What Happens When You Take Valium and Weed?

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By Anthony Pellegrino Updated March 8th

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Valium (diazepam) is a prescription medication frequently used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which enhance the effects of a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps to reduce anxiety and produce feelings of relaxation.

Cannabis is a plant that contains several active compounds, the most well-known of which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the plant’s famous psychoactive effects, including feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.

When taken separately, Valium and weed have distinct effects on the body and mind. However, when taken together, they can interact in ways that may amplify or alter those effects.

Before combining cannabis and Valium, it’s essential to understand how these two substances interact within the body and the potential risks that the combination poses. 

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What is Valium?

Valium, also known by its generic name diazepam, is a medication in the benzodiazepine class. Other brand names for diazepam include Diastat, Diazemuls, and Valrelease, among others.

Valium works by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps to reduce anxiety and produce feelings of relaxation. It achieves this by binding to specific sites on GABA receptors, increasing the inhibitory effect of GABA on the central nervous system.1

Because of its ability to produce sedation and relaxation, Valium is often used to treat various medical conditions, including anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. Physicians can also use it as a sedative for some medical procedures.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, approximately 12.6% of adults in the U.S. use benzodiazepines annually, which translates to around 30.6 million people.2 Of note, 17.2% of all benzodiazepine use is not as prescribed. This makes drugs like Valium one of the most common prescription drugs – as well as one of the most commonly misused – in the country.3

While Valium can be effective medical treatment for some conditions, it is essential to be aware of its potential side effects. Some common side effects of Valium use include:

  •  Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Unsteadiness

It can also lead to more severe side effects such as: 

  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty breathing, especially if taken in large doses or combined with other substances 

It is crucial to always use Valium as prescribed by a healthcare professional and to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use.

Valium and Weed Interaction

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Some people may intentionally use cannabis and Valium together as a way to enhance the effects of relaxation or euphoria associated with each. Others may inadvertently mix them by using cannabis recreationally while taking Valium for anxiety. Whatever the reason, the effects of each substance can present in unpredictable ways when they’re combined. This can increase the risk of adverse outcomes and unwanted side effects.4

One of the primary concerns with combining Valium and cannabis is the potential for increased sedation and cognitive impairment. Both substances can cause drowsiness and slowed reaction times, which may increase the risk of falls, accidents, and injuries. And the combination can be especially dangerous when driving or operating heavy machinery.5

Another potential concern is the effect on respiratory function. Both substances can cause respiratory depression, meaning they slow breathing.6,7 When used concurrently, the combination can magnify this effect, which can be especially dangerous for individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions.

It’s also worth noting that the effects of cannabis on anxiety can be unpredictable. While many individuals find that weed helps to ease their anxiety symptoms, others may experience increased anxiety or paranoia, especially at high doses.8 Combining diazepam and cannabis may exacerbate these symptoms, increasing feelings of anxiety and impairing cognitive function.

Besides these risks, some potential side effects of cannabis may overlap with the effects and risks of Valium. These can include dizziness, confusion, impaired coordination, and memory problems. Combining these two substances can intensify these side effects and increase the risk of adverse outcomes.

Cannabis can also increase the levels of Valium within the body in unexpected and unmanageable ways. Valium and other benzodiazepines are metabolized in the body by the CYP3A4 enzyme. CBD is known to be a potent inhibitor of the CYP3A4 enzyme. According to the Penn State College of Medicine, CBD’s role as a CYP3A4 inhibitor specifically affects levels of diazepam in the body.

Given the different ways cannabis and Valium can interact in the body, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can detail the potential risks and side effects associated with this combination. As with any medication, always use these substances responsibly and per medical advice.

Is there a Benefit to Taking Valium with Weed?

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Some consumers believe that taking the two together can enhance the effects of each substance. For example, both substances can produce feelings of relaxation and sedation, so combining them may intensify these effects.

However, research is limited, and it’s necessary to remember that the risks of combining Valium and cannabis may outweigh any potential benefits.

The combined effects of these substances can lead to increased sedation, impaired cognitive function, and respiratory depression. This can be especially dangerous for individuals with preexisting medical conditions or those taking other medications.

While some people may find relief from conditions such as anxiety by using Valium or cannabis separately, combining the two can be risky and should only be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

It’s also worth noting that the use of diazepam and cannabis together may have different effects on different people. While some individuals may experience increased relaxation and sedation, others may experience adverse side effects or no additional benefits.

Individuals considering using these substances together should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if it is safe and appropriate for them. As with any substance, it is crucial to use these substances responsibly and always follow the medical advice of a licensed professional.

What are the Risks of Taking Valium and Weed?

valium and Weed risks

Combining Valium and cannabis can lead to a range of potential risks and side effects. One of the primary concerns is that cannabis can amplify the effects of Valium, which can increase the risk of overdose and other adverse reactions.

Both cannabis and Valium can impair motor skills and coordination, which can be exacerbated when combined.9,10 This can increase the risk of accidents, falls, and other injuries, especially when driving or operating heavy machinery.

Both Valium and cannabis can cause drowsiness, sedation, and respiratory depression. When combined, these effects can intensify, leading to slowed breathing, reduced heart rate, and even loss of consciousness.

