Cannabis Science

Smoking Weed with Strep Throat

man in agony

There are thousands of cases of strep throat every year in the United States. Strep throat, which is an infection of the throat and tonsils, is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. While a common symptom of strep throat is a sore throat, there are many other symptom such as fever, headache and nausea. If you’re a stoner, you may be wondering about smoking weed with strep throat. We have all the info you need!

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Can Smoking Weed Make Strep Throat Worse?


While there isn’t much information on weed and strep throat specifically, there is information on weed and other similar illnesses.

According to Healthline, “If your throat and lungs are already irritated, smoking may exacerbate your discomfort.” That goes for if you’re hitting a bong, vape, rig or joint.

Healthline also stated that your body may respond differently to weed when you’re ill. For example, you may experience more intense symptoms. 

However, Healthline does say that regular users may not have to worry after all. The article stated, “If you already smoke weed on a regular basis, doing so while you’re sick probably won’t have a drastic impact on your symptoms.” 

Healthline does issue a caution to users advising them not to experiment with different doses and strains while sick. 

Can Smoking Weed Help Strep Throat?

In theory but there isn’t any concrete evidence. 

For example, Healthline states that weed can reduce inflammation. A reduction in inflammation can technically make your throat feel better. However, the hot smoke and coughing which would result from a blunt, would not. 

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In addition to that, weed may help with the pain. Weed is commonly thought to be a pain reliever. Migraine or headaches can be treated with weed. Since headaches are commonly associated with strep throat, weed could potentially help with the pain. 

The treatment for strep throat is antibiotics as prescribed by a doctor.

Can You Get Strep Throat From Smoking Weed?

No. Remember strep throat is caused by bacteria.

However, you could pick up that bacteria from sharing a bong, blunt, or being in close contact with someone who is infected.

Therefore if you have strep throat, which is very contagious, don’t share utensils, glasses, blunts, bongs, dab rigs or anything like that. 

If you think you have strep throat visit your doctor. They will probably put you on some antibiotics so that you can feel better. 

Can Smoking Weed Cause Sore Throat?

Yes. People also mix up a sore throat and strep throat a lot. Strep throat is much more severe and is caused by specific bacteria. Sore throats can be caused by bacteria too but also viruses, dry air and other irritants. 

According to Royal Queen Seeds, smoking weed can cause a sore throat due to:

  • Breathing in hot smoke
  • Cottonmouth
  • Compounds found in weed

In addition to that, if smoking weed makes you cough, you could further irritate your throat and make it sore.

If you realize that smoking weed is causing sore throats, you can try consuming weed in another way like eating edibles. 

Can You Smoke Weed When Taking Medication For Sore Throat?

Sore throats are unpleasant to deal with and so you may opt for some over-the-counter (OTC) medication. 

According to Daniel Murrell, MD, people should exercise caution mixing over-the-counter drugs and weed. Murrell was referring specifically to cold and flu medication but there could be some overlap when it comes to treating sore throat. 

Murrell was quoted on Healthline saying, “Some OTC remedies alter how the body processes the psychoactive components of marijuana, which may lead to an accumulation of excess effects.”

In addition to that, some of the side effects of OTC medication, such as blurry vision, may be worse with weed. 

Murrell advises occasional or rare users of marijuana to wait before using weed. On the other hand, regular users should maintain the same amount of weed they usually use instead of increasing it.

If you’re concerned about the medication you’re using, talk to your doctor.

Sore Throat Remedies 

If you have a sore throat there are many things you can do to relieve it. According to Royal Queen Seeds, it’s best to let your throat heal before smoking again. 

However, in the meantime, Healthline suggests:

  • Gargling with warm saltwater
  • Taking over the counter medication such as acetaminophen 
  • Drinking warm liquids like tea or soup to soothe the throat
  • Eating something cold like a popsicle to cool your throat
  • Using a humidifier to add moist air to the room

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as high fever, a sore throat for more than a week, or a really severe sore throat, seek professional medical care. 


Strep throat is an unpleasant condition caused by strep bacteria often treated with antibiotics. Smoking weed cannot give you strep throat. However, sharing smoking equipment or blunts with someone who is infected could give you strep throat. Smoking weed can however give you a sore throat. There are many ways to treat a mild sore throat at home. If you keep getting sore throats then you can consider using weed in another way other than smoking it.  

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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].

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