Here at Elevate Holistics, we understand the importance of medical marijuana for certain qualifying conditions. Unfortunately, the idea of mixing medical cannabis with other prescription drugs can be slightly concerning, as you just don’t know what the interactions are going to be. The information surrounding cannabis-to-drug interactions in the US is severely lacking for many reasons, leaving so many patients in the dark about how their medications and medical marijuana interact.

Because of this, we've partnered up with 3rd Street Dispensary to educate our patients on how certain medications react with the cannabis plant. Today, we’re focusing on antipsychotics, CNS depressants, and the potential drug interactions you may come across. Let’s get started. 

Cannabis and Anti-Psychotic Drug Interactions
Cannabis and Antipsychotics: Drug to Drug Interactions

Medical Marijuana and Medications

Before we talk specifically about antipsychotic drug interactions with cannabis, we should discuss cannabis’s relationship with medications in general. 

Every type of medication is likely going to react to cannabis differently. Just because you’re safe taking one kind of prescription with your medical marijuana doesn’t mean these results will be the same for all of your over-the-counter medications. In fact, assuming so can be dangerous! 

No matter what type of medication you’re taking, before getting a medical marijuana card, it’s crucial to have a discussion with your doctor about the potential drug interactions you may experience with the medications you’re taking. They should be knowledgeable about these interactions, letting you know what to look out for. Occasionally, there may be a medication that your doctor suggests not consuming alongside medical cannabis. If this is the case, always follow the guidance of your physician and do not mix the two. After all, your doctor knows you better than most! 

Cannabis and Anti-Psychotic Drug Interactions

So, how will your antipsychotic react to your medical cannabis? This one is tricky. Doctors may prescribe those who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorders medications like Clozapine to help manage symptoms. However, when combined with cannabis, it appears as though the plant may make the medication’s properties lessen

Studies have shown that medical marijuana may have the ability to speed up metabolic processes. With this, when you consume an antipsychotic, a sped-up metabolism may cause the medication to break down quicker. This breakdown may cause the drug’s effects to be less potent and less long-lasting than usual. For those with severe mental illness, this can be detrimental to daily functioning. 

Of course, this may not be the case for every person who consumes medical marijuana alongside their antipsychotic medications. But, it is a reported drug interaction that’s more than worth inquiring to your doctor about. If you are on any antipsychotic or plan to be, always talk to your physician and see what they think. They may want to adjust your dosage or maybe even see if there is a better medication option out there for you and your medical marijuana use. Regardless, always discuss with your primary care physician before moving forward. 

Medical Marijuana and CNS Depressants

Along with certain antipsychotics, central nervous system (CNS) depressants also have demonstrated some side effects to medical marijuana when taken in unison— both positive and negative. CNS depressants include medications like Vicodin, OxyContin, Morphine, and Fentanyl. 

For some, medical marijuana may enhance the depressant effect of medications. If you start to notice any dip in your moods, make sure to contact your doctor immediately and let them know. It’s worth writing down your emotions each day to keep track of them and see how the cannabis may be causing any fluctuations. This can be a great resource to show your primary care physician, as well. 

Other studies, however, have demonstrated THC’s ability to increase the strength and efficacy of these medications while not increasing any risk of CNS overdose. With this kind of information, theoretically (and with doctor approval), you could lower the dose of your CNS depressant without noticing any lessened effectiveness of the drug. Doing this can significantly reduce the risk of overdose, keeping you safer and more balanced than before. 

Again, we must stress that you communicate with your doctor prior to your medical use of cannabis. Your doctor can help you decide whether or not mixing CNS depressants and medical marijuana is suitable for you, and you can adjust any dosages you need via their approval. 

Still have questions about medical marijuana?

Why Don’t We Know More?

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of this information is still in the beginning stages of scientific research. But, why is this? Why don’t we know more about cannabis and drug interactions? We can likely blame these side effect roadblocks on the federal government’s view of the plant itself. 

Currently, the marijuana plant is federally illegal on levels— it doesn’t matter whether it is used medicinally or not. The United States government classified the cannabis plant as a Schedule 1 Drug, making it challenging to conduct clinical trials and large-scale studies like we need. Of course, many organizations are working tirelessly to give MMJ patients the answers they need. Unfortunately, it’s taking time to progress the way the industry needs. 

We can only hope that, in the near future, this will change. Hopefully, soon, the country will have a more extensive, better understanding of the medical interactions cannabis has with prescription drugs. But, until then, it’s best to start low and slow with your doses. Oh, and don't forget to consult with your doctor before making any choices. 

Staying Safe and Healthy With Elevate Holistics 

Elevate Holistics wants to ensure you stay safe and healthy with your cannabis consumption. That’s precisely why we’re working alongside 3rd Street Dispensary to provide you all the information you need about cannabis and drug interactions. 

Ready to get a medical marijuana card for yourself? Start by booking a telehealth appointment through Elevate and talking one-on-one with our medical cannabis experts. Then, head on over to 3rd Street’s website. Here, you can check out all the products and other resources they have to offer patients like you. Together, Elevate and 3rd Street are doing everything we can to ensure your medical marijuana journey is stress-free, thought-out, and safe.

Interested in getting an MMJ card for yourself?