Other potential risks and side effects of combining benzodiazepines and weed include:

  • Impaired cognitive function and memory impairment11
  • Increased risk of addiction and dependence12
  • Worsening mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression
  • Interference with other medications or treatments
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular events

Overall, combining Valium and cannabis can be risky and should only be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional, if at all. 

Precautionary Measures When Taking Valium and Weed

If you are considering using Valium and cannabis together, take precautionary measures to minimize the potential risks.

First and foremost, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor before combining these substances. Your doctor can help you understand the potential risks and benefits (especially as they relate to your specific health and physiology), assess your medical history and needs, and provide guidance on safe and appropriate dosages and usage.

Other tips and warnings for safely taking Valium and cannabis together include:

  • Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence of these substances, as they can impair your coordination and reaction time.
  • Start with a low dosage and gradually increase it as needed under the guidance of your doctor.
  • Monitor your body’s response and be aware of potential side effects or adverse reactions.
  • Avoid mixing Valium and cannabis with other substances, including alcohol and other drugs.
  • Be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding the use of these substances in your location, as well as any potential legal or employment consequences.

Always remember that combining Valium and cannabis can be risky and may not be safe for everyone. It is always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice before using these substances together.

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Valium and Weed FAQ

After taking Valium, how long should I wait before I can safely consume cannabis or edibles?

The effects of Valium typically last 4 to 6 hours, and consumers should wait at least 6 hours after taking Valium before consuming cannabis or edibles. Valium is a sedative medication that can cause drowsiness and impaired coordination. Combining it with cannabis can intensify these effects. Waiting for an appropriate amount of time can help reduce the risk of potential interactions and adverse effects.

Can I overdose on Valium and weed?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Valium and cannabis, especially if taken in high doses or in combination with other substances. Both Valium and cannabis can cause respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening in severe cases. Signs of an overdose may include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect an overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

What should I do if I experience distressing side effects after taking Valium and weed?

If you experience any concerning side effects after taking Valium and cannabis, seek medical attention promptly. Side effects may include increased drowsiness, impaired coordination, confusion, changes in heart rate, changes in blood pressure, or other adverse reactions. Inform your doctor of all substances you have taken, including Valium and cannabis, to ensure appropriate medical care.

Can Valium and weed interact with other medications I am taking?

Yes, Valium and cannabis might interact with other medications you are taking. Combining Valium and cannabis with other sedatives can magnify their sedative effects. When consulting with your doctor, be sure to discuss all medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions and ensure safe use.

Can I use Valium and weed together if I have a history of anxiety or mental health conditions?

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before using Valium and cannabis together, especially if you have a history of anxiety or mental health conditions. While physicians commonly prescribe Valium for anxiety, and some individuals may use cannabis for anxiety relief, the combination may have different effects for different individuals. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and condition.


1. Dhaliwal JS, Saadabadi A. Diazepam. Nih.gov. Published September 3, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537022/

2. Abuse NI on D. Research suggests benzodiazepine use is high while use disorder rates are low. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published October 18, 2018. https://nida.nih.gov/news-events/science-highlight/research-suggests-benzodiazepine-use-high-while-use-disorder-rates-are-low

3. Waldron I. Increased Prescribing of Valium, Librium, and other Drugs—An Example of the Influence of Economic and Social Factors on the Practice of Medicine. International Journal of Health Services. 1977;7(1):37-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.2190/fpjt-v9ye-vwm1-uxpa

4. Resstel LBM, Joca SRL, Moreira FA, Corrêa FMA, Guimarães FS. Effects of cannabidiol and diazepam on behavioral and cardiovascular responses induced by contextual conditioned fear in rats. Behavioural Brain Research. 2006;172(2):294-298. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2006.05.016

5. Kroon E, Kuhns L, Cousijn J. The short-term and long-term effects of cannabis on cognition: recent advances in the field. Current Opinion in Psychology. 2021;38:49-55. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.07.005

6. Forster A, Gardaz JP, Suter PM, Gemperle M. Respiratory Depression by Midazolam and Diazepam. Anesthesiology. 1980;53(6):494-497. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/00000542-198012000-00010

7. Ghasemiesfe M, Ravi D, Vali M, et al. Marijuana Use, Respiratory Symptoms, and Pulmonary Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2018;169(2):106-115. doi:10.7326/M18-0522

8. Sharpe L, Sinclair J, Kramer A, de Manincor M, Sarris J. Cannabis, a cause for anxiety? A critical appraisal of the anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties. Journal of Translational Medicine. 2020;18(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02518-2

9. Kroon E, Kuhns L, Cousijn J. The short-term and long-term effects of cannabis on cognition: recent advances in the field. Current Opinion in Psychology. 2021;38:49-55. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.07.005

10. Willerslev-Olsen M, Lundbye-Jensen J, Petersen TH, Nielsen JB. The effect of baclofen and diazepam on motor skill acquisition in healthy subjects. Experimental Brain Research. 2011;213(4):465-474. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-011-2798-5

11. Angus WR, Romney DM. The effect of diazepam on patients’ memory. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 1984;4(4):203-206. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6470192/

12.  Votaw VR, Geyer R, Rieselbach MM, McHugh RK. The epidemiology of benzodiazepine misuse: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2019;200:95-114. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.02.033

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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