Learn how marijuana can interact with other drugs like alcohol, prescription drugs, and cocaine. 

Marijuana isn’t usually life-threatening on its own. However, when marijuana is combined, laced or mixed with other drugs like alcohol and prescriptions medications, marijuana use can cause several severe health conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirm that mixing alcohol with marijuana can cause more significant impairment than what is usual for either of these substances. When marijuana is combined with prescription drugs, this combination can change the way the prescription drug works in the body and exacerbate the effects of both substances.

Dr. Timothy Brennan, the Addiction Institute director at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospitals says, “There are literally hundreds of chemicals in the cannabis plant, including the psychoactive chemicals that give us the traditional marijuana high and chemicals that just happen to be in the plant.”

Brennan explains that these chemicals can interact with any other substance that someone is using. It’s difficult to determine why mixing marijuana with other drugs is so dangerous because research efforts are impeded by the fact that marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug.

Marijuana and Commonly Abused Drugs

Marijuana and Prescription Drugs

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Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What Are the Effects mixing marijuana with alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs?” 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019.

Mateo, Ashley. “Your Favorite Relaxation Habit Might Be Secretly Screwing With Your Meds“>Your Fav[…]ith Your Meds” Women’s Health, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.