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Cannabis Column | August 1, 2022

Does cannabis affect antibiotics?

Are you looking for an answer to the question, "does cannabis affect antibiotics?"

If so, you're not alone! A lot of people are curious about this topic. 

In this article, we'll answer frequently asked questions about cannabis and antibiotics such as “can you smoke weed on antibiotics?”, “does weed affect antibiotics?”, “can I take CBD oil while on antibiotics?” and more!

If you're ready to answer questions about how cannabis affects antibiotics then keep reading!

Can you smoke weed on antibiotics?

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections by either killing the bacteria or stopping its growth. Some strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, making infections more difficult to treat.

The answer to the question "Can you smoke weed on antibiotics" isn't as cut and dry as you might think. Due to federal prohibition on cannabis, researchers are unable to conduct the kind of extensive clinical trials necessary to determine precisely how cannabis interacts with antibiotics. 

Additionally, the answer depends on what type of antibiotics you're taking, the cannabis product you're consuming, and your genetics.

In general, you should ask your doctor or health care provider if it is safe for you to use cannabis while taking prescription antibiotics. When you ask your doctor if you can smoke weed while taking antibiotics, be specific about what you're consuming - including the terpene and flavonoid content if possible. This information will help your doctor assess if there are any concerning interactions.

Can you smoke on antibiotics?

Terry Roycroft, founder of the Medical Cannabis Research Center (MCRCI), stated in an interview that antibiotics have very few negative interactions with cannabis and that researchers are testing to see which antibiotics work better when paired with cannabis.

On the other hand, Jessie Gill, founder of Marijuana Mommy and a Registered Nurse, states that smoking marijuana can put you at a higher risk of experiencing adverse side effects or reactions to an antibiotic. She says this is especially true with the use of macrolide antibiotics like Troleandomycin.

Adverse reactions are more likely to occur when taking Troleandomycin and smoking weed because cannabis inhibits the production of cytochrome p450, an enzyme produced in the liver. When this enzyme isn't present, the liver can't synthesize certain hormones or break down certain types of medications.

Cannabis and antibiotics

According to Dr. Kent Vrana, Professor and Department of Pharmacology Chair at Penn State University, there are 57 medications that can have cannabinoid drug interactions. Antibiotics are among the 57 medications. 

Dr. Vrana concludes that doctors should take cannabis consumption into account when managing a patient during hospital stays or deciding on a medication.

Can I smoke weed while on amoxicillin?

It is advised to avoid smoking weed while taking amoxicillin as some research suggests that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may reduce the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, and Levofloxacin.

Combining this type of antibiotic with THC may lead to side effects such as:

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood levels of cannabis
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

Currently, health care professionals and researchers differ as to whether smoking weed while taking antibiotics is safe or should be avoided.

A helpful resource to determine whether or not smoking and/or consuming weed will interfere with your antibiotics is the cannabis drug interaction database from Drugs.com.

Do weed edibles affect antibiotics?

Cannabis edibles contain THC, which can interact with some types of antibiotics. If you are eating a weed edible with THC, it could have an interaction with your antibiotics. If you need to take edibles, it is important to be open with your doctor about any cannabis products you are using.

Can you eat edibles on antibiotics?

Because cannabis edibles may interact with some types of antibiotics, it is advisable to not eat edibles while on antibiotics - unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead. 

The reason why you shouldn’t eat edibles while on antibiotics is the same reason you shouldn’t smoke weed while taking antibiotics. 

Cannabis consumption can inhibit the production of the liver enzyme cytochrome p450, resulting in adverse reactions from antibiotics. It is not recommended to mix antibiotics and edibles.

Can I take CBD oil while on antibiotics?

So, THC interacts with some types of antibiotics. But you may be wondering, "can I take CBD oil while on antibiotics?" or "does CBD interfere with antibiotics?" 

CBD, like THC, inhibits the production of the liver enzyme cytochrome p450. This enzyme helps the body process about 60% of medications. When CBD inhibits the production of cytochrome p450, the interaction of CBD and antibiotics can cause adverse side effects.

While more research is needed, there is some evidence to suggest that the consumption of CBD may make some antibiotics function better. As a result, it is important to inform your doctor if you consume CBD products like CBD oil, as the typical antibiotic dose may be too much and result in adverse side effects.

Key takeaways about cannabis and antibiotics

  1. Smoking weed while taking antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.
  2. You should avoid eating edibles while taking antibiotics.
  3. Consumption of CBD may make some antibiotics function better.
  4. It is important to let your health care provider know if you consume CBD and/or THC, in what form(s), and how much.
  5. More research is needed on the effects of cannabis and antibiotics together.

Do you have a question about cannabis consumption and antibiotics that we didn't cover? If so, leave us a comment. We're happy to get you an answer.

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