Is It Safe To Combine Cannabis With Nyquil?

May 17, 2023
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Dr. David Pompei, PharmD, MS

Nyquil and weed

Is it safe to combine Nyquil and weed? There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on many factors, including the individual's metabolism and tolerance for both substances. However, there are anecdotal reports and relevant science that can help inform your decision. Read on to learn more!

Are their risks to combining marijuana and Nyquil?

Nyquil is a medication that is used to treat symptoms of the common cold and flu. It is a combination of three drugs: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. Several formulations exist, including those formulated with decongestants, lower doses for children, and even patients with high blood pressure. Nyquil is available over the counter and does not require a prescription.

Nyquil is generally safe and effective when used as directed. If you have a cold or the flu and are looking for relief, Nyquil may be a good option. However, it can cause some side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In rare cases, at large doses it can also cause liver damage. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Nyquil and call your doctor immediately.

Cannabis is a plant that contains cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids, which are the primary active ingredients in cannabis. They bind to receptors in the brain and body to produce various effects. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Flavonoids - anthocyanins, carotenoids, and flavones - are responsible for the plant's color and taste. Terpenes are responsible for the plant's scent, and may exert some psychoactive effects as well. Myrcene, pinene, and limonene are three prominent terpenes in many varieties of cannabis. The most common side effects of cannabis are dry mouthred eyes, and drowsiness. However, cannabis could potentially cause more serious side effects when combined with other medications such as Nyquil.

Why is it bad to combine Nyquil and weed?

Nyquil is a medication that contains three active ingredients: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that helps to relieve sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

There are anecdotal reports of people suffering adverse side effects when ingesting cannabis with Nyquil. People describe side effects of dissociation, intense sedation, and feeling like they are having difficulty breathing. While dextromethorphan may have some interaction with cannabis, the CNS depressing effects of Nyquil are primarily from doxylamine.

Doxylamine is an antihistamine found in numerous OTC cold formulas. It’s also a common sleep aid used as an alternative to diphenhydramine. It works by blocking histamine receptors, which results in drowsiness. Cannabis also has CNS depressant effects. When these two substances are combined, the effects can be amplified, leading to dangerous side effects.

If you are considering taking Nyquil (or any antihistamine) with cannabis, talk to your doctor first. Combining these two substances can be dangerous and should not be done without medical supervision.

Dayquil and weed

Dayquil is a medication used to treat symptoms of the common cold and flu. The active ingredients in Dayquil are acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and guaifenesin. Some formulations may also include a decongestant, such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Guaifenesin is an expectorant, which helps break up mucus. The mechanism of action of Dayquil is not completely understood, but the ingredients are thought to work by reducing inflammation and congestion in the upper respiratory tract.

Dayquil does not contain doxylamine, so it does not produce the same drowsiness (or CNS effect) as Nyquil. Dayquil may create less side effects when combined with cannabis compared to Nyquil.

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