Antidepressants are known to be an effective treatment for depression. These medications are effective in the majority of cases of moderate, severe, and chronic depression. Yet, there is a catch: Its effectiveness as a long-term therapy is being debated due to undesired side effects and the difficulty in weaning off the drug.
Therefore, scientists are now looking for antidepressant alternatives. It has been reported that CBD oil has similar properties to antidepressants and without adverse effects.
Many people who are already taking medicine to treat depression ask if they combine their medication with CBD oil.
This is mostly due to the long-term effects of antidepressants. Although antidepressant medications are useful in treating depression, they can have unpleasant side effects if used for an extended period of time.
According to research, CBD oil can enhance sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and boost mood. The good news is that after adjusting to the right quantity of CBD oil, some people are able to reduce or even totally stop their need for antidepressants. Of course, this does not apply to everyone.
Is it possible that CBD oil and antidepressants interact? Continue reading to learn more about this topic.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-synthetic chemical compound found in the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa). Unlike other chemicals found in this plant, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no known psychotropic effects.
CBD usually comes in the form of oil for topical or oral administration, although it is also available in creams, ointments, vaporized liquids, and soft gels. Moreover, it can be found in medications, food, beverages, and cosmetics.
Currently, the FDA has approved only one CBD oil-based medicine for the treatment of specific types of epilepsy, however, it is tested for the treatment of a variety of illnesses including Parkinson's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and insomnia.
What are Antidepressants?
Antidepressants are prescription drugs used to treat depression. Depression is a serious and common disorder that has an impact on mood and general mental health. It can cause fatigue, despair, constant anxiety, fear, slurred speech, feelings of guilt, anger, and even physical difficulties such as backaches or headaches.
When someone suffers from depression, their social interactions might completely change, causing difficulty in thinking and sleeping. This might result in sleeplessness or drowsiness, as well as weight gain or loss.
Antidepressants combined with psychological therapy can help alleviate depression. In addition to being given for depression, they are also used to treat anxiety, chronic pain, sexual impotence, and insomnia.
How Does CBD Affect How the Body Reacts to Antidepressants?
Cannabidiol, like other cannabinoids, affects enzyme production.
Therefore, CBD can stimulate the development of certain enzymes while inhibiting or decreasing the production of others. This process takes place in the liver and plays an important role in metabolism. Those who want to take a step further may be interested in cytochrome P450 activity.
Without going into biological complexities, this means that combining CBD with medicines can have two effects:
Because the drug is not synthesized by the body, it doesn’t have the desired effect (cannabinoids prevent it from working).
The substance is absorbed "too much," and negative effects may occur that are not directly related to the use of CBD, but to the excessive consumption of this drug.
This means: Is CBD a toxic substance? No, that would be an exaggeration.
CBD is not dangerous to health. It is still a natural product with significant benefits.
In some cases, the reaction to the medicine is quite similar to the reaction to Grapefruit tablets, which is also an enzyme inhibitor.
Can You Take CBD Oil with Antidepressants?
As previously said, CBD oil is well tolerated by people because it has no negative side effects. However, when used with certain drugs, it can produce negative effects due to suppression of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system.
The cytochrome P-450 system's purpose is to break down chemicals into smaller pieces so that they can be processed more easily by the body. According to scientists, CBD slows down this system, which can produce unpleasant effects while taking antidepressants because they stay in the body's system for a longer amount of time, particularly with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (ATC).
At the same time, there is no evidence that other types of antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can cause negative effects.
But here's the catch: combining antidepressants with CBD oil may reduce their effectiveness and vice versa.
Side Effects of Taking CBD Oil with Antidepressants
Although adverse effects of CBD oil with SSRI-type antidepressants are rare, a psychiatrist should be consulted before combining the two, as treatment efficacy may be compromised. The same goes for the combination of hemp oil and SNRI medications including Effexor, Venlafaxine, and Cymbalta.
However, if you take CBD oil with antidepressants, you can experience mild side effects such as insomnia, dizziness, nausea, tremors, and constipation.
Furthermore, taking CBD oil with TCAs or MAOIs may increase the chance of adverse responses because some antidepressant classes have been demonstrated to interact negatively with the majority of medicines. According to some patients, combining Trazodone and CBD oil may assist with depression, however, there is no study to back up this claim.
How to Take CBD Oil and Antidepressants Together?
