Cannabis Science, CBD

Can You Smoke Weed on Steroids?

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Steroids refer to two different types of chemicals; corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids. You can be prescribed steroids for various diseases or conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, people use anabolic-androgenic steroids, often called anabolics, to get bigger muscles. If you’re a stoner and have been prescribed steroids, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to use with weed. So, can you smoke weed on steroids? Here’s what we know. 

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Can You Smoke Weed While on Steroids?

There is not a lot of information regarding marijuana and steroid interactions. We searched for the interaction between marijuana and various steroids and could not find an interaction. That doesn’t mean an interaction doesn’t exist. It could just be a lack of available research. However, based on the possible side effects of both substances, there could possibly be an amplification of the side effects.

First, we’re going to examine corticosteroids. According to the National Health Service (NHS), corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications that treat many conditions, including asthma, lupus, and hives. There are many ways corticosteroids can be consumed. You can get them as creams, pills, injections, and inhalers. 

Short-Term Effects

There are many side effects associated with using corticosteroids. Short-term effects, according to WebMD, are:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Spikes in blood pressure and blood sugar

Long-Term Effects

Some of the long-term side effects, according to NHS, include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Acne
  • Mood changes such as mood swings and depression

By looking at these side effects, we can see that marijuana reportedly can have these side effects too. An increase in appetite is definitely associated with marijuana use. However, it’s more of a short-term side effect instead long term. There have been debates on whether or not marijuana suppresses the immune system. In addition to that, there have also been debates on weed causing acne and mood changes. There needs to be more research done, but it’s still something to consider.  

One corticosteroid we know that weed could possibly interact with is prednisone. Prednisone can be used for lupus, various types of arthritis, and other conditions. Prednisone can cause headaches and dizziness, just like weed can. In addition to that, many stoners reported adverse effects. 

Can You Smoke Weed on Anabolics?

WebMD describes anabolics as “man-made versions of testosterone.” They are prescribed if you don’t have enough testosterone. Doctors may prescribe anabolics if you lose muscle mass due to illness or delayed puberty, among other reasons.

However, people use them to build muscle. Unfortunately, anabolics are often abused for this purpose and can cause many problems. 

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There isn’t much information on whether or not weed is safe with anabolics. However, there are a couple of things to consider. For example, WebMD says, “Long-term use can stop the body from making testosterone. In men, this causes smaller testicles, lower sperm counts, infertility, and breast growth.”

This gives us pause because weed use is associated with lower testosterone levels. Again, we’re not sure what will happen if you use both long-term simultaneously. However, if you struggle with low testosterone and have been prescribed anabolics, it’s worth a convo with your doctor.

In addition to that, the long-term effects of anabolic use can affect your heart, and research suggests weed may do the same thing. Your risk for a heart attack is much higher right after using weed. So, if your risk for heart attack is also elevated due to long-term anabolic use, there is a possibility this spells trouble. However, this assumption is based on two facts; we need more research in this area. 

Interestingly, using too much anabolics can lead to aggression. We wonder if weed use can counteract this since weed is known to calm people down.

Can You Use CBD While on Steroids?

There seems to be some interaction between cannabidiol (CBD) and steroids. One study says, “CBD administration either enhanced the therapeutic effect of steroids or reduced steroid dosage while maintaining or improving the steroid’s therapeutic effect.” That’s promising news!

However, we don’t know if CBD is safe with all steroids. Generally speaking, don’t mix substances unless you have had a chat with your doctor. With prednisone, a corticosteroid, we know that CBD inhibits CYP3A, and the same cytochrome metabolizes prednisone. That means CBD could technically inhibit its metabolism and increase side effects. 

This may not be the only substance CBD affects. According to a Forbes article, CBD may have a similar effect to grapefruit. You may have heard that grapefruit and certain medications are a dangerous combination. The reason is that grapefruit has furanocoumarins that neutralize certain gut enzymes. These enzymes are important in metabolizing substances in your system.

As Forbes said, “When these enzymes can’t do their job, too much of the drug enters the liver and flows unprocessed into the bloodstream. That elevates the risk of having dangerously high levels of the drug in your system.” 

Forbes also pointed out that CBD binds to these same enzymes. As a matter of fact, CBD also inhibits enzymes in the liver, which is an organ that also metabolizes substances. 

CBD is shown to be an inhibitor of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 which means it can affect the metabolism of steroids like budesonide and methylprednisone. They’re metabolized by CYP3A4, which CBD inhibits. 

GoodRx says that using grapefruit can “ dangerously raise your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and cause other serious and sometimes long-lasting effects of too much steroids in the body.” We’re assuming CBD can do the same. 

Takeaway

Can you smoke weed on steroids? We’re not sure. There doesn’t seem to be much interaction between weed and steroids. There is a chance using weed could exacerbate the side effects of steroids like prednisone. At the same time, it seems that CBD may be dangerous to use with certain steroids. Since there are so many different steroids, we recommend sharing your concerns with your doctor before starting a steroid treatment. 

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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].