A blog post about using cannabis while taking Cyclobenzaprine. Find out if it’s safe, what the risks are, and how it might affect your medication.
What is Cyclobenzaprine HCl?
Cyclobenzaprine is the generic drug name for Flexeril and Amrix and is in a medication class called skeletal muscle relaxants. Flexeril is an oral prescription medication used for muscle spasms.
A muscle relaxant is often used along with other treatments such as resting, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and different ways to relax the muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by muscle injuries.
What are the side effects of Flexeril?
Along with its intended effects, Flexeril may cause some adverse effects ranging from mild to severe. Many side effects may not occur, but if they do, you may want to reach out to your doctor for clarification.
Most common side effects are mild and may disappear during treatment as your body adjusts to the dose. These side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
Below are a few side effects that can happen but are less common; they include:
- Bloated or gassy
- nausea or vomiting
- stomach cramps
- frequent urination
- a general sense of discomfort
- headache or migraine
- muscle spasms
- numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in limbs
- pounding heartbeat
- speech issues
- unpleasant taste or change in tastes
- muscle weakness
- extreme fatigue
These are the symptoms of overdose. We recommend contacting emergency medical care if you are experiencing any of the following:
- severe drowsiness
- dry, hot, flushed skin
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- extreme increase/decrease in body temperature
- unable to breathe properly
- severe muscle stiffness
- intense anxiety or paranoia
- vomiting along with one of the above symptoms
What medical conditions does Flexeril treat?
Flexeril can be prescribed to an array of patients with many different conditions. It is often used by those with chronic muscle pain or spasms. Those with past injuries to a muscle group will typically take Flexeril to relax the muscles so they can heal.
It is only meant to be used for two to three weeks as there can be significant consequences for prolonged use of cyclobenzaprine.
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana (medical cannabis or MMJ) describes any derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant that can relieve symptoms caused by certain medical conditions.
Cannabis sativa contains many active compounds that are called cannabinoids. The best known are delta-9 THC, CBD, delta-8, delta-10, CBD, and CBN. THC is the cannabinoid that offers users a “high.”
U.S. federal law prohibits the use or possession of cannabis unless it contains CBD derived from the hemp plant or less than 0.3% THC.
Many states have legalized THC for medicinal purposes, so possessing it in some states is okay. Knowing your local laws beforehand is best as state laws vary, and so do qualifying conditions. Medicinal cannabis has possible therapeutic benefits for several medical conditions, including the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe nausea caused by cancer treatment
What are the side effects of MMJ?
Medical marijuana is relatively safe and has very few severe side effects. Possible side effects of medical marijuana can include the following:
- Dizziness or Fatigue
- Impaired cognitive function
- Increased heart rate
- Slowed reaction times
- Adverse drug interactions
- Smoking can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke
- Over-stimulated appetite
- Hallucinations or Paranoia
- Cannabis Withdrawal symptoms
Some medical cannabis products contain CBD and other minor cannabinoids that can provide relief without the psychoactive effects associated with THC and marijuana. It’s always important to discuss treatment changes with your doctor, especially if you are already taking prescription drugs.
Mixing Flexeril and Medical Marijuana
Can cyclobenzaprine and weed be mixed? The medical community highly discourages it. Several studies can confirm that weed can be the perfect replacement for many prescription drugs and may be better for your mental health. Unlike muscle relaxers, medical marijuana has fewer adverse side effects, making it a crucial alternative treatment plan for some patients with muscle spasms.
However, using Flexeril and medical cannabis is not recommended as it can increase side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and cognitive functions. The side effects can be more severe for some people, including those with current health issues and anyone over the age of 65 so please speak with medical professionals before changing your treatment.
Cyclobenzaprine HCl and Alcohol
Mixing Flexeril and alcohol may worsen the side effects and cause new symptoms, so it is not recommended. Flexeril and alcohol are central nervous system (CNS) depressants; mixing and using them together may be unwise and lead to severe and deadly side effects. The combination of drugs can also exacerbate mild symptoms, including slow cognitive function, drowsiness, lightheadedness, and low motor coordination.
Combining and using the two together can also result in a higher risk of related side effects and dependency or Cyclobenzaprine abuse.
