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Is It Safe to Mix Ibuprofen and Weed?

  • It’s generally considered safe to mix ibuprofen and weed in low to moderate doses. But be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about combining medical cannabis with over-the-counter and prescription medications whenever possible.
  • You and your provider may have to experiment to find the right doses for all of your daily and as-needed medications once you add cannabis to your regimen.

Whether you’re trying to find a solution for long-term chronic pain or a cure for mild headaches, you might be considering medical cannabis. But you’re likely already accustomed to taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve pain—so, will marijuana interfere with medications like ibuprofen?

At present, health researchers know very little about the combination of ibuprofen and marijuana specifically. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that combining ibuprofen and medical cannabis in moderation is safe.

You likely still have other questions: Can marijuana help with nerve pain? How can you safely and intentionally use cannabis for pain relief?

With these in mind, we’re breaking down everything patients need to know about combining cannabis—a plant-based medicine with underutilized healing power—and ibuprofen. We’ll explore what the medical communities (both Western and alternative healing experts) currently know and describe safe ways to use cannabis to relieve pain.

Ibuprofen and Cannabis: What We Know

Let’s first dive into the question at hand: is it safe to combine ibuprofen and cannabis? At present, health experts believe that it’s relatively safe to combine these two compounds. But there are two key considerations cannabis users should remember when treating pain:

Information About Cannabis Combinations is Limited

At present, studies related to cannabis in combination with other drugs are limited. What does this mean for patients looking for pain relief?

  • Cannabis-informed providers are a key resource – As you explore your options with cannabis treatment, your medical marijuana doctor will be a key source of knowledge. They can help you curate a pain management plan that works for you and comment on any ongoing studies related to clinical applications for cannabis.
  • Anecdotal evidence is valuable – Cannabis-informed providers have known for decades that science and Western medicine are behind the curve when it comes to marijuana applications in healthcare. Luckily, patients and doctors have been documenting their experiences with cannabis outside of the context of clinical trials.

This means that there’s ample anecdotal evidence from people with firsthand experience. While each person responds to cannabis differently, these anecdotal reports can help you identify trends and consider solutions that have provided results for other patients.

Combinations Could Interfere with the Effectiveness of Cannabis

There is some evidence that OTC medications like ibuprofen could dampen some of the effects of cannabis. But this isn’t a guarantee—as stated above, research is ongoing.

A ten-year-old study, for instance, identified a potential decrease in response to THC in combination with ibuprofen. The study, however, concluded that this altered response could benefit patients with neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s dementia. So, even in studies claiming that ibuprofen can change the effectiveness of cannabis, these interactions could still have positive results.

At the end of the day, patients should take steps to combine cannabis with traditional medications in a safe manner and closely document their results. We’ll discuss exactly how to approach this in the following sections.

Mixing Cannabis and Medications: General Rules

If you choose to combine cannabis with either OTC medications or prescription drugs (or both), some simple considerations will help you stay safe and find your ideal solution.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Can you get a medical card for back pain? In some states (including Louisiana), the answer is yes. But if you choose to combine medical cannabis with OTC medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, or aspirin, there are a few precautions you should take:

  • Stick to minimum doses at first – There isn’t currently any evidence suggesting that combining cannabis with OTC drugs is dangerous. However, start your experiment with relatively low doses to observe your own response to these combinations. You may choose to halve the recommended dose of an OTC formula out of an abundance of caution; you should also consider starting with a low dose of cannabis for the same reason.
  • Observe your responses closely – Depending on what you’re treating, observe your body’s response carefully—consider documenting your response for future reference as well. These observations and records will help you create a pain relief routine that works. And, in the unlikely event that you have a negative reaction, your recorded information can help a healthcare provider determine what may have gone wrong.

Prescription Drugs

When it comes to combining prescription drugs with cannabis, a conversation with a healthcare provider is paramount. Since studies are limited and ongoing, providers may not be sure how you’ll respond to cannabis in combination with your traditional prescription.

