Ongoing research supports the benefits of cannabis use to treat an extensive range of conditions and as a result, access to legal marijuana with a medical cannabis card is becoming increasingly common. Often, patients who are already taking prescription medications are intrigued by the supplementary advantages that combining drugs like prednisone and weed might offer.
With significant expertise in this area, CannabisRxHealth specializes in helping patients access affordable and legal medical cannabis in their state. In this handy guide, we’ll discuss the effects of prednisone and cannabis, go over any considerations and risks of concurrent use, and discuss information about medical marijuana cards and how you can get one.
What is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a prescription-only drug that belongs to a group of medications known as corticosteroids. It is commonly used to treat a range of inflammatory conditions, such as:
- Skin conditions (like eczema and psoriasis)
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
While the immune system usually protects the body from foreign bodies or infections, sometimes it can become overactive. Prednisone slows down the body’s immune response to decrease inflammatory symptoms like swelling, pain, and redness. In some cases, prednisone is used as a short-term "burst" therapy to control inflammation quickly. In other situations, it may be prescribed long-term to help manage chronic conditions.
As with most prescription medications, some side effects are possible. These include:
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Mood swings
- Increased risk of infections
- Elevated blood pressure
- Fluid retention
- Muscle weakness
- Thinning skin
- Bone loss
- Elevated blood sugar levels
Some of the side effects of prednisone may be reduced with marijuana use. For example, medical marijuana is commonly thought to help with insomnia and mood swings. For this reason, many patients find using prednisone and marijuana in combination to be therapeutic.
Can I Smoke While Taking Prednisone?
Because there have been no major interactions found between prednisone and marijuana, it is generally considered safe to use prednisone (or the more potent methylprednisolone) and marijuana at the same time. However, because marijuana contains active compounds, including cannabinoids like THC and CBD, they can affect bodily functions like your immune system and metabolism.
So, can you smoke weed while taking prednisone? The short answer is: it depends. People vary in how they react to medications and substances, and there are some potential interactions between CBD and prednisone that you should be aware of. So, if you’re considering combining prednisone and marijuana, it's essential to consult your physician first to talk through the considerations together so they can provide personalized advice based on your medical history, current conditions, and medications.
Prednisone and Marijuana: Considerations
Personal experiences of taking prednisone and cannabis together will vary significantly based on the amount of each substance taken and individual tolerance levels. Factors like genetics, overall health, and dosage can all influence individual responses. Furthermore, interactions between prednisone and cannabis can be complex, potentially affecting both the efficacy of the medication and the psychoactive or therapeutic effects of cannabis. That’s why it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before combining prednisone and marijuana to ensure a safe and informed approach that takes into account any potential risks and benefits.
Risks of Concurrent Use
Here are a few of the primary factors to consider when taking drugs that contain THC/CBD and prednisone at the same time.
Corticosteroids like prednisone inhibit the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP3A, meaning the effectiveness of the medication may not be fully realized because the interference impacts how the liver breaks down the drug into a form that we can use in our bodies. Interestingly, CBD operates in a similar way by exerting a suppressive influence on CYP3A. So, it’s possible that taking prednisone and marijuana together could cause a more significant suppression effect.
When not metabolized, the increased build-up of prednisone in our bodies can lead to an increase in side effects. This phenomenon is known as saturation and can lead to toxicity in severe cases. This is one of the reasons it’s vital to consult your doctor before taking CBD and prednisone together so you can establish:
- Whether combining prednisone and marijuana is advisable
- A safe amount of each drug to take
- A regimen of when to take each drug
Both drugs influence the same part of the brain, so it’s possible that taking prednisone and THC together could lead to increased positive effects of each. However, there are several similarities between the side effects of prednisone and weed, such as reduced motor functions, headaches, dizziness, and episodes of nausea and vomiting. So, it’s possible that users may experience the negative side effects of both — which may essentially cancel out the benefits of either altogether.
It’s also possible that the side effects of one drug could be falsely attributed to the other. This may be unproblematic for mild symptoms. But in severe cases, it could mask an issue that should not be ignored. For example, smoking cannabis may cause a user to cough, which is a mild and common symptom. However, a cough resulting from taking prednisone can be more serious and should be reported to your healthcare professional immediately.
Should you experience any adverse reactions when taking prednisone or methylprednisolone and weed concurrently, you should seek immediate medical assistance.
Increased Fracture Risk
It pays to consider the consumption method for how you’ll combine prednisone and marijuana. Can you smoke weed on prednisone? Technically yes. But, there may be a more suitable form of ingestion if you’re to avoid complications.
For example, there is some evidence of increased fracture risk when taking prednisone and weed at the same time. Using steroids, especially for extended periods, has long been associated with decreased bone density and increased instances of osteoporosis. Smoking has also been proven to lower bone density. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this aspect with your primary physician to ensure you’re not at risk before combining the two.
Possible solutions include reducing risk by consuming cannabis in a smoke-free form, such as increasingly-popular edibles. Alternatively, your doctor might advise you to take your prednisone and cannabis treatments at different times of the day.
Effects on the Body and Mind
Currently, there is insufficient research and scientific data to conclusively determine specific additional benefits of taking prednisone and marijuana simultaneously. However, what is well documented is the increased interest in cannabis and other cannabinoids for their potential anti-inflammatory properties. This is particularly helpful for patients with autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other inflammatory conditions.
Of course, that’s not to say that patients should replace their prednisone prescription with cannabis as a form of treatment. However, there is growing speculation that using the two drugs together can help treat some autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis. Plus, for any patient with conditions that cause symptoms like chronic pain, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, etc., medical cannabis can be a lifeline, offering muscle relaxation, enhanced comfort, and a way to relieve stress during challenging times.
Medical marijuana has become an increasingly popular go-to to help with:
- Appetite stimulation
- Sleep regulation
- Seizure reduction
- Mood regulation
- Neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and traumatic brain injuries
The Role of Medical Marijuana Cards
While medical cannabis is not intended to replace mainstream medical treatment, it can be pivotal in enhancing patient treatment options. As such, medical cannabis cards are playing an increasingly important role in patient treatment plans for a wide variety of conditions and ailments.
A medical marijuana card grants patients legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Across the states where medical marijuana use is legal, there are over 3.8 million medicinal users, with continued growth expected.
Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card
With the explosion of thorough, long-term medical marijuana studies, the range of conditions it can help will only continue to increase over time.
Depending on the state in which you’re a card carrier, you’ll enjoy several of the following benefits:
- Statewide access to licensed dispensaries
- Access to a range of different cannabis products
- Access to higher potency cannabis — even compared to many states where recreational use is legal
- The ability to purchase medical marijuana at a relatively low cost
- Reduced taxation on medical marijuana purchases
- Higher possession limits
- Ability to grow your own medical marijuana
- Potential employer accommodation for medical use
Get Your Medical Card with CannabisRxHealth
The legal status and rules for medical marijuana consumption are determined at state level. As such, the processes, requirements, and conditions that qualify vary considerably. If you’re just starting your journey into the world of medical marijuana, the sheer amount of information and variety of options can be daunting. However, the CannabisRxHealth team is here to support you throughout the process of getting your medical marijuana card.
CannabisRxHealth is different because we believe in removing barriers to healthcare and always treat our members with respect. Every one of our state-registered medical professionals is specially trained and receptive to the idea of medical cannabis.
The process couldn’t be easier — simply book your appointment to get started. We’ll tell you everything you’ll need to bring with you, and we guarantee no long waits or hanging around. Our appointments are typically only 15 minutes long, and we even offer next-day appointments and convenient weekend time slots.
And the best part? It’s cost-effective and risk-free. We don’t believe in charging high fees. We’re among the lowest-cost marijuana card providers in most regions and will refund your fee in full in the event that your application is unsuccessful.
Contact us today with your questions and discover how our team of experienced and supportive medical professionals can help you on your journey to better health!