Categories
BLOG

mixing weed and vicodin

Combining opioids and marijuana may be advantageous for pain sufferers

Study suggests using the two drugs together could reduce risk of dependency without causing cognitive problems

Researchers report combining cannabinoids with morphine did not significantly increase impulsivity or memory impairment in a study conducted in rhesus monkeys. The findings suggest using opioids and marijuana together could offer a safe way to cut opioid dosage among patients suffering from pain and thereby reduce their risk of becoming addicted to opioids.

“These data provide additional evidence supporting the notion that opioid-cannabinoid mixtures that are effective for treating pain do not have greater, and in some cases have less, adverse effects compared with larger doses of each drug alone,” said Vanessa Minervini, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Minervini will present the research at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting, held April 6-9 in Orlando, Fla.

Previous studies have suggested the cannabinoids in marijuana enhance some of the pain-relieving effects of opioid drugs but do not enhance effects related to addiction and overdose. However, both drugs individually are known to slightly impair cognition, leading to a concern that such side effects could be amplified if opioids and marijuana are used together. Researchers say the new study offers encouraging evidence this is not the case.

The research comes amid a national opioid abuse crisis in which many addictions start with opioids prescribed for pain. At the same time, marijuana use is on the rise as more states legalize the drug for medical or recreational use.

“The current opioid epidemic underscores the need for safe and effective pharmacotherapies for treating pain,” said Minervini. “Combining opioid receptor agonists with drugs that relieve pain through actions at non-opioid mechanisms (for example, cannabinoid receptors) could be a useful strategy for reducing the dose of opioid needed to achieve pain relief.”

The researchers gave several monkeys moderate doses of morphine and CP55940, a synthetic drug that mimics the activity of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) naturally found in marijuana. They assessed impulsivity and memory with tests involving touchscreens and treats. The results showed each drug impeded performance and that giving the monkeys both drugs together had a lower effect on performance than either drug alone.

While clinical trials would need to be conducted to confirm whether these results translate to humans, monkeys tend to process drugs similarly to humans and are considered a good model for cognition.

Researchers report combining cannabinoids with morphine did not significantly increase impulsivity or memory impairment in a study conducted in rhesus monkeys. The findings suggest using opioids and marijuana together could offer a safe way to cut opioid dosage among patients suffering from pain and thereby reduce their risk of becoming addicted to opioids.

Drug Interactions between cannabis and Vicodin

This report displays the potential drug interactions for the following 2 drugs:

  • cannabis
  • Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone)

Interactions between your drugs

HYDROcodone cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: Vicodin (acetaminophen / hydrocodone) and cannabis

Using narcotic pain or cough medications together with other medications that also cause central nervous system depression can lead to serious side effects including respiratory distress, coma, and even death. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring to safely use both medications. Do not drink alcohol or self-medicate with these medications without your doctor’s approval, and do not exceed the doses or frequency and duration of use prescribed by your doctor. Also, because these medications may cause dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and impairment in judgment, reaction speed and motor coordination, you should avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how they affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Drug and food interactions

HYDROcodone food

Applies to: Vicodin (acetaminophen / hydrocodone)

Do not use alcohol or medications that contain alcohol while you are receiving treatment with HYDROcodone. This may increase nervous system side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating, and impairment in thinking and judgment. In severe cases, low blood pressure, respiratory distress, fainting, coma, or even death may occur. If you are taking certain long-acting formulations of hydrocodone, consumption of alcohol may also cause rapid release of the drug, resulting in high blood levels that may be potentially lethal. Likewise, you should avoid consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice, as this may increase the blood levels and effects of hydrocodone. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions on how to take this or other medications you are prescribed. Do not use more than the recommended dose of HYDROcodone, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medication without first talking to your doctor.

cannabis (Schedule I substance) food

Applies to: cannabis

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of cannabis (Schedule I substance) such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with cannabis (Schedule I substance). Do not use more than the recommended dose of cannabis (Schedule I substance), and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

Therapeutic duplication warnings

No warnings were found for your selected drugs.

Therapeutic duplication warnings are only returned when drugs within the same group exceed the recommended therapeutic duplication maximum.

See Also

  • Cannabis Drug Interactions
  • Vicodin Drug Interactions
  • Vicodin General Consumer Information
  • Drug Interactions Checker
Drug Interaction Classification
These classifications are only a guideline. The relevance of a particular drug interaction to a specific individual is difficult to determine. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medication.

Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.
Unknown No interaction information available.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences.

A Major Drug Interaction exists between cannabis and Vicodin. View detailed information regarding this drug interaction.