Cannabis & Antibiotics

Cannabis interacts with antibiotics in various ways, with a chance of increased side effects.

Cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is one of the primary reasons for its continued increase in consumption across the globe. However, can you take THC and CBD with antibiotics, considering the potential antibiotics and cannabis interaction?

Can you use Cannabis with Antibiotics?

With the use of cannabis medicine becoming more and more common around the world, one frequently asked question among patients is, can I use cannabis medicine while taking antibiotics? Are there any side effects of antibiotics when combined with cannabis medicine?

Cannabis and antibiotics, including CBD-antibiotic effectiveness when paired together, are currently not considered to be contraindicated. While still ongoing, the current research regarding interactions between cannabis medicine and antibiotics is somewhat limited.

  • Among the data that does exist, studies have suggested the following:
  • An increased potential for experiencing side effects of antibiotics, such as vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhea, when combined with cannabis medicine.
  • Antibiotics may cause a reduction in CBD levels.

Clindamycin can be found on at least one doctor compiled list of potential drug interactions related to cannabis.

Based on the evidence available, the consensus appears to be that the potential for interaction is low, and patients should be made aware of the increased potential for vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhea when combining cannabis medicine with antibiotics.

Why Side Effects Might Occur and What to do About them

The increased risk of antibiotic-related side effects is likely due to the potential for cannabis to inhibit certain enzymes (cytochrome p450 enzymes) within the liver. These enzymes are involved in the biosynthesis of some antibiotics such as erythromycin, miocamycin, and troleandomycin.

Should a patient begin to experience any of these negative side effects, it is recommended that they consider reducing their cannabis medicine dosage or discontinuing their cannabis medicine treatment until the course of antibiotics is complete as there might be a negative antibiotics and cannabis interaction. When reducing or ceasing dosage, patients should also be advised that they may experience a temporary worsening of the symptoms for which they are taking cannabis, such as pain or sleep disturbance. This is necessary to prioritize the antibiotics treatment.

Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Properties of Cannabis

Beyond the research in the area of drug interaction potentials, there has also been some study regarding the possible antibiotic and antimicrobial properties of cannabis.

Research is still ongoing, however thus far cannabinoids have been shown to have the following potentials:

  • CBG has been shown to be able to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
  • CBD can kill some forms of Gram-negative bacteria, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • CBD has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, proving well for CBD-antibiotic effectiveness.
  • Major cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN have all been shown to have some level of effectiveness in killing different strains of MRSA bacteria.
  • CBD shows a low tendency to produce resistance in bacteria.

This research does look promising, however, it’s important to remember that further study and formulation work is needed before we can determine the efficacy and viability of any new treatment options involving the benefits of cannabis medicine for diabetes.

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Research regarding cannabis and antibiotics:

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