Can You Smoke Weed On Accutane?
Is Smoking Weed On Accutane Recommended?
Even though weed is safe. Cannabis, like alcohol, does though interact with a few natural and man-made medicines. Therefore, you should never assume that it is okay to combine weed with any drug. Unfortunately, as many Doctors have a bias against cannabis, you will not be able to get a straight or accurate answer concerning weed’s interactions. So, I felt it was important to write this post, which will help you make the best decision.
As always, I am not a Doctor and am not giving any medical advice. This information here is curated from various sources on the webs. My by advice is to read this information and then do further research.
What is Accutane?
Accutane (AKA isotretinoin) is a powerful medication used for the treatment of severe acne, that is taken for around four to six months. It is quite effective and is primarily used for mild to moderate acne that has not responded to other more conservative treatments and also for acne that can likely cause permanent scarring.
Accutane’s active ingredient is a mega dose of, naturally derived, vitamin A. However, just because it is natural does not make it perfectly safe as too much vitamin A, like pretty much too much of anything can have damaging effects. That’s why you should not take additional vitamin A supplements while taking this drug.
It is known for being quite effective in that 50% of patients who take it once will never have to take it again. Only around .002% of people will have worse acne after taking Accutane.
Accutane gives your body a massive amount of Vitamin A. And too much Vitamin A can cause problems. So, as always, be sure to take only the dosage that you are prescribed and only take it under doctors’ supervision. (Preferably a dermatologist) Some of the minor side effects of Accutane are chapped lips (90%), dry skin (80%), and mild nosebleeding (80%).
Accutane is also known to cause a slightly increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. Depression and suicidal thoughts in less than one percent of all users. I am not a Doctor.
The worst side effect of Accutane is that it can cause severe birth defects. As a result, never take Accutane during pregnancy and when you are on it, be sure to use birth control. Additionally, a rare but potentially fatal side effect is blood clots, which could cause a stroke. Other notable potential issues are that it can affect the liver, which may cause an unsafe rise in cholesterol levels.
Accutane and Weed’s Side Effects
Like I said numerous times before as cannabis is technically illegal there are very few medical or any studies concerning cannabis. Therefore, any benefits or dangerous interactions from weed and Accutane and any drug are unknown.
I am pro-cannabis. However, weed and certain drugs can be dangerous, which is the same for alcohol. One notable example is that a cannabis smoker may need more anesthesia and if they do not get more anesthesia the patient may prematurely wake up during surgery.
As a result, the only advice that I found was anecdotal or educated guessing. Left without scientific proof the biases of both the pro-cannabis and the anti-cannabis factions will likely state that weed is either bad for you or will not cause any harm.
Are There Any Scientifically Proven Side Effects?
There are not any known serious or adverse consequences of combining weed with Accutane. (look for Dr. Randy Baker) This is even admitted by Doctors who most likely are anti-cannabis. For example, a Doctor who did not recommend combining the two stated that it “Might“, cause problems. (Check out Dr. Pamela Pappas)
As I previously stated though, as no studies on the interaction between the two have been done, it does not mean that you can be guaranteed that combining the two will be safe.
Like with anything cannabis-related, it is quite hard finding any doctor even wanting to answer any question related to combining the two or combining any drug with weed. For example, on RealSelf.com they had two unanswered questions concerning this subject. The website Healthtap did though have a few doctors who were willing to address these questions.
The pros and Cons of combining Accutane and weed will be summarized below.
Randy Baker, a holistic medicine practitioner of 40 years stated that as there has not been a study linking any dangers of combining Accutane and weed you should be safe combining the two. He did confirm that cannabis has been known to interact with many drugs. However, the interaction is quite mild. I.E Like being extra sleepy.
Dr. Ed Friedlander a pathologist with 44 years of experience stated that you should do fine combining the two as any potential side effects would be quite mild. One negative side effect mention was that your airways may be constricted which can make it easier to choke as you are taking a bong hit. (This sounds bad. But, he did not stress that this would be life-threatening) However, this issue could be solved by edibles.
Dr. Pamela Pappas as a Psychiatrist with 42 years of experience did not recommend combining the two as doing so MIGHT potentially increase the chance of depression and suicidal ideation. The reason for her warning is that Accutane has been linked to causing depression and suicidal thoughts in some users. (<1%) Cannabis, for some users also has a depressive effect. Therefore, combining two depressants could magnify feelings of depression and raise the chance of suicide.
Dr. Alan Ali a Psychiatrist with 32 years of experience said essentially the same thing as combining Accutane and weed could result in dangerous mood swings.
Please check out the appendix below if you need more information concerning how cannabis is classified.
Currently, because of cannabis’s long, unjustified prohibition, there is no way of knowing if combining Accutane and weed (or any medicine) is safe. My only, non-medical advice, is for you to do your research, from valid sources, be open with your doctor, and make the best decision for your particular situation.
How Is Cannabis Classified?
Drugs are categorized into three classes which are depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Cannabis has qualities of depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogenic. Therefore, it can not be easily classified. Examples of these are the following:
- Depressant-Weed will make you relaxed and sleepy.
- Creativity and Mood Swings– This is a stimulant effect.
- Hallucinogenic– An example of this is the enhanced sense of taste when smoking cannabis.
Cannabis also treats people differently. So, you cannot predict exactly how someone will react after smoking weed. As an example, some smokers get paranoid when they smoke any weed or a certain strain. While another person smoking the same strain may feel relaxed and ready to pass out.