Can you smoke weed on Suboxone? Discover the Risks and Guidelines.10 min read

Smoking weed on Suboxone can have potential risks and interactions that users should be aware of. In this article, we will explore the possible consequences of combining these substances and provide essential guidelines to make informed decisions about their use.

  • Understanding Suboxone: Learn about the composition and medical uses of Suboxone.
  • Overview of Cannabis: Discover what cannabis is and the common methods of consumption.
  • Importance of Drug Interaction Awareness: Understand the significance of knowing how drugs can interact with each other.
  • Interaction Between Suboxone and Cannabis: Dive into the mechanism of interaction between Suboxone and cannabis and the potential effects.
  • Possible Risks and Side Effects: Explore the potential adverse effects of combining Suboxone with weed.
  • Medical Advice and Guidelines: Get insights into consulting healthcare professionals and individual sensitivities.

Suboxone and Cannabis: A Complex Interaction

Smoking weed while on Suboxone can lead to a complex interaction between the two substances. Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is primarily used to treat opioid dependence. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. On the other hand, cannabis contains compounds like THC and CBD, which interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, affecting mood, cognition, and pain perception.
When cannabis is consumed while on Suboxone, the interaction can intensify the sedative effects, leading to increased dizziness and drowsiness. Additionally, combining the two substances may enhance respiratory depression, which can be particularly risky for individuals with respiratory issues or compromised lung function. It’s crucial to recognize that everyone’s reaction to this combination may vary due to individual variations and sensitivities.

Possible Risks and Side Effects

When using Suboxone and cannabis together, there are several potential risks and side effects to consider. As mentioned earlier, increased sedation and dizziness can occur, making activities like driving or operating heavy machinery hazardous. Respiratory depression is another concern, especially for those with respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Furthermore, combining substances can interfere with Suboxone’s effectiveness in managing opioid withdrawal and cravings. The use of cannabis may trigger substance abuse relapse in individuals recovering from opioid addiction. This interaction might also lead to an increased heart rate, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function.

To ensure safety and minimize potential risks, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before using cannabis while on Suboxone. They can provide personalized advice based on individual health conditions and medication history.

Individual Sensitivities and Guidelines

  • Consult a Healthcare Professional: Always consult your doctor before combining Suboxone and cannabis to evaluate potential risks.
  • Understand Personal Sensitivities: Be aware of your individual reactions to both substances and how they may interact.
  • Be Cautious with Dosages: Start with low doses of both Suboxone and cannabis to gauge their effects on your body.
  • Avoid Mixing with Other Substances: Avoid combining Suboxone with other substances, including alcohol and sedatives, as it can compound the risks.
  • Seek Support for Substance Use Disorders: If you struggle with substance use disorders, seek professional help to address underlying issues and find effective treatment options.

The Impact of Suboxone on Cannabis High

Understanding How Suboxone Influences Cannabis Effects

When Suboxone is taken as prescribed for opioid addiction treatment, it can significantly alter the experience of using cannabis. Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, which can mitigate the euphoric effects of cannabis. This means that individuals on Suboxone may experience a blunted cannabis high compared to those not taking the medication. However, it’s important to note that individual responses can vary, and some users may still experience the typical effects of cannabis despite being on Suboxone.

Potential Cannabis High Alterations with Suboxone

  • Reduced Euphoria: Buprenorphine in Suboxone may dampen the intense feelings of euphoria commonly associated with cannabis use.
  • Diminished Psychoactive Effects: The psychoactive compound THC’s effects might be less pronounced in the presence of Suboxone.
  • Mood and Cognition: Suboxone’s interaction with cannabis can impact mood, cognitive function, and memory during intoxication.
  • Analgesic Effects: Buprenorphine in Suboxone can influence cannabis-induced pain relief.

Managing Potential Risks: Combining Suboxone and Cannabis Safely

Consulting a Healthcare Professional for Guidance

Before using cannabis while on Suboxone, it is crucial to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional. They can assess your medical history, current health condition, and other medications to provide personalized advice on potential risks and interactions. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision based on your individual needs and health status.

Key Considerations When Consulting a Healthcare Professional

  • Full Disclosure: Provide complete and honest information about your cannabis use and any other substances you are using.
  • Understanding Individual Risks: Your healthcare professional will assess how Suboxone and cannabis might interact uniquely in your case.
  • Exploring Alternatives: If combining Suboxone and cannabis is deemed risky, your doctor may suggest alternative treatments or pain management strategies.

Minimizing Potential Harm with Harm Reduction

Harm reduction strategies can be beneficial for individuals who choose to use cannabis while on Suboxone. These practices aim to reduce the negative consequences associated with substance use and promote safer consumption.

Effective Harm Reduction Strategies

  • Start with Low Doses: Begin with small amounts of cannabis to gauge its effects in combination with Suboxone.
  • Avoid Combining with Other Substances: Steer clear of mixing cannabis with alcohol, sedatives, or other drugs, as it can increase risks.
  • Use in a Safe Environment: Consume cannabis in a familiar and comfortable setting to minimize potential hazards.
  • Inform Others: Let a trusted friend or family member know about your cannabis use, especially if you’re trying it for the first time while on Suboxone.

Recognizing the Signs of Cannabis and Suboxone Interaction

Being Mindful of Physical and Mental Changes

When combining Suboxone and cannabis, it’s essential to be vigilant about any physical and mental changes that might occur. Pay attention to how your body responds to the combination, including changes in heart rate, breathing patterns, mood shifts, and overall well-being.

