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What Are the Dangers of Mixing Klonopin & Marijuana?

While it is fairly common among drug users to mix prescription drugs with marijuana, this is never a harmless mixture. Mixing any drugs together enhances their effects and increases the risk of adverse events. One popular prescription drug often used with marijuana happens to be Klonopin. This combination can be dangerous.

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Breaking Down Klonopin & Marijuana

Marijuana (also referred to as cannabis) is a drug that has been made legal in many states across the U.S., which has decreased the original stigma attached to the drug somewhat. As a result, marijuana is being seen more and more as an acceptable substance for various uses.

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Marijuana is a popular drug, and many users consider marijuana to be their primary drug. These individuals tend to use marijuana on a daily basis, often throughout the day and night. 

Klonopin is a long-acting drug classified as a benzodiazepine. Klonopin slows down the brain’s activity, serving as an anti-anxiety medication. 

Klonopin is also used to minimize the effects of epilepsy and reduce seizures. The drug’s powerful calming effects are often used to treat panic attacks.

While marijuana might seem like it would go hand in hand with a drug like Klonopin, those who mix these two drugs can experience a variety of adverse events.

Specific Dangers of Mixing Klonopin & Weed

It’s important to understand that marijuana and Klonopin can both be dangerous when used on their own. 

When combined, both drug effects can lead to even greater health hazards. Marijuana can cause drowsiness, delayed reactions, as well as result in misbehavior and poor decision making. These effects can be augmented when used with Klonopin.

Klonopin has an even stronger effect on the mind and body than marijuana. Use of Klonopin can result in the same symptoms mentioned above but can also result in difficulty breathing. In fact, the CDC asserts that benzodiazepines such as Klonopin are responsible for nearly a third of prescription drug overdose deaths.

Physical Effects of Mixing These Substances

There are a variety of physical effects from mixing Klonopin and marijuana that affect the central nervous system, the respiratory system, and the brain.

Central Nervous System

Both marijuana and Klonopin end up depressing the central nervous system (CNS). Using both substances in tandem can worsen this effect and result in a health emergency or an overdose.

Breathing & Heart Rate

When Klonopin and marijuana are combined, both end up slowing the heart and suppressing the respiratory system. When the effects of these two drugs are combined, an individual’s breathing rate, as well as heart rate, can potentially become dangerously low, even leading to overdose or death.

Mental Effects of Mixing These Drugs

Mixing marijuana and Klonopin also has a variety of effects on the brain.

Lowered Inhibition

Both marijuana and Klonopin can change how a person thinks and behaves. Risky behaviors include driving while under the influence, having unprotected sex, and using additional drugs. An individual’s risk of addiction and overdose increases when mixing these drugs.

Reduced Awareness

Marijuana and Klonopin both have a way of affecting how people interact with others and their environment. By using both substances together, individuals will have less control over themselves and their surroundings. Blackouts can also occur when mixing these two drugs.

Can You Overdose on Klonopin & Weed?

Although there are no known cases of marijuana overdose when used on its own, Klonopin can certainly cause an overdose. Using both drugs in combination can lead to overdose.

Who Is Most Likely to Mix These Substances?

Individuals who are more likely to mix cannabis and Klonopin are younger individuals of high school and college age as well as young people who frequent parties and the club scene. If someone already has a prescription for Klonopin for anxiety or any other medical reason, they are far more likely to mix marijuana with this drug.

Adults who have Klonopin prescriptions are also more susceptible to mixing marijuana with this drug than individuals who do not have a prescription.

How Does This Combination Usually Start? 

Most commonly, mixing Klonopin and marijuana might not be done fully intentionally. An individual often has taken a dose of Klonopin and ends up ingesting cannabis at some point after. The goal may not necessarily be to abuse the substances together.

Conversely, individuals who are already under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other prescription drugs are more likely to mix in a drug such as Klonopin. They may simply take a drug that is given to them at a party or other social engagement.

The best way to avoid overdose and complications is to not mix drugs in general. If you have a Klonopin prescription, it’s important not to mix other substances with it when you are using the drug. 

If you have a problem with substance misuse, the best course of action is comprehensive addiction treatment. In rehab, you’ll acquire tools to help you resist drug abuse and embrace a healthier tomorrow.

Updated March 21, 2024
Resources
  1. Novel Designer Benzodiazepines: Comprehensive Review of Evolving Clinical and Adverse Effects. (August 2022). Neurology International.
  2. Death Rate Maps & Graphs. (June 2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Cannabis for Medical Use: Analysis of Recent Clinical Trials in View of Current Legislation. (May 2022). Frontiers in Pharmacology.
  4. Drug Interactions With Cannabinoids. (March 2020). Canadian Medical Association Journal.
  5. Medical Cannabis Adverse Effects & Drug Interactions. Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health.
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