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Thursday September 14 2023

Can You Take CBD Oil with Antidepressants?

can you take cbd oil with antidepressants

You’re probably here because you’re taking antidepressants, and you’ve heard about the buzz surrounding CBD oil and its potential health benefits. But here’s the million-dollar question: Can you take CBD oil with antidepressants?

You’re not alone in this. With the rise in mental health awareness, more people are seeking help, and antidepressants are often a part of the treatment plan. But what if you could enhance your well-being with something more natural, like CBD oil? That’s what we’re here to explore today.

With the global rise in mental health issues and the parallel growth in CBD product availability, it’s high time we discussed the possible interactions between CBD oil and antidepressants. We’ll delve into the science, the anecdotal evidence, and the expert opinions to give you a well-rounded view. So, buckle up; it’s going to be an enlightening ride.

Before we dive in, it’s essential to note that this blog post isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance. We’re here to provide well-researched information to help you make an informed decision. 

What is CBD Oil? 

So, what’s CBD oil all about? CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. But don’t worry, it won’t get you high—that’s THC’s job, another compound in the plant. CBD is like the responsible sibling in the cannabis family, offering a range of health benefits without the psychoactive effects. It’s usually diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil, making it easy to consume or apply.

CBD has gained traction in the wellness industry for its potential therapeutic effects. It’s a versatile product you can ingest, apply topically, or even inhale through vaping. The method you choose depends on what you’re looking to achieve. CBD oil has something to offer, whether it’s for pain relief, mental well-being, or general health.

CBD affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a crucial cell-signalling network in the body that regulates various functions like sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and reproduction. While more research is needed, experts think its primary role is to keep the body’s internal environment stable. The ECS consists of three main components: endocannabinoids, receptors they bond with, and enzymes that break them down. You can find out more here in our CBD oil beginners guide

Common Uses of CBD Oil 

  • Pain Relief: Think of it as a natural painkiller. Whether it’s a nagging headache or chronic pain, CBD oil has shown promise in providing relief. It’s like having a handy tool in your wellness toolkit.
  • Anxiety and Depression: It’s like a calming blanket for your mind. Many people have reported feeling less anxious or depressed after using CBD oil. It’s as if you have a personal therapist in a bottle.
  • Sleep Disorders: Imagine a lullaby in a bottle. If counting sheep isn’t helping, CBD might be your next best option. It’s like having a sleep aid without the grogginess the following day.

Side Effects of CBD 

First, CBD is generally considered safe and is well-tolerated by most people. But let’s be honest; everyone’s body is different, and what works like a charm for one person might not sit well with another. Some people can eat spicy food without breaking a sweat, while others end up red-faced and reaching for a glass of milk.

CBD oil offers various benefits, such as improved mood, reduced anxiety, and better sleep quality. It has also been found effective in alleviating localized pain inflammation and controlling addictive behaviours. In the UK, adverse side effects are minimal due to legal THC limits below 0.2%. However, those with certain health conditions or who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or on other medications may experience adverse effects. Consultation with a GP is recommended before using CBD products if you fall into these categories or have concerns.

What Are Antidepressants?

So, you’re on antidepressants, but what exactly are they? Antidepressants are medications designed to help you manage your mood. They’re often prescribed for conditions like depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. You’ve probably heard of SSRIs and SNRIs; these are just types of antidepressants. SSRIs are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, while SNRIs are Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors. Sounds complicated, right? Don’t worry; we’ll break it down.

Antidepressants have been around for decades, and they’ve helped countless people manage their mental health. They’re not a one-size-fits-all solution but can be crucial to a comprehensive treatment plan. So, if you’re on these meds, you’re in good company.

How Antidepressants Work

How do these pills work their magic? They play around with neurotransmitters, the brain’s messengers, to help regulate mood. Imagine neurotransmitters as postmen delivering messages between brain cells. Antidepressants ensure these postmen do their jobs effectively, ensuring the right messages get through to keep you feeling balanced.

Understanding how antidepressants work can demystify the process. They’re not just “happy pills”; they’re a tool that helps your brain function more optimally. So, if you’ve been feeling down or anxious, these medications aim to restore equilibrium to your life.

Common Side Effects

Let’s talk about side effects. No medication is without its quirks, and antidepressants are no exception.

  • Dry Mouth: Keep a water bottle handy. It’s a common side effect, but staying hydrated can help.
  • Weight Gain: It’s not just you; it’s the meds. If you notice a change, consult your doctor for advice on managing it.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired is common, but talk to your doctor if it persists. You might need to adjust your dosage or try a different medication.

