Is It Safe to Take Cannabis While Taking Antibiotics?

Cannabis is widely used for its capacity to reduce pain. To manage chronic pain symptoms, smoking the flower or drinking cannabis-infused tea may be the solution. Many people prefer to use cannabis to treat pain, and it is also used to clear the mind and relax the muscles when one has the flu or a cold in order to feel a little better. The fact that cannabis has potent anti-inflammatory qualities is another factor in the continuous rise in global consumption of this substance.

What happens, though, when antibiotics are used? A treatment regimen involving antibiotics may be used to treat several painful and inflammatory-based diseases or illnesses. Thus, a large number of people are aware of the importance of being cautious about drug interactions, mainly when using antibiotics. It also explains why your doctor might ask about the prescriptions you’re taking now or recently consumed medications. Continue reading to find out more.

If a disease or condition requires antibiotics, would cannabis use be safe even though cannabis has been shown to be safe and beneficial in treating a variety of disorders and illnesses? When taken concurrently, antibiotics and several medicines have been reported to reduce their efficacy. Either drug level can change when treatment regimens are confounded by the use of interacting medications, such as cannabinoids. It might present a health risk.

According to the data that is now available, a 2014 systematic review study reveals that CBD, CBN, and THC interactions with pharmaceutical medications are usually low risk; however, additional research is still required to determine the precise effects of metabolites and other impacts. It’s crucial to first disclose to your doctor that you use cannabis because some medications should still be combined with cannabinoids with caution. Let’s evaluate the effects on effectiveness and dangers in light of this potential interaction between antibiotics and cannabis.

What Are Some Common Antibiotics?

Not viral diseases like the common cold, but rather bacterial infections like the flu are the ones that are frequently treated with antibiotics, as well as utilized to prevent their spread. According to the NHS, antibiotics are used to (1) treat a condition like acne; (2) stop the spread of diseases like chlamydia; (3) expedite the healing process after surgery or kidney infection; and (4) lower the risk of developing severe infections and their complications, like pneumonia, as well as risks following surgery. To reduce the spread of drug-resistant organisms, the NHS and the CDC also recommend the selective use of antibiotics.

Numerous antibiotics have the potential to interact negatively with cannabis. A study by Penn State News identified 139 common medicinal drugs with the potential to interact with cannabis. The fact that they only found 139 of hundreds of potential interactions does not eliminate the possibility of harmful interactions with the remaining ones. The top 10 most utilized antibiotics, as determined by the Penn State list, are represented by the following medications.

Common antibiotics:

  • Azithromycin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clindamycin
  • Cephalexin
  • Combination: Clavulanate and Amoxicillin
  • Combination: Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
  • Metronidazole
  • Doxycycline
  • Levofloxacin

A smaller list of 57 pharmaceuticals was created by Paul Kocis and Dr. Kent Vrana, professors and the chairman of the department of pharmacology at the College of Medicine, based on the possibility that these medicines would not function well when cannabis is consumed, as well. Clindamycin is the only antibiotic on the list these experts’ created after narrowing it down.

It highlights further study limitations, such as the fact that this study’s pharmaceutical data is currently limited and incomplete. These interactions probably represent a modest but not insignificant risk, according to additional safety data.

In order to help doctors choose safe prescription options for their patients, Dr. Vrana and the rest of the study team wanted to give them thorough information. Dr. Vrana said that when prescribing medical cannabinoids to patients, “it’s crucial for healthcare providers to take the list into account and how it may affect other medications a patient is on.”

Will Cannabis Affect My Antibiotics’ Efficiency?

You don’t want the antibiotics you’ve been prescribed to have their effects neutralized, and you don’t want to consume more or less cannabis or prescription medication than is recommended. If your doctor has prescribed an antibiotic, they want you to finish the entire course of treatment to ensure your illness is cured and lower your risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Fortunately, the information seems to indicate that cannabis and antibiotics may not interact significantly. When used with the antibiotic rifampin, CBD levels can be reduced. Even yet, when taken simultaneously, the two are still well tolerated. If you plan to take additional medications that are metabolized in the same way, proceed with caution.

The precise effects and safety of cannabinoids and antibiotic co-administration must be determined in more human studies, especially over extended periods and for specific groups. Additionally, research has revealed that cannabis has antibacterial characteristics, making it relatively effective against the challenging-to-treat MRSA bacterium.

