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Can You Take Creatine If You Use Marijuana?

creatine monohydrate and herb package

Table of contents

  1. What Is Creatine?
  2. Uses and How It Works
  3. Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Creatine
  4. What to Do If You Need to Use Creatine and Marijuana
  5. The Bottom Line

The jury is still out on the safety of combining cannabis and creatine. That’s because there isn’t a lot of research backing either side of the argument.

On one hand, both substances are relatively safe and have individual benefits. On the other, interactions between cannabis and creatine aren’t well-studied and vary from person to person. Based on anecdotal evidence, some people report adverse reactions using them together.

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What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body’s muscles and helps produce energy. Roughly one gram daily is made in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Creatine is also found in red meats, fish, and synthetic supplements.

Creatine is essential for supplying us with energy during anaerobic or high-intensity exercise, hence why it’s so popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders.

Uses and How It Works

Creatine has a variety of uses, with the most well-known being increased muscle size and strength. One review observed a marked significant increase in the benefits of high-intensity anaerobic training (like sprinting and weightlifting) following creatine supplementation.

Creatine has also been used for injury prevention by helping to reduce dehydration and muscle cramps. Research suggests creatine supplementation can boost recovery after an injury. This may help with chronic pain and lessen the severity of certain injuries.

Studies have given us insight into the neurological effects of creatine as well. Research supports the theory that creatine improves brain function in older and younger adults. Creatine supplementation has also been shown to slow age-related neurological decline often seen in older adults.

Creatine supplementation may reduce muscle deterioration in people with sarcopenia (a loss of skeletal muscle mass). Studies have found that creatine supplementation increases aging muscle mass and improves muscle strength.

Oral supplements are also used for children with deficiency disorders.

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Creatine

There is still a lot to uncover about the interactions between cannabis and creatine, but here’s what we know so far.

Potential Benefits

Creatine is known for its benefits to athletes, specifically enhancing performance and strengthening muscles. That’s why pre-workout supplements like creatine have become so popular for building muscle mass. Because it produces energy at a higher rate, creatine is one supplement that can be extremely effective when combined with exercise.

As we noted earlier, these benefits also apply to the brain. Some people have indicated that creatine reduced brain fog often associated with marijuana use. Since marijuana may cause cognitive decline with chronic use, creatine supplementation might be useful.

For some people, taking creatine induces anxiety. Marijuana has been known to alleviate anxiety, so mixing the two could have benefits. Regardless, there isn’t enough evidence to confirm that the combination is safe. Talking to a doctor is recommended before making any changes to avoid potential adverse effects.

Potential Risks

People have reported vomiting when they combined creatine and marijuana. For people using creatine for medical reasons (like neuromuscular disorders), cannabis use might be avoided altogether.

Some reports note that marijuana use may impact creatine’s effectiveness, but this is purely anecdotal. Other cannabis users on Reddit stated they felt anxious and panicked following creatine use. It may be unrelated, but the combination may have the potential to trigger anxiety.

A recent study noted that chronic marijuana users with psychological distress had noticeably elevated creatine kinase levels. Creatine kinase is an enzyme released into the blood if muscles are damaged. Since cannabis and creatine kinase seems to use similar pathways, this may back some of the claims regarding psychological side effects.

Cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been found to alter brain chemistry. Again, research is limited, but case studies have found that adverse effects are more likely with synthetic cannabinoids. These are significantly more potent than marijuana and possess greater psychoactive effects compared to natural sources of cannabinoids like THC.

What to Do If You Need to Use Creatine and Marijuana

Many people have reported vomiting after using both creatine and weed. To avoid these symptoms drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated and replenish lost electrolytes. If you’re incorporating creatine supplementation into your exercise regimen, you may notice swelling or weight gain due to water retention that occurs as your muscles recover.

Keep in touch with your doctor throughout this process so they can monitor your health. They can also prescribe anti-nauseants and recommend dietary adjustments, if necessary. Keep a log of adverse effects, so you have a thorough history for your next visit.

Creatine doesn’t cause kidney damage but can worsen symptoms in those with compromised kidney function. Do not use creatine if you have a medical condition like liver or kidney disease.

The Bottom Line

Using creatine and marijuana together might seem like a good combination, given their strengths. If you’re taking creatine supplements as part of a workout, using cannabis products at the same time might produce unwanted effects. Like other dietary supplements, creatine isn’t regulated by the FDA, so it can be hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

That said, there isn’t much evidence to prove that taking the two together is harmful in otherwise healthy individuals. There are anecdotal arguments supporting both sides, but there isn’t enough evidence to back anything up. If you’re a cannabis user, it’s always a good idea to speak with a healthcare specialist before combining cannabis with creatine or other dietary supplements.

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