What Is The Interaction Between Food And Drugs?

If you want to experience psychoactive effects, you really can’t do without drugs. But drugs are not the only determining factor when it comes to the quality of the experience: when drugs produce an effect in your body, it will depend on the interaction between different chemicals. Many foods contain compounds that interact with drugs. This can significantly enhance or worsen the effect of the drug.

Why is it important to learn about food-drug interactions?

Usually you don’t have to worry about interactions between food and drugs: the concentration of compounds in food is usually so low that no significant effect is elicited. But this kite doesn’t always hold true. For example, there are over-the-counter drugs for which it is better to avoid eating certain foods. Some common interactions between food and drugs are:

  • Vegetables high in vitamin K (green leafy vegetables) reduce the blood thinning ability of aspirin
  • Dairy products reduce the absorption of antibiotics
  • Alcohol interacts with insulin

And there are many other interactions between food and medication. Some interactions are quite serious in this regard. But what about recreational drugs? Does food also interact with the drugs we take for pleasure?

Do drugs interact with each other?

Interactions between drugs are fairly common. In doing so, they can be incredibly dangerous, sometimes even fatal. Often the compounds in drugs that interact are the same as those found in foods, or derived from them. The combination of alcohol and cocaine is a well-known example of two substances reacting with each other. When cocaine and ethanol (alcohol) combine in the liver, they form coca ethylene. This substance has more powerful effects than either alcohol or cocaine alone. It is also thought to be highly cardiotoxic and increases the risk of immediate death by as much as 18-25 times.

What foods interact with marijuana?

But let’s stick to the topic of food and many people’s favorite “vegetable”: marijuana. Interactions between weed and food do occur, but they are fairly mild. In the process, some are desirable, others less so. Below we discuss the mechanisms behind three common interactions.

Foods high in myrcene

Myrcene is a monoterpene found in a variety of products, including marijuana, but also in fruits (like mango) and herbs (like thyme). You’ve probably heard that some stoners enrich their cannabis experience with mango. Well, there’s a good reason for that! Namely, myrcene is thought to increase the ability of THC to cross the blood-brain barrier, doing so as much as five seconds faster.[1] This, according to some, means that eating foods high in myrcene can affect the effect of cannabis. However, this is just speculation. In any case, anecdotal evidence suggests that the high in this case comes on faster, is stronger and lingers longer. The above has not been proven, but it has been shown that the amount of myrcene in weed affects the high. Are you wondering why some cannabis strains produce an energetic (sativa) effect and others a more relaxing (indica) effect? Well, it seems that myrcene plays a role in this. Strains with more than 0.5% myrcene tend to be more soothing, while strains with less than 0.5% myrcene tend to be more stimulating.[2]


Many blowers believe that eating chocolate while getting high is very enjoyable. Depending on the chocolate, however, this combination goes far beyond the enjoyment of sugar when the munchies strike. In fact, dark, unprocessed chocolate contains theobromine. And it is believed that this increases the level of anandamide in the body. Anandamide is a naturally occurring cannabinoid produced by the body. It binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and it is thought that THC binds to the same receptors by taking the form of anandamide. However, THC causes a psychoactive high, while anandamide only induces feelings of pleasure. Despite the similarities, it is thought that increased levels of anandamide may also counteract the more negative effects of THC. This is also why CBD is considered beneficial when used with THC (CBD increases anandamide levels).[3] Thus, eating dark chocolate in combination with THC-rich cannabis reportedly makes the high more relaxing and enjoyable.


Alcohol, of course, is also a drug. Therefore, the interaction between alcohol and cannabis is also a drug interaction. But as far as foods are concerned, it is also worth mentioning, since this combination is probably the most common. If you have ever combined your joint with alcohol, you probably know that they can enhance each other’s effects. And this is not always pleasant! Ethanol increases the absorption of THC. For example, blood plasma of people who used marijuana after drinking alcohol contained significantly more THC than the blood of people who did not drink alcohol.[4] Many people may enjoy this combination, but it is always wise to be careful when combining drugs. Especially if you are trying to enhance the effects of both. Something that is enjoyable on its own can quickly become uncomfortable or dangerous when combined with another substance.

What foods interact with hallucinogens?

The above interactions between food and cannabis are fairly mild. And often there is not even a pronounced difference. However, this cannot be said of hallucinogens. Interactions between food and hallucinogens can really be quite powerful. So don’t start experimenting with them unless you really know what you’re doing.

Banisteriopsis caapi

Banisteriopsis caapi is part of a famous concoction that is held in high regard by certain cultures in Central and South America. However, this vine does not work by itself, but in combination with several other substances, leading to a certain chemical reaction. But what exactly happens? This liana contains a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which allows Psychotria viridis, the other main component of the brew, to produce the desired effects. On its own, Psychotria viridis is immediately broken down in the body by the enzyme monoamine oxidase. So then it does not generate an effect. The MAO inhibitor in Banisteriopsis caapi causes the compound in Psychotria viridis to act on the brain and body. Note that MAOIs do not only affect psychedelics. They also interact with numerous foods (bananas, cheese, etc.). So if you want to use MAOIs, in any form, you should first research what you can and cannot eat. Some interactions can be deadly!

Grapefruit juice

Grapefruit juice also acts as an MAOI. In doing so, it can increase the concentration of certain drugs in the blood as much as fivefold,[5] thus quite intensifying the effects of drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms; both substances are affected by MAOIs. However, don’t be tempted to drink grapefruit juice before a trip. Enhancing an acid or magic mushroom trip by a factor of 5 and extending its duration is probably not a good idea. If you mess with your body’s ability to break down foreign substances, it could turn out to be dangerous!

Other citrus fruits

The acid in other citrus fruits, such as lemons, can convert psilocybin into psilocin. Psilocin is mostly present in fresh mushrooms and can be easily absorbed by the body. However, when magic mushrooms are dried, the psilocin has turned into psilocybin, which must be converted back into psilocin before the body can absorb it. This happens naturally in the body, but you can speed up the process by drinking an acidic drink (orange juice, lemon juice) with your shrooms. If you want this reaction to take place outside the body, you can make a lemon tek. This will give you a powerful shot of psilocin and you won’t have to eat any magic mushrooms. A faster, more intense high guaranteed!

Can you use caffeine with other drugs?

Some people recommend coffee or another source of caffeine in combination with recreational drugs. This might work out well, but we advise against it. This is because when combined with psychedelics, caffeine will intensify any uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, making it harder to calm down. Furthermore, its stimulant effect will actually reduce the trippy sensations of the high, without alleviating the high altogether. When it comes to stimulants, the use of coffee is even more unwise. This is because these substances raise blood pressure and put the heart to work, which caffeine also does. Combining multiple stimulants can therefore be very dangerous. So it is better to avoid this.

Should you use food to enhance your high?

Be very careful if you use food to enhance the effect of recreational drugs. With weed, the effect may be less intense, and if you are in a safe environment, you may be able to afford to experiment with interactions once. But when it comes to other drugs, it’s best not to. Take psychedelics; if you desire a stronger high, simply increase the dosage. This is safer than trying to enhance the high via an interaction, as it is less predictable, while also allowing the trip to last longer. A bad trip that never seems to end is the last thing you want.

What foods reduce the intensity of a high?

It can also happen that you want to temper a high. And you can also use foods to do this. Whether these are literal interactions between food and drugs depends on what you use. Here are some options:

  • Chocolate: as mentioned, eating dark chocolate leads to the production of anandamide. Higher levels of this substance can counteract the strongest effects of THC.
  • Sugary foods: sugar speeds up the metabolism, making your body process drugs faster. In general, it also makes you feel better. Sugar especially affects the high of magic mushrooms.
  • Trip stoppers: our own trip stoppers are designed to relax you and reduce the intensity of a high. This way you quickly come back down to earth.
  • Water: this is one of the best natural remedies. If you notice that you are too high, drink a glass of beneficial water first!

Trip Stopper 3000 (136) View

Food and recreational drugs: know what you eat!

By now you understand that food has a pronounced effect on the quality of your high. It can transform a mild trip into an intense experience, or take the edge off an overwhelming smoking experience. Interactions between food and drugs are not something that can be taken lightly. So inform yourself well before experimenting. Some foods may seem harmless, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have unexpected, sometimes unwanted, side effects.