Cannabis and opioids have been used to relieve pain and other conditions for thousands of years, but can these two substances provide more significant pain relief together? Research is limited on this combination of drugs.
Before taking Percocet and marijuana together, consider each drug’s side effects and risks and consult a physician for guidance. Here, we cover the side effects of Percocet and marijuana and their potential danger when mixed.
What Is Percocet?
Percocet is a prescription painkiller with an opioid pain reliever (oxycodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). Oxycodone is used to treat severe pain when OTC drugs aren’t helping. Acetaminophen can also reduce fever. Percocet is available in pill or liquid form.
What Is Marijuana?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a plant with psychoactive properties. The plant’s flowers are harvested and dried. They contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and other essential oils, which may have pain-relieving properties.
Dried cannabis flower can be smoked, vaporized, or made into a concentrate, edible, or topical product. Cannabis usually produces energizing and relaxing effects depending on the strain you consume.
Cannabis users report feeling relaxed, increased appetite, focus, creativity, altered perception of time, and heightened sensory perception. These effects are primarily due to THC. Compared with THC, products with a relatively high CBD level produce less or none of these effects.
Percocet Side Effects
Percocet is prescribed to patients with acute and severe pain when doctors determine its benefits outweigh its potential side effects. Although many people do not experience severe side effects, there is always a risk.
Potential side effects of Percocet include:
Side effects may decrease the longer you use the drug but should not worsen or continue in the long term. Contact your doctor immediately if this happens.
Opioids are known to cause dehydration and constipation. To offset these effects, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat appropriate dietary fiber. Laxatives can provide relief for serious cases. Ask your pharmacist for a laxative recommendation.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe Percocet side effects, including:
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- Sleep apnea
- Mood changes
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Trouble urinating
- Adrenal gland issues
- Allergic reaction (itching, swelling, etc.)
Grapefruit and other citrus fruits can affect how oxycodone works in the body. Grapefruit can increase the risk of side effects with Percocet.
Percocet can be physically addicting and increase the risk of substance use disorder of alcohol or other drugs. To reduce the risk of addiction, use the medication as directed.
Marijuana Side Effects
Although cannabis has helped many find relief for acute and chronic pain, the THC in cannabis may produce side effects, including nausea, anxiety, increased heart rate, lower blood pressure, coordination problems, drowsiness, and delayed reactions.
Short-term side effects of cannabis depend on various factors, including consumption method, product/strain type, amount consumed, metabolism, and tolerance. For example, inhaling cannabis produces fast-acting effects compared to eating cannabis which takes a couple of hours.
The long-term side effects of cannabis are still unclear. However, early research suggests that cannabis may cause brain development issues in adolescent users, dependence and withdrawal symptoms, and respiratory problems.
Effects of Mixing Percocet and Marijuana
Cannabis and Percocet use is usually not recommended due to the lack of scientific research on their interaction and effects. In one study, however, cannabis increased the analgesic effect of oxycodone. However, it may slightly increase the risk of opioid abuse.
Although this study may suggest Percocet and cannabis can be beneficial for some, this regimen should be performed under the supervision of your doctor to prevent serious side effects and drug abuse.
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As depressants, Percocet and cannabis can affect the central nervous system and lead to some side effects. Potential effects include severe confusion, blood pressure drop, dizziness, lightheadedness, memory loss, coordination problems, and more.
Impaired judgment, coordination, and cognitive ability can lead to many issues. For example, it can cause you to make poor decisions, such as overlooking the risks of mixing prescription opioids and alcohol.
Final Thoughts on Percocet and Marijuana Side Effects
Percocet is a strong pain reliever that requires medical supervision to reduce side effects and substance abuse. If you are considering using cannabis alongside prescription medications, we recommend you consult your doctor first to determine if it’s the right treatment.