When you’re fighting a bacterial infection, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics. But with these drugs come certain rules. For example, it is very well known that you should not drink alcoholic beverages when you are currently taking antibiotics. It’s really not recommended. There are heroes who don’t mind and calmly don’t follow this rule, but there are consequences. But what about using cannabis and taking antibiotics at the same time? You just don’t hear about that and your doctor doesn’t inform you in any way unless you specifically ask. So where is the truth?
Terry Roycroft, president of Canada’s Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRCI), will help us answer that question. Mr. Roycroft believes that the combination of antibiotics and cannabis is not as harmful as many think.
Cannabis and antibiotics – can there be problems when consuming both?
“Every day you can come across a situation where certain substances are contraindicated with others. Take caffeine for example. There are over 80 types of drugs that can cause mild to very serious problems when combined with caffeine,” says Mr Roycroft.
Any proper doctor will advise you that it is more than desirable to avoid alcohol consumption while on antibiotic treatment. If you were taking Metronidazole, or Tinidazole, don’t even think about alcohol.
Even something normally harmless like grapefruit can trigger a bad reaction to antibiotics. Certain substances in this fruit interfere with the proper functioning of certain types of antibiotics. These are drugs for respiratory and stomach infections. Roycroft said that grapefruit served as a guide for them to investigate various interactions and possible contraindications with cannabis.
“The truth is there aren’t many drugs that react in any way to marijuana. Antibiotics are not even contraindicated with cannabis,” Roycroft says.
The drugs that did react to marijuana really had very little signs of a bad interaction (a slight headache). Doctors then wondered if cannabis would improve the function of antibiotics in combination therapy.
“Occasionally we find ourselves treating someone who is trying to get rid of a particular painful ailment with antibiotics. When we want to apply cannabis and observe the final result, we reduce the dose of antibiotics by half. Patients who take cannabis and half the dose of antibiotics feel the same as if they had taken a full dose of the prescribed medicine.”
How does cannabis and its CBD component help in this case?
CBD has many great effects. However, cannabidiol has even been found to have antibiotic properties. Newsweek magazine has written about this as well. Australian scientists found that cannabidiol was able to kill a substantial amount of bacteria, including some that were not affected at all by common types of antibiotics. Despite this great news, it will still take some time to confirm 100% effectiveness on all bacteria.
“We still don’t know how it works. It’s fascinating that CBD has some unique mechanism to deal with these types of bacteria. We’d also like to find out how it kills bacteria that are resistant to today’s drugs. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting to the bottom of this,” says Mark Blaskovich, lead researcher at Superbug Solutions, describing his excitement.
“So far, it has shown efficacy when applied to the skin. It would be quite helpful if we could demonstrate efficacy on some pneumonia-type infection, or on some complicated tissue infection. The application of CBD would then have to be done orally or intravenously.”
So can we mix cannabis and antibiotics together?
Mr Roycroft argues that, there is no problem that could arise from combining antibiotics and cannabis. Perhaps there would be weaker side effects. However, these should not affect the overall functioning of both the antibiotics and the cannabis.
“There are patients in our medical centre who routinely use cannabis products or smoke cannabis. We certainly wouldn’t prohibit them from using antibiotics,” says Roycroft.
We tested large doses of Cleopatra cannabis strain with amoxicilin and there were no negative side effects.
Published by Jan Veselý04/10/2021