Cannabis Science

Can You Smoke Weed on Accutane?

woman's eye and face closeup

If you’re a stoner who has just been prescribed Accutane, you probably have a ton of questions. You may be unsure how it works, curious about side effects, or just excited to see the results. You may also be wondering about the interaction between weed and accutane. So, can you smoke weed on Accutane? Here’s what you need to know. 

Photo: Unsplash

What is Accutane? 

Before we get into whether or not you can smoke weed on Accutane, let’s talk about the medication.

If you’re not sure what Accutane is, you’re certainly not alone.

Accutane or isotretinoin, is a type of retinoid medication that treats severe acne. It’s usually given to patients who had no luck with other acne treatments. 

According to Healthline, it works by targeting inflammation, clogged pores, oil production, and bacteria. 

People who use Accutane may develop mild to serious side effects from the medication.

For example, Healthline says some people may experience:

  • Dry eyes
  • Skin infections
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stroke
  • Decreased night vision
  • Diabetes
  • And so many other side effects

However, Healthline says that the severity of the side effects may be dose-dependent. That means people who take a low dose may not experience any side effects while people who take higher doses are at risk for more serious effects. 

Unfortunately, accutane is linked to mental health issues too. Medical News Today says using Accutane is linked to depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues. 

In the case of depression, Medical News Today believes Accutane may cause depression due to its effects on the central nervous system and its influence on pathways that lead to depression. 

While depression on Accutane may be dose-dependent, it’s important to note that it’s not super common. Medical News Today says, “The frequency of depression among people using Accutane varies from 1 to 11%.”

Medical News Today also says that while suicidal thoughts and behaviors are rare symptoms of depression when using Accutane, they’re possible. 

However, it’s a serious enough side effect that you’ll be taken off Accutane if it occurs. Sadly, the depression may not resolve on its own after stopping the medication but there are resources out there to help you. 

Weed on Accutane: Is it Safe? 

You should always be cautious about mixing substances. 

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any sources that definitively concluded whether or not weed is safe on Accutane. 

But we were able to find expert opinions. 

When prompted on Health Tap about using Accutane and weed, Dr. Heidi Fowler says, “

Not sure: That is an excellent question. I would ensure that the prescriber knows this – expecially [sic] if you were a heavy cannabis user or if you suffered from emotional problems related to the cannabis use.”

Another doctor on Health Tap, Dr. Pamela Pappas says, “Accutane has been linked to severe depression and suicidality in some people. Adding in another substance that can also leave you depressed is not a good idea. I’m sure some have combined these and will say they’ve had no problems, but i’d still recommend not doing it.”

Dr Mark Reynolds, told a Health Tap user, “Yes: Both may be associate with psychiatric sequelae including psychosis. Don’t do it.”

Based on these responses, it’s best to inform your doctor that you use marijuana and mention any mental health issues you already have. 

As a matter of fact, says anybody on Accutane should monitor their mental health closely. 

In addition, watch out for some of the common side effects between weed and Accutane. For example, they can both cause dry eyes which may require eye drops. 

We were also curious to see what stoners on Reddit had to say. One comment said their friend experienced a green out (unpleasant cannabis side effects) while on Accutane and weed. Some comments lamented about having depression as well as dry skin and eyes.

What’s the Relationship Between Weed and Acne?

We can also examine the relationship between weed and acne. 

Maybe your weed habit is contributing to your acne and you don’t even know. 

While there is no definitive link between smoking a blunt and getting pimples, stoners may notice more zits popping up because of what they’re eating.

That’s right, you’re favorite munchie snacks such as cookies and cake may be contributing to your acne flare-ups. These types of treats are referred to as high glycemic foods, which means they spike your blood sugar rapidly. 

That blood sugar spike can increase your hormones, oil production, and therefore, pimples. 


So, can you smoke weed on Accutane? There are no conclusive studies on whether or not smoking weed on Accutane is safe. However, many doctors seem to be against it. At the very least, let your doctor know that you’re a stoner so they can give you their medical opinion regarding Accutane being right for you. We’re very interested to see research on the interaction between weed and accutane. It would be interesting to see if weed can counter the depression caused by Accutane or alleviate any of the side effects. We’ll be looking out for any new research and keep you updated. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].