What Happens When You Mix Oxy and Weed

What Happens When You Mix Oxy and Weed?

Drug Interactions and Health Risks

Get Help Today

The use of marijuana, commonly known as weed, has been steadily growing over the past few years as states decriminalized or legalized it. Whether it’s used medicinally or recreationally, marijuana is often perceived as a natural drug with potential medicinal benefits. However, it is not necessarily a healthy alternative to prescription medications like painkillers.

Unfortunately, mixing painkillers—like oxycodone (oxy), Percocet, and hydrocodone—and weed can be a dangerous combination.

The Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana contains chemicals that impact both the physical and mental state. The main psychoactive compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which triggers a temporary euphoric feeling by stimulating dopamine production. However, prolonged use can result in a decrease in dopamine levels, leading to a reduction in motivation and pleasurable sensations.[1]

For many, the effects of marijuana may include:

  • Happiness
  • Increased sociability
  • Enhanced sensory perception
  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Lightheadedness

These effects of cannabis aren’t consistent in everyone, however. Some people experience heightened anxiety or paranoia with cannabis use, even medical cannabis, and it can have negative impacts on memory, concentration, thought processes, the perception of time and senses, and coordination.

It also has adverse physical effects, including:[2]

  • Excessive coughing
  • Increased appetite
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Low blood pressure
    Increased heart rate

With long-term use, marijuana use can cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychotic issues
  • Diminished intelligence
  • Reduced athletic ability
  • Suicidal ideation or actions
  • In young users, developmental delays
  • Addiction

What Are Opioid Painkillers?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include synthetic opioids like fentanyl and legal prescription pain relievers like oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine.[3]

These drugs are prescribed for pain management with moderate to severe pain, though they have the side effect of creating a high that’s often sought for recreational use. Opioids are highly addictive – even when prescribed – and can quickly lead to drug abuse and dependency.

Opioid painkillers bind to and activate the opioid receptors on the cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other organs – particularly the ones responsible for pleasure and pain. They block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and flood it with dopamine, reinforcing the act of taking the drug.

In the short term, opioid painkillers can relieve pain and promote happiness and relaxation.

Image

The Dangers of Mixing Opioids and Marijuana

With the risks of overdose from opioids, marijuana has been suggested as a way to supplement opioid painkillers for analgesic effects (pain-relieving effects) or transition off of opioid painkillers for chronic pain. In one study, people who combined oxycodone and marijuana experienced an enhanced pain threshold and tolerance compared to oxycodone on its own.[5]

The goal of combining oxycodone and weed or hydrocodone and weed is to reduce the doses of opioid painkillers while getting the same pain relief, which could potentially reduce the risk of prescription opioid addiction and opioid overdoses.

Unfortunately, both marijuana and opioids can have depressant effects on the central nervous system. Combining the two can suppress the central nervous system to dangerous levels, leading to low blood pressure, decreased brain function, extreme sedation, coma, and death.

Marijuana and painkillers may be combined for recreational use as well. According to one study, seven out of 10 teens who take prescription opioids for recreational use combine them with other drugs or alcohol, including marijuana.

Using marijuana isn’t necessarily effective in reducing opioid misuse, either. According to data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, marijuana users are more than twice as likely to misuse prescription opioids and develop prescription opioid use disorder (OUD) than nonusers.[7]

Treatment for Polydrug Abuse

The use or abuse of two or more drugs simultaneously is called polydrug abuse, polysubstance abuse, or polysubstance use disorder.[8]

Though it’s common for people to combine drugs, such as taking prescription painkillers with marijuana or having a glass of wine, these are forms of polydrug use. Unsurprisingly, using more than one substance at once increases the risk of abuse and dependency.

If you or a loved one suffers from the effects of polysubstance abuse involving opioid painkillers and marijuana – or any other substance abuse – treatment can help.

Because of the highly addictive nature of opioid painkillers and the potentially life-threatening withdrawal, medical detox is often the first step to recovery. During medical detox, you can safely clear your system of opioids while medical staff monitors your condition and manages your symptoms with medication to keep you safe and comfortable.

