Although cannabis has been known to alleviate bouts of situational depression in people since the dawn of time, there are those who need a little additional help combating this blue world. Some of the latest data shows that nearly 13 percent of the US population is on prescription antidepressants – long-term medications used to pull people out darker days. Yet, this doesn’t mean patients suffering from anxiety and depression are willing to give up medical marijuana in order to live a doped up existence on “crazy pills.” But is it safe to combine cannabis and antidepressants like Celexa and Lexapro?
There has not been a lot of research conducted on the subject of possible drug interactions involving cannabis and antidepressants. But the studies that have been done over the years have concluded that adverse reactions stemming from combining these medications are few and far between.
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In fact, some researchers found that it is “rare” or next to impossible for someone to encounter a negative drug interaction by using cannabis on top of their antidepressant regimen. This could be because the prescription psychotropic’s on the market today come with minimal adverse effects. Older medications may be more apt to bring on shiftier outcomes.
But this is not to say that marijuana is optimal for the millions of people on these prescription drugs. It is important to have an open dialogue with the healthcare professional responsible treatment in order to avoid any possibility of an unsavory reaction.
“There’s no known effect or interaction with those medications,” Dr. Ian Mitchell with the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, British Columbia told Vice News. “We know that THC itself can bring on anxiety and paranoia. Especially in higher amounts. The cannabidiols, which is another cannabinoid, can upset that and can actually be used as an anti-anxiety treatment on its own.”
This is why patients using antidepressants should be careful choosing marijuana strains. Those with a higher THC content are more likely to make anxiety worse, while high-CBD, such as Granddaddy Purple and Jack Herer, can vastly improve the situation.
However, doctors may advise patients experimenting with antidepressants to refrain from cannabis use while their bodies adjust to the drug. As with any condition requiring medication, the physician will probably want to gauge results without any other foreign substances in the mix.
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Some of them might even be skeptical about a patient who admits to using cannabis. Although it is legal in a growing number of states, there is some research indicating that people who self-medicate with marijuana and other substances are less likely to follow treatment protocols.
Still, honesty is always recommended.