Birth control & Mariguana

Patient

Q: Does smoking mariguana cause blood clots while on birth control or is it only nicotine that will cause blood clots?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Recent research has show that if one smokes tobacco while taking hormone based birth control medication, they are at an increased risk of developing blood clots and cardiovascular disease. There is very little research regarding the use of cannabis while on birth control.
We cannot apply the existing research on tobacco to marijuana. However, when inhaling any combusted (burnt) material into the lungs it initiates an inflammatory response within the body, secondary to the narcotic effects of nicotine or thc (the active chemical in cannabis). One of the theories is that this inflammatory state causes an increased risk of developing blood clots while on birth control. While we cannot definitively tell you that marijuana will result in the same increased risk, we can encourage you to use caution, and feel free to consult askthedoctor.com or your physician again if you have any any further concerns.

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