Using Cannabis on Antidepressants: What You Need to Know
Cannabis is one of the most widely used herbal remedies worldwide. It has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including depression. Depression is a common mental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications for depression. They work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. However, many people wonder if it is safe to use cannabis while on antidepressants. To help clear things up, we will discuss what you need to know about using cannabis while on antidepressants.
What Are Antidepressants?
Antidepressants are a class of medications used to treat depression. They work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood, emotions, and behavior. Antidepressants are available in several forms, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications can take several weeks to start working, and they may have side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that contains over 100 chemical compounds. The two most well-known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits. Cannabis can be consumed in several forms, including smoking, vaping, edibles, and oils.
Can You Use Cannabis While on Antidepressants?
The short answer is that it is not recommended to use cannabis while on antidepressants. Cannabis can interact with antidepressants and cause adverse effects. Cannabis can increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. This can lead to serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause seizures, high blood pressure, and hyperthermia. Cannabis can also interact with other medications, such as blood thinners, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines.
Additionally, cannabis can worsen certain symptoms of depression, such as anxiety and paranoia. This is because THC can cause feelings of anxiety and paranoia in some people. CBD has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits for depression, but more research is needed to determine its safety and efficacy.
What Should You Do If You Want to Use Cannabis While on Antidepressants?
If you are on antidepressants and want to use cannabis, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if cannabis is safe for you to use and can advise you on the best way to use it. If your healthcare provider determines that it is safe for you to use cannabis, they may recommend that you start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. It is also important to monitor your symptoms closely and report any adverse effects to your healthcare provider.
As you can see, cannabis can interact with antidepressants and cause adverse effects, and it can worsen certain symptoms of depression. If you are on antidepressants and want to use cannabis, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if cannabis is safe for you to use and can advise you on the best way to use it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to seek professional help. Depression is a treatable condition, and there are many effective treatments available, including psychotherapy and medication.
Blue Ocean Mental Health provides comprehensive services for mental health treatment. Mental health problems are not easily solved, so we take holistic measures to ensure you get the treatment you deserve for a brighter tomorrow. Call us today at 323-744-5605 to schedule an appointment!