AntiDepressants and Marijuana: All That you Need To Know
Antidepressants are medications that help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. They do not cure depression and require experimentation under medical guidance to find the most effective option with minimal side effects. Different types of antidepressants include:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Atypical Antidepressants
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Combination Therapies
Potential Side Effects of Antidepressants:
Antidepressants can have various side effects, although they vary depending on the medication. Common side effects may include nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, insomnia, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, agitation, irritability, increased anxiety, and others. Reporting side effects to a healthcare provider is essential, especially for severe mood changes or suicidal thoughts.
The leading reason to get a medical marijuana Recommendation in New Jersey is often something or the other related to chronic anxiety or depression. To manage this people will often take an antidepressant. This list includes fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), or sertraline (Zoloft).
Now, if you are someone who is a part of this collective or someone who is about to take an antidepressant with your cannabis. The question that must be crossing your mind would be, what about the reactions?
There have been studies for CBD and THC to treat anxiety and depression going back all the way to the 1980s. The results from them have been largely positive, indicating that cannabis is highly effective in countering different mood disorders.
Could There Be A Synergistic Effect?
Research has shown that there is a chance that the synergy between marijuana and antidepressants can be possible. And if you go online, you will find anecdotal evidence regarding cannabis helping them and stress. But as per doctors, the endocannabinoid system is essentially a fine-tuned, delicate machine. So, finding the right dose to ensure everything remains in sync is very hard to come by.
If you are a believer in anecdotal evidence, then you can try them together but as far as hard medical evidence is concerned, that is a little hard to come by.
Interactions: Is That an Issue?
People have been investigating this aspect of cannabis for slightly longer than any other effects. But even then there are very few rigorous studies that examine how cannabis and antidepressants might react.
Now, there is a chance that negative interactions are rare and do not happen on a regular basis, but as a consumer, you still need to be aware of the possibilities that exist.
The thing with antidepressants and cannabis is that it takes a lot of trial and error to reach an optimal dose that positively impacts mood and behavior.
It is advised that if you are about to take a course of antidepressants then you should take a break from cannabis.
Potential Side Effects of Specific Type Antidepressants
Beyond the generalized risk, there are other issues that are unique to every type of antidepressant. Some of the most common classes of antidepressants and their risks are given below.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
These antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed drugs to help manage depression. This is one of the safest drugs you can take with cannabis. As reported, adverse reactions are very rare. There have been isolated cases in which combining cannabis with SSRIs has shown to increase the chances of hypomania. But that has only been seen in vulnerable populations i.e. people with bipolar disorder.
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
As a new class of drugs, there have been no actual reports of any kind of interactions taking place between them and cannabis.
Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs)
These are a rare class of antidepressants that are free of any kind of side effects/ They are at times even on certain occasions prescribed for ADHD and smoking cessation. There are hardly any reported adverse reactions.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
These are hardly ever prescribed as part of a treatment plan as they have reported various potentially lethal reactions with numerous food and medication.
There are no adverse reactions that have been reported between cannabis and MAOIs but considering its high-risk nature, it is advised that people stay off cannabis when they are taking this class of antidepressants.
Even though lethal effects are much less likely than MAOIs there are still side effects that have been reported by various people when they are on tricyclic over other newer antidepressants. These are usually prescribed to people who have been largely unresponsive to other treatments.
There have been various incidents of people on tricyclic antidepressants who have ended up in the ER when they took cannabis.
These are generally not considered to be antidepressants. But people who are suffering from depression are often prescribed sedatives to manage it. Both sedatives, as well as cannabis, have the ability to make people feel extremely drowsy.
If you look at the effects then mixing the two seems pretty harmless. But the problem here can be that cannabis makes the antidepressants a lot less effective, So, again it is advised that you do not mix the two.
If you still feel like you cannot leave cannabis, then the advice is to stick to a lower dose of THC. THC in low doses has been found to have helped manage anxiety whereas in high doses it does the exact opposite. So, if you are looking to manage depression look for high CBD strains.
Note: MD Ganja does not endorse or support the illegal consumption of therapeutic substances such as cannabis and psilocybin. However, we acknowledge that such consumption occurs due to the current illicit status of these substances. Our aim is to advocate for research, legal access, and responsible consumption. It is always essential to consult a physician before considering alternative therapies and to abide by the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction.