Article written by
Melissa CampbellSEO Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Wegovy (semaglutide) is an injectable medication prescribed to help people lose weight and maintain a low body mass index (BMI) (along with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise).
Although there’s no available research on how Wegovy and weed interact, current evidence suggests it poses no serious health risks if the two are combined.
That said, research is currently lacking to come to any definitive conclusion on the matter.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.
What Is Wegovy?
Wegovy is an FDA-approved drug that supports long-term weight management for adults with obesity and weight-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes.
Wegovy belongs to a new class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-receptor agonists (or GLP-1 agonists), proven to decrease appetite and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Uses and How It Works
Wegovy was developed by the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and is a brand name for the generic drug semaglutide.
It is prescribed for long-term weight loss in adults with obesity (i.e., BMI of 30 or greater) and those who are overweight (i.e., BMI of 27 or more) with at least one weight-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease.
Semaglutide may also be prescribed for long-term weight loss in children 12 and older with a 95th percentile or higher BMI. Considered an anti-obesity medication, Wegovy is to be used together with a low-calorie diet, exercise, and a general increase in physical activity.
Wegovy should not be used by patients who:
- Have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (thyroid cancer)
- Are allergic to its active ingredients
- Have been diagnosed with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (adrenal gland tumors)
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid semaglutide. Before starting Wegovy, share your medical history with your doctor to avoid serious side effects of GLP-1 agonists.
Each dose of Wegovy comes in a single-use pen to be injected under the skin of your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. This medication is administered once a week, on the same day each week, at any time of the day.
Wegovy can be taken on a full or empty stomach. To prevent lumps or scarring, rotate the injection site each week, and avoid injecting into tender, irritated, or hardened areas.
Wegovy works by imitating glucagon-like peptide-1, a natural hormone released into your bloodstream after eating.
Also known as GLP-1, this compound helps to regulate appetite, blood sugar levels, and food intake. By mimicking GLP-1, Wegovy works in a few different ways to manage weight loss:
- It lowers blood sugar levels by blocking glucagon production and increasing insulin production when glucose levels rise.
- Through slowing the digestion process, Wegovy prevents blood sugar from spiking after meals.
- It delays the stomach emptying (i.e., gastroparesis), which can result in a sustained feeling of fullness.
Wegovy has soared in popularity recently but remains out of reach for many consumers due to its price.
One month’s supply of Wegovy can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $1,700, and it’s typically not covered by most prescription plans. To learn if you qualify for coverage, call your insurance company to determine your eligibility.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Wegovy
If you’re a cannabis consumer interested in taking Wegovy, you may wonder if mixing the two is safe.
Without definitive data, research on marijuana’s potential effect on obesity and blood sugar levels may provide some answers.
There’s a complex connection between obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Research shows that elevated glucose levels increase insulin production and lead to excess fat storage and weight gain.
Additional findings show that reducing elevated glucose levels will, in turn, lower insulin levels, resulting in weight loss and reduced body mass.
So, how does cannabis play into this? Limited studies suggest that marijuana can be used to improve blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy body weight.
One study found that cannabis contributed to decreased insulin levels in adults with obesity. A different study observed lower instances of obesity and diabetes in cannabis consumers compared to those who’d never used marijuana.
Additional findings have linked marijuana’s effect on appetite and metabolism to reduced insulin levels.
THCV, CBD, and CBG may help manage diabetes, lower blood glucose levels, and improve metabolism. In combination with the fragrant terpene humulene, low doses of these plant-based compounds may serve to suppress appetite and contribute to a lower BMI.
These available studies indicate the therapeutic potential of cannabis for treating obesity. There is also ample anecdotal evidence that suggests it could be potentially beneficial to mix weed and Wegovy.
The consensus among Wegovy and weed users is that marijuana does not diminish the weight loss effects of Wegovy.
Some found that Wegovy has the potential to intensify and extend their cannabis high. Others noted its ability to alleviate mild side effects of semaglutide, like nausea — and only in rare cases did cannabis cause breakthrough “munchies.”
If you’re worried cannabis may cause your appetite to spike while on Wegovy, you may consider temporarily switching to CBD. It’s particularly useful for pain, anxiety, depression, and improved sleep and is not associated with food cravings.
In the end, however, only clinical trials will provide us with definitive answers on how Wegovy interacts with marijuana.
Medication side effects can vary depending on factors such as age, pre-existing health conditions, additional medications or supplements you take, and any drug sensitivities you may have.
While all signs indicate that it’s fine to take weed with Wegovy, it may be helpful to understand the risks and side effects associated with their use.
Common side effects linked to semaglutide include:
- Abdominal pain
Wegovy is also associated with some serious, potentially life-threatening side effects:
- Gallbladder damage (gallstones, inflammation)
- Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
- Boxed warning risk of medullary thyroid carcinoma (i.e., thyroid cancer)
Medical marijuana offers a range of therapeutic benefits, but it is commonly associated with the following side effects:
- Anxiety or paranoia
- “Cotton” or “dry” mouth (i.e., a lack of saliva)
- Dizziness and nausea
- Dry, red eyes
- Extreme hunger pangs (i.e., the “munchies”)
- Hot and cold flashes
- Increased heart rate
- Psychotic episodes (in rare cases)
- Sense of a loss of self; dissociation from the body
- Short-term memory loss
While the combined side effects of cannabis and Wegovy may cause adverse reactions, anecdotal or otherwise, there is no documented proof that combining marijuana with Wegovy can cause serious harm.
However, in some instances, negative side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and GI upset may be more likely to occur when semaglutide and cannabis are combined.
The Bottom Line
Wegovy is a prescription medication to be used along with a low-calorie diet and exercise to support long-term weight management.
As a glucose control drug, Wegovy decreases blood sugar levels, which also benefits those with metabolic conditions like type 2 diabetes.
The therapeutic properties of marijuana may also be useful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and optimal BMI.
While evidence suggests it’s safe to consume marijuana while on Wegovy, it’s always best to talk to a healthcare provider before taking cannabis with any prescription drug.
A transparent dialog with your medical doctor will ensure your physical well-being and help you achieve — and maintain — your weight loss goals.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.