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Can you smoke marijuana while taking antibiotics?

We know we’re not supposed to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. But what about consuming cannabis? Here’s what the experts say.

It is always important to be aware and cautious of what you’re mixing with any sort of medication, since certain medicines will have a negative or more enhanced reaction when taken with another substance. When you’re fighting off a bacterial infection, doctors generally prescribe antibiotics, which come along with some strict rules. But almost never addressed is an important question: can you smoke weed while taking those antibiotics?

We decided to ask Terry Roycroft, the president of the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRCI), who has studied marijuana and its effects for over ten years and is passionate about advancing public knowledge of the plant. Thankfully, according to him, taking antibiotics and smoking marijuana may not be as harmful to an individual as one would assume.

How Harmful Are Drug Interactions?

“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,” Roycroft explains.

Even something as harmless as grapefruit can have a negative interaction with antibiotics. This piece of fruit can interfere with the metabolism of a number of medications, including some antibiotics used to treat certain respiratory, stomach and other infections. In fact, Roycroft says that they began using grapefruit as a guide for cannabis.

“The reality is that there [are] very little interactions with cannabis. In fact, the antibiotics are not on the contraindicator list [the list of symptoms or conditions that makes a procedure inadvisable] with cannabis,” Roycroft says.

Any interactions that have been identified are very mild — and, in fact, doctors are currently testing to see if some antibiotics work more favorably mixed with marijuana.

“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.”

Although there may be very mild interactions, effects may still be felt by those who mix the two. According to Jessie Gill, a medical nurse who specializes in medical marijuana, using some macrolide antibiotics, such as troleandomycin, could potentially interact with marijuana.

“Marijuana inhibits a specific enzyme in the liver, cytochrome p450. This enzyme is used by many medications – including some antibiotics,” Gill wrote on Quora.

“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.”

Should You Smoke On Antibiotics?

All in all, Roycroft says there’s really no issue with mixing cannabis and antibiotics. You may just experience increased side effects of the medication.

“At the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc., we have patients on antibiotics and we would not tell them to stop their cannabis use,” Roycroft says.

As for other doctors, they will sometimes use grapefruit as a guide for cannabis. If there is a contraindication with grapefruit, then you may not want to mix cannabis with the medication.

If it is still an issue you’re concerned about, ask your doctor what they recommend — after all, there’s nothing wrong with receiving additional medical advice from a professional.

We know we’re not supposed to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. But what about consuming cannabis? Here’s what the experts say. It is always important to be aware and cautious of what you’re mixing with any sort of medication, since certain medicines will have a negative or more enhanced reaction when taken with another substance. When you’re fighting off a bacterial

Can you smoke cannabis while taking antibiotics?

There is still much research to be done examining individual medications and how using cannabis could change how they work.

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    Article content

    It isn’t too common to experience severe side effects with using marijuana, according to the U.S. Department of Health. But that isn’t to say there aren’t some annoying reactions associated with the plant, such as red eyes, dry mouth, sedation and anxiety.

    However, there are ways that cannabis use could interfere with health. If you’re taking medications, like an antibiotic, for another health condition, will marijuana help or hinder its effectiveness?

    Can you smoke cannabis while taking antibiotics? Back to video

    Drug interactions and cannabis

    Not a lot is known about how cannabis interacts with medications. There is some research indicating that cannabis use can increase the pain-relieving effects of opioids without increasing the levels of opioids found in plasma. This could reduce opioid use, according to the journal Medicines.

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    Article content continued

    The same research review pointed out that children taking clobazam, an anti-seizure medication, and CBD experience increased levels of clobazam in their blood. And, those who are taking valproate and using medical weed appeared to be at higher risks for abnormalities in liver function.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, really. There is still much research to be done examining individual medications and how using cannabis could change how they work in the body. Patients taking medication for chronic health conditions will certainly want to talk with their doctors before using marijuana, but what if you’re on a short treatment using antibiotics? Can you use cannabis while taking antibiotics and kick your infection to the curb without complications of delay?

    You can use marijuana while taking antibiotics

    When it comes to taking antibiotics and using cannabis at the same time, there isn’t any research that indicates this isn’t a safe practice. In fact, you won’t find antibiotics on alist of drug interactions if you go hunting online.

    If you are taking antibiotics to fight off an infection of some kind, it would be helpful for the body to do its part. / Photo: Getty Images Photo by / Photo: Getty Images / Getty Images

    Another thing worth looking into is what cannabis may help do for the immune system. If you are taking antibiotics to fight off an infection of some kind, it would be helpful for the body to do its part. There is some debate about how cannabis affects the immune system. However, some research indicates that weed may suppress the immune system, but there is also research that suggests it may make the immune system stronger and help it fight illness.

    Ultimately, there don’t appear to be any real risks associated with using cannabis while on antibiotics. Some believe it may be possible that marijuana use could help the immune system fight off an infection. If possible, it’s still best to discuss matters with your doctor to determine if there is anything you should change about your current cannabis use. It is also always a good idea to pay close attention to your body, noting adverse reactions and making changes if necessary.

    There is still much research to be done examining individual medications and how using cannabis could change how they work.