It’s not definitively harmful to mix marijuana with the over-the-counter cold remedy, NyQuil, but doing so could amplify NyQuil’s sleep-inducing properties. The two key components of NyQuil, doxylamine and dextromethorphan, have been found to interact moderately with cannabis.
However, another ingredient in NyQuil, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol or paracetamol), has not been shown to react negatively when used in conjunction with cannabis. At our medical marijuana clinic locations, our doctors can provide you with advice regarding your personal situation.
Can You Smoke Marijuana While Taking Cold Medicine?
In general, medical professionals would not advise any person to mix cannabis with cold medication, such as NyQuil. If you decide to use marijuana while on cold medicine, do so with caution.
Smoking can further irritate your throat and lungs, which could be detrimental if you’re already dealing with coughing and a sore throat. As mentioned, using cannabis might amplify the undesirable side effects of over-the-counter cold medication or painkillers like Tylenol or Advil. Many people use cannabis to alleviate pain, inflammation, and sleep disorders, but an overly potent dose can result in dizziness or nausea. If you’re already feeling under the weather due to a cold or its medication, it’s probably best not to risk exacerbating these side effects.
There are numerous other ways to manage cold symptoms that won’t interfere with cannabis usage. Medical professionals often suggest staying well-hydrated, getting plenty of rest, gargling with warm salt water, drinking warm fluids and honey, and even using a humidifier.
What is NyQuil?
NyQuil is a well-known brand of medication used to alleviate pain and manage symptoms of the common cold, such as a sore throat. It comes in both liquid and liquicap forms. Often, it’s sold alongside DayQuil, positioning NyQuil as the preferred choice for nighttime use.
Typically, these types of cold remedies (known as antitussives) comprise one or more of the following: pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants.
Potential Interactions From Mixing NyQuil and Weed
Numerous cold medications contain active ingredients such as acetaminophen (also found in Tylenol), dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, doxylamine, and phenylephrine.
These substances can lead to side effects like drowsiness, vertigo, restlessness, nausea, or vomiting. Interestingly, cannabis may also induce similar adverse reactions. When used in conjunction with these medications, the intensity or duration of these undesirable symptoms may potentially increase.
Conversely, it appears that there is minimal concern regarding the simultaneous use of cannabis and either ibuprofen or guaifenesin. However, no research has been conducted to directly examine the relationship between these drugs and the consumption of cannabis. Therefore, patients might want to seek medical advice before incorporating either medication into their existing cannabis regimen (or the other way around).
THC, CBD, and Cold Medicine
Although research is limited, some studies indicate that specific cannabinoids such as CBD and THC can impact the liver and its enzymes, which play a crucial role in metabolizing medications like NyQuil. This suggests that cannabis intake could alter the levels of doxylamine and dextromethorphan in the body after consuming NyQuil, potentially leading to symptoms like dizziness, sleepiness, vomiting, changes in blood pressure, sweating, fever, and more.
NyQuil serves as a cough suppressant, inhaling smoke might trigger or worsen a cough. Hence, it might be counterintuitive to use both while suffering from a cold. NyQuil contains approximately 10% alcohol and mixing alcohol with cannabis could enhance dizziness, confusion, and potentially extend the duration of the rhinovirus in your system.
The risk associated with combining cannabis and NyQuil is generally perceived as moderate, but this doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. The interaction between these two substances in the body will differ among individuals.
Further investigation is required to fully comprehend how cannabis and NyQuil interact within the human body. Until then, if you’re contemplating using both drugs concurrently, particularly if you have a history of adverse reactions to either cold medication or cannabis, it’s prudent to exercise caution.
Can Smoking Marijuana Make a Cold Worse?
There is no definitive proof indicating that cannabis consumption prolongs the duration of a cold or hampers the body’s capacity to combat it. However, some studies suggest that smoking cannabis might exacerbate specific symptoms of a cold.
A 2018 review found evidence associating cannabis smoking with respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and mucus production. If an individual is already experiencing these symptoms due to a cold, they may notice a worsening after smoking cannabis.
While some individuals assert that smoking aids in reducing inflammatory symptoms, others counter that the heat and smoke could intensify these symptoms.
Therefore, those seeking to use cannabis for cold relief should explore alternative methods of consumption. For example, they might consider using cannabis-infused edibles or extracted anti-inflammatory substances, such as CBD oil for sleeping.
Potential Side Effects of Smoking Weed With a Cold
The impact of smoking cannabis on cold symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people might find relief, while others could experience exacerbated symptoms.
An important factor to consider when smoking cannabis introduces hot smoke into the lungs. Both the heat and smoke can act as irritants, potentially neutralizing the anti-inflammatory advantages offered by cannabinoids and terpenoids.
Inhalation of smoke might be especially bothersome for individuals with nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion. It can also irritate the throat and lungs, leading to increased production of phlegm. An abundance of phlegm can intensify a cough and further irritate an itchy throat.
The heat from the smoke of a joint or handheld vaporizer, which doesn’t get much cooling time before reaching the throat, can also worsen throat symptoms, causing dryness and soreness.
Other cannabis smoking techniques might help slightly cool down the smoke. For example, using a water pipe filled with ice is one option. However, the smoke could still cause irritation.
Marijuana and Viruses
While there are no specific studies examining the interaction between cannabis and the common cold, research has been conducted on how certain cannabinoids interact with various viruses. Notably, a comprehensive study has compiled existing research on cannabis’s interaction with viruses such as Herpes (HSV 1 and 2), Borna Disease Virus (BDV), HIV, influenza, and more. The effects and benefits of cannabis can vary, yielding both beneficial and detrimental outcomes depending on the virus in question.
More recently, research has focused on the influence of cannabinoids on the COVID-19 virus. CBD has demonstrated antiviral properties, and one study revealed that CBDA and CBGA could bind to COVID spike proteins. This binding process could potentially hinder the COVID virus’s ability to attach to other body cells. However, these findings were observed in lab-based tissue cultures and have yet to be tested on humans.
Further research is crucial to enhance the understanding of healthcare professionals and the public regarding the interaction between cannabis and viruses, including the common cold.
The Bottom Line of NyQuil and Weed
Even though there are no reported severe risks associated with combining cannabis and NyQuil, it’s generally not advisable for most individuals unless a doctor approves it.
Two of the three primary ingredients in NyQuil — doxylamine and dextromethorphan — have a moderate drug interaction with cannabis. This is due to their sedative properties, which might be amplified when used concurrently to treat temporary health conditions. Cannabis could potentially disrupt how the active components in NyQuil are metabolized, heightening the risk of negative reactions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us at Cannabis Doctor X.