Lexapro and weed – Is it safe to mix marijuana and antidepressants?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 13 percent of people in the United States aged 12 years and older are taking some kind of antidepressant for depression, anxiety, or other problems.
A 2018 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that nearly 15 percent of adult Americans reported smoking grass the previous year. With so many people taking prescription drugs and smoking grass, the question arises: Is it safe to mix marijuana and antidepressants?
Lexapro and grass – Is it safe to take marijuana and antidepressants at the same time?
“Historically, the disadvantages of marijuana have been minimized. Its use has been considered safe and without risk, and this is not necessarily the case,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, toxicologist and medical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Pittsburgh Poison Center, in an interview with Reuters.
What is known about the combined use of antidepressants and weeds?
Both doctors and patients are not sure whether the joint use of marijuana with antidepressants is harmful or safe, because there are no studies yet.
Here are five things we know about mixing antidepressants and weed…
1. there is not much data or research
The biggest problem for doctors and consumers of marijuana is that everyone has to deal with a lack of research that supports the positive or negative health properties of marijuana.
At this point, nobody really knows for sure whether it is safe or harmful, or to what extent. The general consensus is that it is relatively safe and may even have some positive health benefits.
But as for the safety or effectiveness of mixing it with other drugs, there is no real evidence to support any claims.
One of the main reasons why there is so little data on the combined effects of pot and antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and others is that cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I substance under federal law.
Because of this classification, it is practically impossible to obtain funding for scientific research on this subject or on other issues related to marijuana and drugs.
Medical or recreational marijuana is now legal in almost every state in the country, with less than a dozen states where it is still illegal in all cases.
With legal marijuana use in so many states, more research and data are essential to enable doctors to make informed decisions when prescribing drugs that can cause adverse interactions.
2. doctors will not prescribe antidepressants to patients who use marijuana
Due to the lack of evidence-based research, most doctors advise against mixing marijuana and antidepressants.
In addition, many doctors will not even prescribe antidepressants to a patient they believe or know is smoking or using edible marijuana.
Most drugs come with warnings about the adverse effects of drinking alcohol and mixing prescriptions, if this is true, because the claim is backed up by research and a long history of patients having had adverse reactions.
We do not yet have this history of marijuana, so doctors must rely on sound medical judgment based on how antidepressants and marijuana work in the brain.
3.lexapro and weeds can cause problems
Lexapro is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants on the market and is known to cause problems for some people when mixed with marijuana.
Some health professionals have speculated that it could cause seizures when mixed with marijuana.
But it’s not just Lexapro that could cause an unwanted problem.
Antidepressants fall into different categories depending on how they interact with neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).
The most common antidepressants fall into one of these categories and include:
Most often these drugs are used to control serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels that affect our mood.
Marijuana also interacts with neurotransmitters, and when mixed with antidepressants, it can overload the brain with too much serotonin.
Doctors know that certain drugs and antidepressants cannot be mixed, but they do not know exactly how they mix with marijuana.
However, they know that both can increase serotonin levels, and too much increase can lead to serotonin syndrome, where one of the symptoms can be seizures.
4. marijuana can cause anxiety
Marijuana has been known to exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety, especially certain strains or those that have high levels of THC, the psychoactive component of weeds.
For others, it can cause paranoia or anxiety due to the way it interacts with their bodies. Just as some people react negatively to alcohol consumption, the same applies to weeds.
The two main types of marijuana strains – Indica and Sativa – act differently in the body to produce different types of high feelings.
Indica strains are relaxing and might work best for most people with anxiety, but Sativa strains produce a more energetic high that can actually increase anxiety or paranoia.
Some people have no idea what kind of strain they are using, which is why they can have a good experience once and a bad one once.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence among regular pot users that marijuana actually relieves the symptoms of anxiety or depression.
However, there are many others who have experienced terrible weed-induced anxiety because they used too much of the drug or were unaware that they were sensitive to THC.
Food is notorious for causing anxiety, partly because it is sometimes difficult to know how much THC they have ingested.
The aim of antidepressants is to regulate the chemistry of the brain, and by adding marijuana, taking the drug could be counterproductive.
5. marijuana is addictive and could contribute to depression
There is also the issue of marijuana addiction, a widespread and often untreated disease. Adolescents and young adults up to the age of 25 are particularly vulnerable because their brains are not yet fully developed.
“[About] 10 percent of adult consumers become addicted, while about 17 percent of adolescent consumers become addicted. These are not insignificant numbers considering that the overall number is increasing,” Dr. Lynch told Reuters, and data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirms this.
An estimated 2.5 percent of adults, or about 6 million people, met the criteria for marijuana use disorder in 2016 alone. Another 6 percent met the criteria at some point in their lives, the NIH survey reports, and these numbers are likely to be underestimated.
Like other chronic drug use, long-term cannabis use that leads to dependence actually changes the structure and function of the brain and can worsen the symptoms of depression.
Although smoking grass may once have helped some people to overcome the symptoms of depression, in the long term, daily use will in some cases worsen the symptoms.
One of the signs of addiction is increased tolerance to a substance. Regular marijuana users understand this and need to smoke or eat more to achieve the same effect as when they started using.
This tolerance takes its toll on the brain, and what once worked well to relieve the blues of a bad day is now necessary for a daily fix. Without smoking all day, some users live in a regular state of depression and cannot feel happy without grass.