How does marijuana interact with prescription drugs?

Denver MMJ Doctors (Metro Multidisciplinary Doctors)

@mmdclinic (mmdmedicaldoctors.com)

How does marijuana interact with prescription drugs?

It doesn’t matter if it is a prescription drug or a recreational drug, all drugs have compounds that interact with other compounds, adverse interactions with cannabis appear rare. As example of drugs interaction there is caffeine, which most people take on a daily basis. Caffeine have 82 known interactions with other substances.

It is difficult to determine the relevance of a drug interaction, some of them are not harmful but given the number of variables it could change. We can divide these interactions in three main categories:

  • Low risk (Minimally clinically significant), you can consider taking an alternative drug, always monitoring, and taking steps to avoid the interaction risk.

  • Moderate (Moderately clinically significant), in this case the best option is to avoid this type of combinations, using it just in special circumstances.

  • Major (Highly clinically significant), avoid combinations, in any case the risks in this interaction are higher than the benefits.

Before stopping your medications you must consult it with your healthcare provider. If you want professionals to tell you more about changing to a marijuana treatment avoiding dangerous interactions click here.

People diagnosed with depression can be prescribed antidepressants, very little research has been made taking prescribed drugs while using marijuana. Antidepressants side effects can be similar to those produced by marijuana use, including the following:

  • Nausea

  • Panic

  • Anxiety

  • Drowsiness

  • Confusion

  • Dizziness

  • Tachycardia

  • Restlessness

  • Mood swings

  • Hallucinations

The following is a list of some of the compounds that have major interaction with cannabis and whose mixture should be avoided:

However, there are other kind of risks to consider when mixing drugs and cannabis, antidepressants could be less effective or take longer to work, this could set the treatment on and off protocols, prolonging recovery. Patients with diabetes should be careful when their medication is set to lower blood sugar levels, as marijuana helps regulate blood sugar the effectiveness of the treatment could be compromised, we recommend measuring your blood sugar level while using metformin or a similar treatment and cannabis.


Remember there are newer medications and research is needed, talk to your doctor if you want to consume cannabis while on medication. For more information about the medical marijuana treatment, and how it can help with your condition contact us. You can also call us at (720) 477-4920, any time between 10am-6pm Monday through Friday.