After detox, you can undergo inpatient substance use disorder treatment and focus solely on your recovery. Generally, individual and group therapies are used with behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps to modify substance use expectations and behaviors while managing triggers and stress.

Depending on the individual circumstances, other treatments may be included, such as medication-assisted therapy (MAT), multidimensional family therapy, and couple’s therapy.

Learn More About Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

01

Is It Good to Combine Percocet and Weed?

icon

Combining Percocet and weed can be dangerous and should only be considered under the strict supervision of a healthcare professional. These drugs are both depressants and can be a potentially fatal combination, leading to symptoms like an extreme drop in blood pressure, hypoxia, seizures, coma, and death.

02

Can You Mix Hydrocodone and THC?

icon

THC, the main cannabinoid in marijuana, can cause adverse effects when mixed with other drugs, including hydrocodone and other opioids.[9] Combining the two depresses the central nervous system, leading to drowsiness, loss of coordination, hypoxia, coma, and death.

03

Can You Eat Edibles While Taking Medication?

icon

Depending on the medication, mixing it with edible cannabis products can have dangerous interactions.[10] Aside from opioid painkillers, blood thinners, antidepressants, and anticholinergics, such as those for Parkinson’s disease, should not be mixed with edible cannabis products. Sympathomimetics, such as nasal decongestants, appetite suppressants, and some ADHD medications, are also contraindicated with marijuana.

04

What Drugs Shouldn’t Be Taken with CBD?

icon

Cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid in marijuana, is different from THC. It’s touted for its therapeutic effects, not psychoactive effects, but it can still have dangerous interactions with other drugs.[11] Avoid mixing CBD with anticonvulsants, barbiturates, other sedative drugs, and narcotics like opioid painkillers.

Sources
icon
[01]

Bloomfield, M. a. P., Ashok, A. H., Volkow, N. D., & Howes, O. D. (2016). The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system. Nature, 539(7629), 369–377. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1038/nature20153 on 2024, June 20.

[02]

Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine/˜the œNew England Journal of Medicine, 370(23), 2219–2227. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmra1402309 on 2024, June 20

[03]

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, May 25). Prescription opioids Drugfacts. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids on 2023, June 21.

[04]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, May 11). U.S. overdose deaths in 2021 increased half as much as in 2020 – but are still up 15%. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2022/202205.htm on 2023, June 21.

[05]

Cooper, Z. D., Bedi, G., Ramesh, D., Balter, R., Comer, S. D., & Haney, M. (2018, February 5). Impact of co-administration of oxycodone and smoked cannabis on analgesia and abuse liability. Nature News. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0011-2 on 2023, June 21.

[06]

Rogers AH;Bakhshaie J;Buckner JD;Orr MF;Paulus DJ;Ditre JW;Zvolensky MJ; (n.d.). Opioid and cannabis co-use among adults with chronic pain: Relations to substance misuse, mental health, and Pain experience. Journal of addiction medicine. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30557213/ on 2023, June 21.

[07]

McCabe, S. E., West, B. T., Teter, C. J., & Boyd, C. J. (2012, November 1). Co-ingestion of prescription opioids and other drugs among high school seniors: Results from a national study. Drug and alcohol dependence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3478441/ on 2023, June 21.

[08]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022a, February 23). Polysubstance use facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/polysubstance-use/index.html on 2023, June 21.

[09]

Antoniou, T., Bodkin, J., & Ho, J. M.-W. (2020, March 2). Drug interactions with cannabinoids. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055953/ on 2023, June 21.

[10]

Antoniou, T., Bodkin, J., & Ho, J. M.-W. (2020, March 2). Drug interactions with cannabinoids. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055953/ on 2023, June 21.

[11]

Balachandran, P., Elsohly, M., & Hill, K. P. (2021, July). Cannabidiol interactions with medications, illicit substances, and Alcohol: A Comprehensive Review. Journal of general internal medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8298645/#on 2023, June 21.

Begin Your Recovery Journey Today