Signs of Potential Cannabis and Suboxone Interaction

  • Increased Drowsiness: Feeling excessively tired or fatigued after using cannabis on Suboxone.
  • Altered Perception: Changes in sensory perception, such as intensified colors or distorted sounds.
  • Respiratory Changes: Experiencing difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort.
  • Mood Swings: Noticeable shifts in emotions, ranging from euphoria to heightened anxiety or irritability.

Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

If you experience severe or concerning symptoms while combining Suboxone and cannabis, seek immediate medical attention. Some reactions may require prompt intervention to prevent any potential harm.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • Severe Respiratory Distress: If you have trouble breathing or experience chest pain, seek emergency medical help.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling, or difficulty swallowing, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Loss of Consciousness: If you or someone else loses consciousness or becomes unresponsive, call for medical assistance right away.

Addressing Potential Substance Use Disorder Concerns

Recognizing the Risk of Substance Dependence

Combining Suboxone and cannabis might raise concerns about developing a substance use disorder. Both substances can be habit-forming, and their interaction may exacerbate dependency issues. It’s crucial to be aware of any signs of increasing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, or difficulty controlling your cannabis use while on Suboxone.

Steps to Address Substance Use Disorder Concerns

  • Seek Professional Help: If you suspect you might be developing a substance use disorder, seek assistance from addiction specialists or support groups.
  • Consider Medication-Assisted Treatment: MAT programs, like Suboxone treatment, can help manage substance use disorders and reduce cravings.
  • Psychotherapy and Counseling: Engage in therapy sessions to address underlying issues contributing to substance use.
  • Build a Support System: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can help you through the recovery process.

Finding Alternative Pain Management Strategies

Individuals who use Suboxone for pain management might seek alternative strategies for managing pain, considering the risks associated with combining Suboxone and cannabis.

Exploring Non-Pharmacological Pain Management

  • Physical Therapy: Engaging in targeted exercises and stretches to alleviate pain and improve mobility.
  • Acupuncture: Trying acupuncture to relieve pain and promote overall well-being.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Utilizing CBT techniques to manage pain perception and cope with chronic discomfort.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Incorporating mindfulness practices to reduce stress and manage pain more effectively.


Combining Suboxone and cannabis can have significant implications for individuals. While some may experience altered effects or reduced cannabis highs due to Suboxone’s influence, others may face potential risks, such as increased sedation and respiratory issues. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial before making any decisions about using cannabis while on Suboxone. Harm reduction strategies, such as starting with low doses and avoiding mixing substances, can help minimize risks. Individuals should be mindful of their physical and mental changes and seek immediate medical attention if needed. Addressing potential substance use disorder concerns and exploring alternative pain management strategies can promote safer and healthier practices. Ultimately, making informed decisions and prioritizing safety is paramount when considering the combination of Suboxone and cannabis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I smoke weed while on Suboxone for opioid addiction treatment?

Answer: It is generally not recommended to smoke weed while on Suboxone, as it can lead to potential interactions and risks. Cannabis use may alter the effectiveness of Suboxone in managing opioid withdrawal and cravings, and it can increase sedation and respiratory depression.

2. Is it safe to use CBD products with Suboxone?

Answer: While CBD products are generally considered safe, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before combining them with Suboxone. CBD might interact with other medications, including Suboxone, and affect their effectiveness.

3. Can I use medical marijuana while on Suboxone for pain management?

Answer: Using medical marijuana while on Suboxone for pain management requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional. There may be potential interactions between the two substances that could impact pain relief and overall health.

4. Does smoking weed affect Suboxone drug testing results?

Answer: Smoking weed can affect drug testing results for Suboxone, as some tests may detect THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and buprenorphine in the system. It’s important to disclose all substance use to medical professionals administering drug tests.

5. What are the potential long-term risks of combining Suboxone and cannabis?

Answer: The long-term risks of combining Suboxone and cannabis are not fully understood. However, increased sedation, respiratory issues, and potential impacts on mental health and substance use disorders are among the concerns.

6. Can I experience withdrawal symptoms from stopping cannabis use while on Suboxone?

Answer: Some individuals may experience mild withdrawal symptoms from stopping cannabis use while on Suboxone, such as irritability or changes in appetite. However, these symptoms are usually short-lived and less severe than opioid withdrawal.

7. How can I manage pain while on Suboxone without using cannabis?

Answer: There are several alternative pain management strategies to explore, including physical therapy, acupuncture, mindfulness practices, and non-opioid medications. Discuss these options with your healthcare provider to find the best approach for your specific needs.

8. Is it safe to use edibles or other non-smoking forms of cannabis while on Suboxone?

Answer: Using edibles or other non-smoking forms of cannabis may still pose risks and interactions with Suboxone. Always consult with a healthcare professional before combining any form of cannabis with Suboxone.

9. Can I use cannabis for recreational purposes while on Suboxone?

Answer: It is generally discouraged to use cannabis for recreational purposes while on Suboxone. Recreational use may lead to unpredictable interactions and potentially harmful effects due to the combination of substances.

10. Are there any benefits to using cannabis while on Suboxone?

Answer: The potential benefits of using cannabis while on Suboxone are not well-established. Some individuals may find it helps alleviate certain symptoms, but the risks and interactions should be carefully considered with the guidance of a healthcare professional.