenging.


As for using cannabis while on antibiotics, it's not a straightforward answer. Due to the federal ban on marijuana, thorough studies examining the interaction between antibiotics and cannabis are limited, making it difficult to determine their effects together.



How Dangerous are Interactions?

As Roycroft explains, everyday substances can interact with medication, citing caffeine as an example, with 82 recorded interactions, some of which are moderate to severe.


The UK's National Health Service advises caution when consuming alcohol while on antibiotics, with only two medications - metronidazole and tinidazole - requiring complete abstinence. Even seemingly harmless fruits like grapefruit can negatively interact with antibiotics.


Grapefruit's impact on drug metabolism, including antibiotics used to treat infections, led experts to use it as a benchmark for studying the interactions of cannabis. Roycroft notes that this fruit can interfere with the effectiveness of several medications.


Contrary to popular belief, cannabis has very few interactions with antibiotics, says Roycroft, noting that antibiotics aren't even listed as contraindicators with the plant. The few interactions that have been identified are mild, and doctors are even exploring the possibility of enhancing the efficacy of antibiotics with the addition of marijuana.


Roycroft shares how combining cannabis and antibiotics can lead to positive results. When treating patients on pain medication, the introduction of cannabis often halves the dose of antibiotics while achieving the same benefits and reactions as with a total quantity.


While interactions between antibiotics and marijuana are mild, they can still be felt by those who choose to mix the two. Jessie Gill, a medical nurse specializing in medical marijuana, warns that some macrolide antibiotics like troleandomycin may interact with cannabis.


Gill warns that marijuana's inhibition of cytochrome p450, a liver enzyme utilized by several medications, including antibiotics, can amplify the effects of the medication and raise the risk of experiencing side effects and adverse reactions. In her words on Quora, 'Marijuana inhibits a specific enzyme in the liver, cytochrome p450. This enzyme is used by many medications, including some antibiotics, meaning the effect of the medication 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, Australian scientists discovered that cannabidiol effectively killed several strains of bacteria, including those resistant to traditional antibiotics. Although the findings are intriguing, there's still a long road ahead before CBD can fully replace antibiotics.


The senior research chemist at the Centre for Superbug Solutions, Mark Blaskovich, remains cautious about the findings. Telling Newsweek, 'We still don't understand how it works, and it may have a distinct mode of action against bacteria resistant to other antibiotics, but we just don't know yet.


Blaskovich adds that so far, research has only demonstrated its effectiveness on skin surfaces. Still, for it to be precious, we need to prove it can treat systemic infections such as pneumonia or complicated tissue infections that require oral or IV dosing. Unfortunately, early studies have yet to show promising results in these more challenging scenarios.



So, Should You Use Cannabis While on Antibiotics?

According to Roycroft, there is little to worry about when it comes to mixing cannabis with antibiotics. Although, some individuals may feel heightened side effects from the medication. The Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. has patients who use both, and they do not advise stopping their cannabis consumption.


It's up to the individual to determine if they want to mix cannabis with antibiotics, and consulting a medical professional is always a safe bet. However, using grapefruit as a benchmark can help determine if there could be any potential conflicts with medications. If there's a warning against consuming grapefruit with your antibiotics, it may be best to avoid combining the two with cannabis. Of course, getting an expert opinion from your doctor is always a wise choice.



It is evident that the relationship between cannabis and antibiotics is not as severe as one might expect. Although some mild interactions have been reported, it is generally considered safe to use both substances together. However, as with any medication, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional to ensure you receive the best possible advice tailored to your needs.


Ultimately, the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. would not tell their patients to stop using cannabis while taking antibiotics. If you are still concerned about mixing the two, you should speak with a healthcare professional. They may use grapefruit as a guide, as there are contraindications between grapefruit and certain medications.


In the end, whether it is cannabis and antibiotics or any other combination of substances, it is always best to avoid caution and consult with a medical professional. They can help guide you in making the best decisions for your health and well-being.





What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: