Vitamin C and Weed: How Does THC Interact with Vitamin C?

vitamin c and thc
By Andrew Ward Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Vitamin C is vital in supporting our overall health and well-being thanks to its immune-boosting properties. 

Millions, if not billions, turn to vitamin C regularly to boost their immune systems, especially during cold and flu season. Plenty of people also turn to cannabis–whether self-medicated or doctor-prescribed–for relief from various medical concerns.

The growing popularity of cannabis has led many to ponder how cannabis interacts with different vitamins, minerals, and medications. Curiosity around the connection between vitamin C and THC has been long-running, with many anecdotes and select lab research to support the notion that they are related. 

Still, a lack of research has left the relationship between these common substances cloudy. Before combining them yourself, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and risks.

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What is Vitamin C?

vitamin c and weed

Vitamin C is a water-soluble ascorbic acid that plays a significant role in various bodily functions. It works as an antioxidant, protecting the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals.

The vitamin may be best known for its collagen production, an essential component to maintaining healthy skin, bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissues. 

Vitamin C is found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, such as: 

  • Bell peppers (red and green in particular)
  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupes
  • Citrus fruits and juices (oranges and grapefruits)
  • Kiwifruit
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice

Dietary supplements like sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate can also provide individuals with their necessary daily value.

Vitamin C deficiency is relatively uncommon, and is generally caused by an inadequate diet lacking fruits and vegetables. Scurvy, the infamous condition made famous from tales of affected sailors and pirates, is a clinical syndrome resulting from a lack of vitamin C. 

Vitamin C deficiencies can lead to various health issues. Symptoms typically become noticeable after numerous weeks of inadequate (less than 10mg per day) to no vitamin C intake–typically within one month. Signs of the condition include: 

  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Fatigue
  • General discomfort
  • Joint pain
  • Depression

If the lack of vitamin C continues, it can result in bleeding of the gums and loss of teeth.

Vitamin C and THC: How Do They Interact?

Vitamin C and THC

Unfortunately, due to a lack of research, science remains mainly in the dark on how THC and vitamin C may interact. Select lab research and anecdotal evidence have helped us establish connections between the two, but further study is needed if we want to understand how the two interact in the body fully.

A few studies have provided some insights into potential interaction, but both are early-stage or small scale, and additional research is required to replicate and validate the findings.

One in vitro-focused study suggested that vitamin C might improve "THC-induced reduction in spermatozoa motility in-vitro by modulation of their kinematics." However, it is important to note that this covers just one study.1

A 2019 study of smokers in Nigeria compared vitamin C levels in cannabis smokers to non-smokers. The study should be taken lightly for its single analysis and local specificity. However, researchers concluded that vitamin C levels were reportedly lower in smokers. The study suggested smokers may want to supplement their diet with antioxidants to offset the vitamin C deficiency. That said, the study failed to adequately factor in dietary differences among the test groups, leading some to believe other factors influenced the results.2

Beyond those two studies, few (if any) have explored the possible THC-vitamin C connection, and researchers have not extensively commented on the topic. 

If you want to mix THC and vitamin C for medical benefits, consider consulting with a trusted healthcare provider first for personalized advice.

What are the Risks of Combining Vitamin C and Weed?

Vitamin C and weed interaction

Anecdotal evidence suggests that, unless you are allergic, the risk of combining vitamin C and cannabis is relatively low. Similarly, with virtually zero chance of overdosing on THC, you don't have to worry much about over intoxication. 

It would be great to have a concrete answer. But, a lack of research prevents any definitive statements. 

Lab studies focused on the combination of vitamin C and weed remain limited. Likewise, a search for drug interactions between cannabis and vitamin C failed to produce significant findings. This result could lead some to believe there aren't any concerns or benefits worth noting. But it’s essential to remember that research is ongoing, and new findings will continue to shape this discussion in the coming years. 

Possible Side Effects

Overconsumption of either vitamin C or cannabis can lead to adverse effects. 

Possible side effects of consuming excessive vitamin C include: 

  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Increased risk of kidney stones

Possible side effects of overconsuming THC include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety or sudden mood swings
  • Paranoia and panic attacks
  • Nausea and vomiting

It's important to consume your recommended amount of each substance. Neither are life-threatening in most scenarios, but overconsumption can still lead to undesirable effects worth avoiding.

Does Vitamin C Lower Cannabis Tolerance?

vitamin c and weed Tolerance

There is a belief among some that citrus, namely grapefruit, can alter cannabis tolerance. This belief stems from the long-studied effect grapefruit has on some drugs, enhancing the effect in some and lessening others. 

The "grapefruit effect" is believed to occur when grapefruit or its juice interacts with some medications, affecting the body's metabolism, thus altering its effects and impact on the consumer. 

More specifically, grapefruit affects certain drugs by blocking an enzyme in the small intestine: CYP3A4. Without the enzyme, drugs break down less effectively, leaving the consumer with higher blood concentrations and more prolonged effects. Research has long confirmed that grapefruit increases the effect of some drugs. But more recent analysis has uncovered that it can lessen the impact on others. Allegra (fexofenadine), a common allergy medication, is one example.

Other drugs affected include:

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Atorvastatin, Lovastatin and Simvastatin 
  • Allergy medication: Fexofenadine 
  • Blood pressure: Nifedipine 
  • Immunosuppressant: Cyclosporine 

Cannabis isn't included on the list of medications affected in either case. Still, some consumers may want to take caution. The potential warning primarily extends to medical consumers. The combined effects of vitamin C and medical marijuana remain unclear. So, you should exercise caution and speak with a doctor beforehand if you have concerns. 

Similarly, CBD has been cited as an inhibitor of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6.3 As such, some believe that the "grapefruit effect" could also be generated by using CBD. This is one reason why patients are encouraged to speak with their doctor before adding or increasing cannabis consumption, even if they use non-intoxicating CBD products. 

Overall, the jury is out on just how THC and vitamin C affect one another. As always, consume cannabis safely, and consult with your medical professional if you have any concerns. 


1. Alagbonsi AI, Olayaki LA. Vitamin C ameliorates tetrahydrocannabinol-induced spermatotoxicity in-vitro. BMC Nutrition. 2020;6(1). doi:

2. C. Ogbodo E, P. Ezeugwunne I, E. Okwara J, Onogwu S. Effect of cannabis smoking on Vitamin C and E levels of male cannabis smokers in Nnewi, Nigeria. Panacea Journal of Medical Sciences. 2019;9(1):15-18. doi:

3. Nasrin S, Watson CJW, Perez-Paramo YX, Lazarus P. ­­­­­­Cannabinoid metabolites as inhibitors of major hepatic CYP450 enzymes, with implications for cannabis-drug interactions. Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 2021;49(12):DMD-AR-2021-000442. doi:

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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