It might only be a matter of time until medical professionals are prepared to add cannabis to the antibiotic regimen they recommend for patients who have difficulty overcoming a severe infection. Based on the limited information available, it’s likely that using cannabis while taking antibiotics won’t affect the antibiotics’ ability to work. Keep in mind that an expert should supervise your antibiotic treatment.

What Are the Risks of Cannabis Use While on Antibiotics?

Based on the limited data available so far, it seems likely that the antibiotics will remain safe and effective, but that does not mean they are risk-free. It’s crucial to comprehend that different medications utilize various liver metabolic pathways. Many prescription medications, including certain antibiotics, employ the same metabolic pathway to process cannabis.

Is that an issue? The most straightforward answer is probably not. The majority of medications don’t negatively interact with cannabis despite sharing some metabolic pathways with THC. The interactions, if any, have been described as not life-threatening.

The slightly more complicated response is that there is no way to know because sufficient testing and study on cannabis and its full range of health consequences, including how it interacts with other prescription drugs, has not yet been done. It’s critical to keep in mind that every individual is different. It does not imply, however, that cannabis usage is risk-free on its own. While the long-term consequences of cannabinoids are unknown, there are immediate adverse possibilities such as fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, and cognitive distortion.

Marijuana Alternatives While Taking Antibiotics

Although it is unlikely that cannabis will interact adversely with antibiotics, some people who are taking antibiotics may decide to look for alternatives to marijuana. Consuming cannabidiol (CBD) isolate products instead of full, and broad-spectrum CBD products could be a viable approach. As more intoxicating and psychoactive cannabinoids are diminished, the hazards are decreased. Scientists have also discovered that CBD may one day function as its own antibacterial.

In a study led by Mark Blaskovich and done in Australia, it was discovered that CBD “killed all the strains of bacteria they examined in a lab, including several which were highly resistant to known antibiotics,” and what’s even more surprising when considering CBD as an antibiotic option is that the study revealed no build-up of resistance, even after 20 days of eating CBD.

Additionally, the researchers discovered that CBD has outstanding action against biofilms, which may include dental plaque, against four Gram-negative bacteria, which include those that cause gonorrhea, meningitis, and airway infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. They confirmed that it is effective against the MRSA bacterium.

While taking antibiotics, if you want to avoid cannabis altogether, you might want to think about consuming other plants that are rich in helpful cannabinoids. Remember to disclose all dietary supplements to your medical professionals and keep in mind that neither cannabis nor these substances can be used as an alternative to antibiotics.

Summary of Marijuana or Cannabis Alternatives While Taking Antibiotics:

  • CBD was isolated for its capacity to kill gram-negative bacteria and serve as an antibiotic.
  • Cacao, which is high in the endocannabinoid anandamide, may increase feelings of happiness when dealing with stressful situations like bacterial diseases.
  • Black pepper, which has a high beta-caryophyllene level and helps to reduce pain. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • In addition to being a possible treatment for colds and the flu, echinacea (coneflower) may also be helpful for conditions like arthritis and symptoms like anxiety, migraines, exhaustion, and nausea.
  • Acmella oleracea, also called electric daisy, can inhibit pain receptors in nerve endings while simultaneously lowering inflammation across the body. Acmella’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties were proven by a study published in 2019; this study also showed the potential of Acmella to treat chronic degenerative disorders by reducing pain.
  • A molecule structurally related to THC that is present in Japanese liverwort has been discovered to have potential as a potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. As a result, it might have advantages compared to those of THC.

The Final Verdict

Although you should first speak with your doctor, they usually won’t object to you using both cannabis and antibiotics. It also assumes that you are not using inhalational methods to aggravate a lung infection and that you are aware of both the potential adverse effects of cannabis as well as the side effects of antibiotics.

KIF Doctors are specialists on the antibiotics prescribed; therefore, they can confidently say whether or not it will suit you. Regardless of your country’s laws on cannabis, keep in mind that you can always ask your doctor questions, and any discussions you have with them are private. Without passing judgment on you, your doctor will offer you medical advice.

Also, keep in mind that you can seek a second opinion if you are still unsure after speaking with your primary care provider. Finally, to reduce the negative effects of high-THC cannabis, it is essential to use it cautiously and moderately at first. You should also switch to CBD-only products during the course of your antibiotic treatment and avoid combustion-based consuming methods.

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