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Is It OK to Use Gabapentin and Marijuana Together?

gabapentin capsules and weed

If you’re currently taking gabapentin, you may wonder if it’s okay to mix gabapentin and weed. The short answer is: Maybe, but it’s best to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before combining the two.

Read on to learn more about what we know about using gabapentin and cannabis, the potential benefits and risks, and whether you should consider combining them.

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What Is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called “anti-convulsants.”  It’s used to help control epileptic convulsions or pain related to nervous system conditions.

It’s available in capsule, tablet, and solution form and is sold under the brand names Fanatrex, Gralise, Neurontin, and Horizant.

Uses and How It Works

Gabapentin is most often used to treat seizures, tremors or convulsions, nerve pain due to neurological conditions, or acute pain or inflammation following surgery. Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Reduced coordination
  • Shaking or tremors

While these are less common, other potential side effects of gabapentin include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Mood changes
  • Slow or shallow breathing

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Gabapentin

Potential Benefits

While current research on any potential benefits of combining cannabis with gabapentin is severely lacking, some research indicates that gabapentin and marijuana use may have complementary, synergistic drug interactions. This means that when taken together, they may be more beneficial in treating seizures and neuropathic pain than drugs alone.

There is also promise in using medical marijuana to replace or lessen one’s dose of gabapentin to reduce exposure to its unwanted side effects.

Potential Risks

Mixing cannabis and gabapentin could lead to increased sedation, anxiety, or motor impairment; these side effects, present individually in both medicines, could be compounded when combined. Some people may experience cognitive impairment or dizziness and should not operate machinery when using them together.

One of the few other studies examining mixing cannabis and gabapentin examined how gabapentin treatment may alleviate the withdrawal symptoms associated with cannabis use disorder and reduce cannabis dependence. The evidence indicated that gabapentin might operate on similar pathways as THC, thus decreasing the endocannabinoid system’s reliance on cannabis if a patient sought to lower their overall use.

Why Mixing Cannabis with Gabapentin Can Help You Feel Better

As stated above, while research is lacking, there is evidence that mixing cannabis with gabapentin may be more effective at providing neuropathic pain relief than either medicine in isolation.

And many studies point to the beneficial effects of CBD, particularly in reducing the intensity and frequency of seizures in certain neuropathic conditions.

While you should always talk to your doctor before mixing cannabis with any prescription medication, combining CBD with gabapentin may more effectively help reduce anxiety and stress, soothe inflammation, and mitigate seizure frequency and intensity while reducing the adverse side effects of gabapentin alone.

The Bottom Line

We need more well-funded clinical studies that look into how medical marijuana and gabapentin work in various physiological pathways before we can say how they may combine to produce improved therapeutic results. But the research is promising, and your physician can help you understand how you may uniquely benefit from adding cannabis to a medication routine that already contains gabapentin.

Apply for a medical marijuana card in your home state. Leafwell’s virtual clinic is open and here to serve you with valuable guidance as you move through the application process.

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