How Smoking Marijuana Stops Your Medications From Working

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With more and more countries changing their legislations regarding medical marijuana (and, let’s be real, casual marijuana) its use continues to rise. However, have you ever considered the fact that your weed might actually be affecting the other medications you take?

The cannabis plant literally contains hundreds of chemicals including the psychoactive chemicals that gives the traditional marijuana high and chemicals that just happen to be in the plant. All of those chemicals have the ability to interact with prescription, over-the-counter, or any other medications a user might be using.

As a matter of fact, some of the compounds in cannabis can trigger certain enzymes that impact the way your body processes medications.

It is important to note that this isn’t limited to cannabis; if you’ve ever seen a note to avoid citrus on your pill bottles, that’s because citrus can have the same effect.

If you’re going to use marijuana (prescribed or otherwise) while you’re taking other drugs, it is important you are truthful and open with your doctor about it, because you could be setting yourself up for potential marijuana drug interactions.

It could at least plant the seed in a doctor’s mind that if you are suffering from certain side effects related to your other drugs the doctor can investigate if cannabis might be causing that.

There are however a few types of drugs to watch out for if you’re planning on smoking Indian hemp.

Antidepressant Medications

Cannabis is a psychoactive compound, and a lot of people use it because it exerts its action on the brain and on the central nervous system receptors. However, antidepressant medications—the most common of which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Zoloft and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), like Cymbalta also exert psychoactive effects on some of the same receptors.

The challenge for people who have mood disorder or depression is that every time they’re using cannabis, they’re taking another psychoactive drug, which can make it difficult for the doctor to know which drug is actually having an effect.

More so cannabis could actually negate the positive effects of prescription medication.

Benzodiazepines And Antianxiety Drugs
Anti-anxiety medications like Ativan (Lorazepam) or Xanax (Alprazolam) are all part of a class of medications called benzodiazepines.

Yet again, the two are psychoactive compounds interacting with each other in the brain. If somebody’s really struggling with anxiety, and they are moking cannabis at the same time as using any of the drugs above, it will be really hard for the doctor to determine what is going on.

A lot of people will smoke marijuana and say, it is the only thing that helps their anxiety, while others will say smoking it makes th paranoid. The same is applicable for prescription drugs, too as people have different reactions to different products.

Sleeping Medication
You’re already aware that mixing alcohol with sleeping pills is a bad idea, but did you knoe the same is applicable to marijuana? Mixing any product that has the potential to sedate someone or alter their consciousness is potentially dangerous.

When you combine cannabis with a sedative hypnotic like Zolpidem, there is a chance that you will find yourself in a very unusual psychological state.

If you’ve been prescribed sleeping medication, whether you use it regularly or just to get through those tough sleepless nights, its better you stick only to your prescription medication.

Cold And Allergy Medications

You might think that allergy and cold medicines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) pose no problems simply because they are over the counter medications. If you however take them with marijuana, they could have unanticipated effects.

Allergy and cold medications are sedative products. Some people can take them and go about their day, others take one dose and they’re on the couch for the rest of the day.

So if you’re sick, stick to just one drug (the cold meds, please) if you want it to work its magic as fast as possible.



Normal everyday dude uniquely different in an everyday manner, a young man that strongly believes in the Nigerian project. I'm a mixture of science, arts and politics. I can be engaged on twitter @SheriffSimply

1 comment

  1. Supposition with not a single study to back it up.

    The following is from a study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal by researchers from McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Tufts University:

    “The administration of cannabis is associated with reduced prescription drug use and improved cognitive performance.”

    The study assessed three months of medical cannabis treatment on executive function, “exploring whether MMJ patients would experience improvement in cognitive functioning, perhaps related to primary symptom alleviation.” The study used 24 patients certified for medical cannabis use.

    In addition to the patients experiencing “some improvement on measures of executive functioning” reflected by “increased speed in completing tasks without a loss of accuracy” using the Stroop Color World Test and Trail Making Test, patients also reported moderate improvements to their sleep patterns, decreased depression symptoms, and “attenuated impulsivity.”

    Study participants also reported a decreased use of conventional pharmaceuticals — opiate use declined 42 percent, antidepressant use declined 17 percent, mood stabilizer use was reduced 33 percent, and use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanex, declined 38 percent.

    Kindly google: “A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function”

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