Ketamine And Marijuana: 3 Things To Know Before Combining Drugs

Ketamine And Marijuana: 3 Things To Know Before Combining Drugs

Ketamine is growing in popularity, with ketamine clinics popping up all over the world as a form of alternative therapy. With research showing amazing results when dealing with severe cases of common mental health issues, expect the practice to expand.

According to Dr. Ben Medrano, “Ketamine (in the form of esketamine aka Spravato) is FDA approved for treatment resistant depression and has been increasingly used for a number of off-label, evidence-based indications including depression, anxiety and trauma.”

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Marijuana, on the other hand, is not a classical psychedelic — although its classification is definitely unique. Marijuana itself refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Each contains the mind-altering chemical THC and other similar compounds. It has depressant, hallucinogenic and stimulant properties, but it doesn’t neatly fit into any single one of these categories.

As a hallucinogen, it’s closest to other psychedelics, and the question of its effect when combined with one comes into play. Depending on the psychedelic, the dosage and strength may differ. It’s also important to be extra vigilant and careful when taking any combination of drugs.

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic and sedative. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug. How will each react when taken together, and will it yield some kind of positive result? Here’s what we know about mixing the two together.

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An important note: Cannabis consumers should take a break before moving forward with their ketamine treatment. According to Erin Carpenter, LCSW and owner of Psychedelic Growth in Boulder, Colorado, “You should withhold cannabis for 72 hours before and after a ketamine session.”

Potential Enhancement of Negative Side Effects

Since both substances can invoke negative side effects, when taken together, the same could be enhanced. For instance, some users see an increase in closed eye visuals, a tunneling of the mind, more confusion, noticeable dizziness and drowsiness. Likewise, problems with focus and concentration often appear.

When not monitoring both substances together, this creates a problem, as the side effects could potentially cause further harm. If trying this, be sure to have someone nearby who is aware and sober, and can assist unforeseen side effects.

Potential Development of Addiction

Ketamine’s addictive potential separates it from other psychedelics. It also rates as being only slightly more addictive than cannabis. Interestingly enough, ketamine addiction is more psychological in nature than physical, which makes it quite similar to cannabis addiction.

When taken in larger doses and abused, ketamine, as a dissociative, provides a sort of escapism. It can successfully separate a user from a sense of self and the world. This can create addictive tendencies, leading to cravings in order to feel a “blissful escape” from reality.

On the other hand, ketamine can also increase positive feelings like euphoria and contentment. These positive states also make it tempting to become a frequent ketamine user, therefore developing a ketamine addiction.

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Marijuana’s addiction potential is well-known, with recent data suggesting 30 percent of those who use the drug may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. The use disorder, according to researchers, can morph into addiction when a person can’t stop using the drug even. This happens when it interferes with daily activities, causing severe psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Whatever the case may be, when it comes to mixing ketamine with marijuana, the research is still in its infancy. Additionally, many of the current trials are still under way. But when using the correct dosage, it can potentially be a great cocktail mix for specific mental health issues. The results will speak for themselves.

RELATED: Is Ketamine A Stimulant?

Karla Tafra

View all posts by Karla Tafra

Karla is a freelance writer, yoga teacher and nutritionist who's been writing about nutrition, fitness, yoga, mindfulness, and overall health and wellness topics for over seven years. She's written for numerous publications such as Healthline, Livesavvy,, Well + Good, and many others, sharing her love of storytelling and educating. She loves talking about superfoods and another amazing plant powers that people can benefit from if they learn how to use it properly. Her passion lies in helping others not only eat healthier meals but implement good eating habits, find a great relationship with food & achieve a balanced lifestyle. She believes that the only diet and lifestyle that's worth creating is the one you can stick to, so she aims to find what that means for each and every individual. Teaching WHY we eat, and not only WHAT we eat, is the premise of her approach.

Dr. Ben Medrano

This post was medically approved by Dr. Ben Medrano

Dr. Ben Medrano is a board certified psychiatrist specializing in Integrative Psychiatry, Ketamine Assisted Therapy and Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration. He received his MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine with additional training in the Urban Underserved Track (CU-UNITE). Dr. Medrano is most known for his work with ketamine assisted therapy and is the former Senior Vice President and US Medical Director of Field Trip Health - the largest in-office ketamine assisted therapy practice to date. He continues to sponsor Field Trip clinics as a local medical director at multiple sites on the East Coast allowing him to further the field of psychedelic assisted therapy and research.

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