Can You Use Cannabis If You Take Ambien?

weed and a bottle of ambien tablets

Table of contents

  1. What Is Ambien?
  2. Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Ambien
  3. The Bottom Line
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

It isn’t safe to use weed and take Ambien at the same time. Ambien is an effective sleep medication that doesn’t need to be supplemented with the sedative effects of cannabis. In fact, using weed when you’re taking Ambien could put you at risk of severe injury or harm.

What Is Ambien?

Ambien (generic name zolpidem) is a prescription drug that acts as a short-acting sleep aid to treat insomnia. It belongs to a group of sedative-hypnotics drugs and is a Schedule 4 (IV) drug. A standard dose is 5 to 10 mg daily in tablet form, which should be taken right before bedtime or at least seven hours before wake-up time.

Ambien Uses and How It Works

Ambien is used to treat insomnia and sleep troubles. It works by slowing down the brain and the central nervous system, which produces a calming effect on the body, allowing you to drift off to sleep. It’s a short-acting, short-term sleep aid compared to other sleep medications.

As well as its effects on sleep, Ambien has been shown to help restore brain function after serious brain injuries and help with managing anxiety and seizures.

While Ambien may help you sleep, it can also disrupt your sleep behaviors, causing you to do things when you’re not fully awake that you won’t remember in the morning. These behaviors can lead to serious harm and, in some cases, have led to death. They include:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep driving
  • Making and eating food
  • Talking on the phone
  • Having sex

Other side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Trouble breathing
  • Changes in behavior or hallucinations
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat
  • Addiction and withdrawal symptoms

You should consult your doctor if you’re taking Ambien and have experienced any of the above symptoms.

Download Guide To Anxiety and Medical Cannabis

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Ambien

Potential Benefits

No research has been conducted on specific interactions between Ambien and cannabis, but combining the two drugs likely has no beneficial effects.

Though not a benefit of using them together, Ambien has been shown to be an effective medication to support people experiencing inadequate sleep or insomnia due to cannabis withdrawal.

Download Free Guide to Marijuana and Insomnia

Potential Risks

Using cannabis with Ambien may intensify Ambien’s adverse side effects. You should not mix Ambien with other drugs or herbal supplements that have a sedative effect or affect sleep. This is to avoid any potentially dangerous effects on sleep behaviors.

Cannabis is known to often cause sleepiness or sedation, which means that taking Ambien and cannabis together could put you at risk of seriously hurting yourself in your sleep.

The Bottom Line

If you’re taking Ambien to help you sleep, you should avoid weed and any other medication that affects your sleep or breathing.

Ambien can be a dangerous medication, so make sure you’re well supported by a medical professional while you’re undergoing your treatment plan. If you are planning to use medical cannabis to manage conditions like insomnia and are currently using drugs like Ambien or generic zolpidem, then it is wise to reduce your intake of Ambien/zolpidem under medical supervision.

Those who are having trouble sleeping and want to avoid taking Ambien may wish to try exercise, dietary changes, regulating sleeping hours, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), melatonin (short-term), or medical cannabis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not mix with Ambien?

When taking Ambien, you shouldn’t take any drugs or herbal supplements that have any sedative effects or effects on sleep.

These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Herbal sleep aids
  • Imipramine and chlorpromazine
  • Other sleeping pills
  • Opioids
  • Any other medications that affect your breathing or make you sleepy

Taking Ambien can also increase depression and suicidal thoughts and lead to addiction and trouble breathing in your sleep. Because of this, if you suffer from depression, addiction, or any respiratory conditions, Ambien may not be suitable for you.

Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about Ambien’s effects on your specific medical condition or the medications you take.

Can you take melatonin and Ambien?

Melatonin is an herbal supplement often used as a sleep aid. It’s not advised to take it while you’re taking Ambien because it may cause serious adverse effects on sleep behaviors and breathing.

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