Being aware of these side effects can prepare you for what to expect. It’s like reading the manual before using a new gadget; you’ll have a smoother experience if you know what could happen.

The Interactions with CBD Oil and Antidepressants 

Potential Benefits 

Could CBD oil and antidepressants be the dream team you’ve been waiting for? The fact that CBD is used for such a wide range of conditions and antidepressants are so widely used means plenty of opportunities for crossover. People find that the combo helps improve their mood and even reduces some side effects of antidepressants. Imagine having a dynamic duo fighting for your well-being; it’s like Batman and Robin for your mental health!

Those who suffer from depression will often also suffer from anxiety, and vice versa. Studies are finding that CBD has anti-anxiety properties similar to those in anti-depressants. 

Based on study findings, the synergy between CBD oil and antidepressants could offer a holistic approach to mental health care. While antidepressants target neurotransmitters, CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, potentially offering a more rounded treatment.

Potential Risks

Combining CBD oil and antidepressants could lead to drug interactions or even increase side effects. It’s like mixing two different cocktails; the result could be delightful or a complete disaster.

A clinical trial in 2021 found that CBD affected the metabolism of several antidepressants when you take them together. These interactions may lead to lower concentrations of the antidepressants in the body and may cause them to work against each other rather than alongside each other. 

Being aware of these risks is crucial. It’s like knowing the road conditions before a trip; you’ll be better prepared for any bumps along the way. Research indicates that CBD products may not be safe or could lead to adverse side effects for individuals with existing medical conditions, food allergies, or those on other medications. Therefore, we advise against using these CBD drops if you fall into any of these categories.

We recommend you always consult your GP for tailored advice when taking any supplement alongside prescribed medications. 

What Research Says

A 2018 report by the World Health Organisation found CBD to be “generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile” that was non-addictive. However, more research is needed. Think of it as an ongoing investigation; we’re still gathering clues.

Can I stop taking antidepressants if I start using CBD oil?

No, don’t stop your meds without talking to your doctor. It’s like quitting a job without having another one lined up; it’s risky. Always consult your healthcare provider for the best course of action.

Will CBD oil make my antidepressants less effective?

No concrete evidence suggests this, but always consult your healthcare provider. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor can provide insights based on your medical history and current medications.

Are there any known cases of severe interactions?

Severe interactions are rare but possible. Always consult a healthcare provider. It’s like checking the weather forecast before a big event; you want to be prepared. Your healthcare provider can offer advice tailored to your specific situation.

How long should I monitor for side effects?

Keep an eye out for at least a few weeks. Your body needs time to adjust to the new combination. It’s like moving to a new city; getting used to the new environment takes time.

So, can you take CBD oil with antidepressants?

The answer is a cautious maybe. Always consult your GP for the most accurate and personalised advice. We’ve covered a lot of ground today, from understanding what CBD and antidepressants are to exploring their potential interactions. Remember, everyone’s experience is unique. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider for tailored advice. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve delved into the science, the anecdotal evidence, and the expert opinions to give you a well-rounded view. We’ve also discussed the potential benefits and risks, emphasizing the importance of professional medical advice. It’s like having a roadmap for a journey; you’ll be better prepared for what lies ahead. These are our top tips if you are considering taking CBD and antidepressants together

Consult Your GP 

First things first, talk to your doctor. They can provide personalised advice tailored to your needs. It’s like having a personal trainer but for your mental health. Your GP can help you determine the correct dosage and monitor you for potential interactions.

Start with Low Dosages

If you get the green light, start small. A low dose can help you gauge how your body reacts. It’s like dipping your toe in the water before diving in. Starting low gives you room to adjust and find the perfect balance that works for you.

Monitor for Side Effects

Keep an eye out for any changes. Feeling off? It’s time to consult your doctor again. Monitoring for side effects is like being a vigilant lifeguard; you’re watching out for any signs of trouble so you can act quickly.

Keep a Medication Journal

Jotting down your experiences can help you and your doctor make better decisions. It’s like keeping a diary but for your health. Note how you feel, any side effects, and the dosages you take. This record can be invaluable when you’re fine-tuning your treatment plan. You can find an example of a medication diary here.  

So, if you’re considering combining CBD with antidepressants, take it step by step. Consult your healthcare provider, start with low dosages, monitor for side effects, and keep a medication journal. It’s a process, but one that could potentially offer you a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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