Taking alcohol and Flexeril together may cause the following unintended interactive effects:
- Dry Mouth
- Memory loss
- Decreased cognitive function
- Decreased motor skills/ mental alertness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced heart rate
- Slowed breathing
- Altered judgment
- Abnormal behavior
- Risk of overdose
- Urinary retention
If you had to choose one over the other, you’d probably pick a weed hangover instead of an alcohol hangover. While you may experience more weed hangover symptoms overall, they tend to be less debilitating than what you’d get from drinking too much alcohol. The persistent headache and unrelenting upset stomach that accompanies a long night of alcohol don’t typically present during or after cannabis use. That isn’t to say they never happen, but it’s much less pronounced and indirect.
As a diuretic, alcohol causes frequent urination and depletes your body’s supply of available hydration, thus leaving you vulnerable to headaches. THC, conversely, is known to decrease saliva secretion but that’s not the same as full-body dehydration. No clear evidence exists to suggest that smoking marijuana causes dehydration. Failure to counteract dry mouth by staying hydrated, however, can lead to dehydration, which can trigger a headache. Typically, no or mild nausea occurs during a cannabis hangover, usually nothing so bad that you couldn’t try to eat something to feel better. Remember also that THC also works as an appetite stimulant.
Cyclobenzaprine HCl and Ibuprofen
Pain medication like Ibuprofen with Flexeril can cause mild to moderate drug interactions. Cyclobenzaprine is effective alone, but there is no evidence that the combination of Flexeril and Ibuprofen helps relieve pain relief in most cases. When taken at higher doses, patients may experience severe side effects such as tachycardia and metabolic acidosis, which can increase existing health conditions or chronic pain disorders.
While taking the two at regular dosages doesn’t typically pose severe risks for most people, as Ibuprofen does not often adversely interact with muscle relaxants. But, it is always best to consult a doctor before combining such a drug with any other medications.
Cyclobenzaprine HCl and Opioids
Combining Cyclobenzaprine and opioid painkillers like Tramadol is known to have significant drug interactions. Using a central nervous system (CNS) depressant like Flexeril, along with opioids, can be a dangerous combination and is not recommended. Unless advised by a trusted healthcare provider, one should not mix the two drugs, and even so it’s essential to be diligent about interactions, doses, and sudden changes in health.
When using these prescribed drugs together, a person can experience symptoms including:
Other drugs that may not mix well with Flexeril include:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressants)
What is spasticity?
Spasticity is a condition that can affect people of all ages. In this condition, specific muscles continuously contract and cause extreme stiffness or tightness, affecting daily movement, speech, and gait.
This condition stems from damage to parts of the spinal cord or brain that controls voluntary movement. Extensive damage causes transmission signals between the muscles and the nervous system to act up, resulting in increased muscle activity.
Spasticity may cause mild to severe symptoms, including the following:
- Extreme tightness in various muscles
- Tightness and excruciating pain around the joints
- lower backache
- muscle stiffness
- an involuntary crossing of the legs
- muscle fatigue
- muscle and joint deformities
- inhibition of muscle growth in children
- inhibition of protein synthesis in muscle cells
Other Complications from spasticity can include:
- urinary tract infections
- pressure sores
- chronic constipation
Medical Cannabis vs. Muscle Relaxants for Spasms
Prescription muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they work best to eliminate muscle spasms and related symptoms. They may work well for some patients, but research suggests NSAIDs and acetaminophen work well for muscle spasms without as many adverse side effects. Prescription muscle relaxants can be habit-forming, causing addiction and withdrawal symptoms that can even include seizures and hallucinations.
Medical marijuana can relieve muscle spasms with virtually no harmful side effects. Recent research suggests that medicinal cannabis can provide as much, if not more, relief than prescription drugs when it comes to muscle spasms. Since there is often an underlying condition of spasticity, medical marijuana can also treat other conditions like chronic pain, nausea, insomnia, appetite issues, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s essential to exercise caution and, ideally, talk with your healthcare provider before mixing any drugs with Flexeril. Remember that many medicines can have moderate to severe interactions with Cyclobenzaprine, so it’s critical to remain safe at all times and seek addiction treatment if you feel a dependence on any drug.
Last Updated: February 27, 2023
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