The guidelines for OTC combinations apply here:

  • Start low and slow – Increase your dose as needed; talk to your doctor about your precise dosing of cannabis and your prescription formula.
  • Take notes – Your provider will want to know the specifics of how you responded to cannabis in combination with your prescription drug. Providers use anecdotal evidence from their own patient populations to advise other users looking for relief—even if you have positive results, your doctor will want to know the specifics.
  • Talk to your doctor before making any changes – If you want to increase or decrease the dosages of both of your medications (cannabis and your traditional prescription), talk to your provider about what these changes might mean for you before making any adjustments on your own.

Relieving Pain with Cannabis

If you’re interested in adding cannabis to your pain relief regimen, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow to get access to medical marijuana in the first place.

As always, we recommend adding only dispensary- or pharmacy-grade cannabis to your routine: these legal marijuana products are lab-tested for safety and contents, and they’re the best route for patients looking for consistent results.

Talk to a Cannabis-Informed Health Provider

Can you buy weed in Louisiana now? Yes, but you’ll need a recommendation from a healthcare provider.

In Louisiana:

  • Any doctor can recommend medical cannabis
  • Providers can recommend marijuana for any medical condition

That said, your existing provider may not be up-to-date on the current clinical applications of cannabis—or they simply may not be open-minded about supplementing your current regimen with all-natural formulas.

This is why connecting with a cannabis-informed provider can be so beneficial for patients. If you’re looking for a healthcare provider with clinical knowledge about cannabis, reach out to TeleLeaf—we’re here to help you find a trusted healing partner.

Visit a Medical Marijuana Pharmacy

Once you have a recommendation for cannabis from a healthcare provider, you’ll need to apply for a medical marijuana card. This process looks a little different in every state—in Louisiana, you won’t receive a physical card, but you still need to apply to gain access to a medical cannabis pharmacy.

During your first visit to the pharmacy, expect to:

  • Talk to a budtender – Marijuana products are only available behind the counter; you’ll need to talk to a pharmacy professional (affectionately known as a “budtender”) to choose and purchase a product.
  • Ask questions – Budtenders are industry professionals who help patients find relief all day, every day. They, too, have anecdotal knowledge from the local patient population that can help you find the ideal strain, dose, and product for your needs.
  • Get tips – If you’re a newcomer to cannabis, your budtender can offer tips for administration. If you’re looking for something discreet or highly convenient, just say so: your budtender is happy to help you find a solution that works for your lifestyle.

Create a Routine for As-Needed Use

If you’re considering using marijuana for pain relief, you may choose to take an “as-needed” approach: using cannabis only when you’re in active pain, for instance.

Even if you’re only planning to use cannabis the way most people use OTC painkillers like ibuprofen (occasionally, but not every day), you should create a routine that works for you.

This will require experimentation—everyone responds differently to cannabis, and you’ll likely need to try a few different tactics to find your perfect routine. We recommend trying:

  • Different dosages (though starting low and gradually increasing is typically best)
  • Various administration methods (e.g., smoking, vaping, edibles, or topicals)
  • Multiple timing options (to get a feel for your response time to marijuana)

Keep in mind, it might take time to develop a routine that works for you and produces consistent results. Luckily, your medical marijuana doctor and your budtender are happy to help you curate this routine.

TeleLeaf: Connecting Patients with All-Natural Healing

While we don’t yet have in-depth clinical information about how ibuprofen and cannabis interact, it’s generally considered safe to combine them in moderation. Regardless, talking to your cannabis-informed provider is key to creating a routine that works for your pain level, lifestyle, and goals.

Healing with cannabis is all about experimenting to find your ideal solution. And, when you need a supportive community of providers and patients who can help you along your healing journey, turn to TeleLeaf: the best online medical marijuana card service provider on the market today.

Our providers are here for you: we listen closely to your needs, make practical recommendations, and help you use the healing power of cannabis to unlock a higher quality of life.

Ready to get started? Make an appointment with a medical cannabis doctor now.


Sources:

Cell. Δ9-THC-Caused Synaptic and Memory Impairments Are Mediated through COX-2 Signaling.
https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(13)01360-3

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