The combination of CBD oil and antidepressants can only be successful after a medical consultation. Seeking professional medical advice is strongly advised to avoid mental health concerns. Your healthcare professional should develop a treatment plan that is beneficial to your long-term psychological well-being.
To lower the risk of negative side effects from the use of CBD with antidepressants, start with the lowest dose of CBD and gradually increase it over time. In this way, you can naturally reduce the potency of antidepressants while increasing serotonin levels.
Switching from Antidepressants to CBD
Switching from pharmaceuticals to CBD requires some planning. To begin, evaluate your existing antidepressant regimen and begin reducing the dose. Keep in mind that if you have taken many antidepressants, the process may be lengthy. Talk to your doctor on a regular basis to smooth out the transition period and reduce withdrawal symptoms such as angry outbursts, sleep disturbances, and drowsiness.
If the doctor's recommendations are not followed, symptoms of depression or anxiety may worsen. Consultation with a professional is especially important if a patient has been taking antidepressants for a long time or in high doses.
The body is used to the effects of antidepressants, so stopping them suddenly is not advised. Some have reported experiencing shock-like symptoms after discontinuing medications. This is why planning is such an important part of making the switch to CBD.
Does CBD react with SSRI Antidepressants?
Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Citalopram, Prozac, Paxil, Pexeva, or Sertraline are a few examples of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants.
It should be noted that SSRIs work by inhibiting serotonin reuptake. This is a positive outcome because the person will have a higher concentration of serotonin available (a hormone that helps us control our mood by stimulating happiness).
But, when CBD is added, the SSRIs increase. This suggests that the available serotonin may be too high, and having too much serotonin is also dangerous. An extremely high dose may cause "serotonin syndrome," with nausea and vomiting as a side effect.
What Drugs Should not be Taken with CBD?
A wide range of drugs, including CBD, are decomposed by the same large family of liver enzymes known as CYP450.
CBD inhibits various enzymes in this family. This causes certain medications to break down more slowly, causing adverse effects unless your doctor adjusts the amount. On the other hand, CBD activates other enzymes in this family, which accelerates the decomposition of certain drugs, perhaps making them less effective unless the dose is increased.
For example, if you combine CBD with certain drugs, you may have more negative effects:
Medications that can cause drowsiness (antipsychotics, benzodiazepines)
Macrolides (erythromycin, clarithromycin and antibiotics)
Antidepressants (such as fluoxetine or Prozac)
Heart medications (some calcium channel blockers)
Can CBD be used with MAOIs?
Even though they are the latest generation of antidepressants, they have a significant interaction with CBD.
These drugs work by increasing the presence of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
There is also a greater risk that CBD interacts with other drugs such as anxiety medications. For example, Xanax can have a positive interaction, improving the effects on the brain and the connections between neurons. If consumed in high doses, they might have unpleasant side effects.
Does Topical CBD Interact with Medications?
Maybe, because your system absorbs very little or nothing of a topical CBD. Unfortunately, we don't have good information on the amount of topical CBD products that are absorbed. This can be influenced by inactive substances in the product and the part of the body where it is applied.
Although topical CBD products may not be absorbed deep enough to raise problems about interactions between drugs, which also implies that they may not be very beneficial for arthritis pain.
Should I take antidepressants or CBD?
CBD is safe to consume because it has fewer adverse effects than antidepressants. Some common antidepressant side effects include insomnia, sexual dysfunction, mood changes, and agitation. On the other hand, CBD has not shown similar issues.
Does CBD Oil interact with psychiatric medications?
Yes, CBD can interact with psychiatric medications and can be dangerous. According to studies, common psychiatric medications with the grapefruit warning are harmful when used with CBD. If you are using any psychiatric medications along with CBD oil, check the label to see if it contains the grapefruit warning. For more information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
CBD has been shown in studies to increase dopamine levels and benefit patients suffering from mood disorders. This drug can act as a mood stabilizer and enhancer, making it useful in the treatment of depression.
Those suffering from mental illnesses often use a combination of CBD and antidepressants. Although this interaction can reduce the efficiency of both treatments, some patients use it to replace drugs with natural remedies in the future.
Can I take CBD oil with antidepressants? There is nothing to worry about if CBD is the only chemical used. However, precautions should be taken when using antidepressants at the same time.
Lastly, it has been found that switching from antidepressants to CBD is a good strategy to treat depression, but it should only be done under physician supervision.