Zoloft, also known as Sertraline, is a common medicine prescribed to treat disorders like some types of anxiety, depression, OCD, panic attacks, PTSD, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
The medicine is a type of SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), meaning that it treats disorders by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. SSRIs also block the reabsorption of the chemical into neurons, thus increasing its availability as a neurotransmitter.
So, what if a cannabis user is prescribed Zoloft? Or, a Zoloft user requires medical marijuana to treat other illnesses. Do these two substances work well together? What are the marijuana and Zoloft interactions? Keep reading to learn all about consuming these two together and other common questions.
Understanding How Marijuana and Zoloft Work
Zoloft is approved by the FDA for treatment in adults. However, since it directly impacts the chemical in the brain, this is a prescription-only medicine. It is available as tablets and oral solutions.
Although there are many proven benefits to using antidepressants like Zoloft, people often avoid them due to their potential side effects. Let’s take a look at them and compare how it works against marijuana, and which one of the two may be a better fit for you.
Side Effects of Zoloft
- Loss of appetite
- Fluctuating weight
- Excessive sweating
- Diarrhea/ constipation
- Erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, delayed/ absent ejaculation
- Sexual problems in females like decreased libido, inability to/ delayed orgasm
It may also cause suicidal thoughts in young patients. Overdosing on Zoloft is also a pretty serious issue, while you cannot really “overdose” on marijuana but it is important to be careful with the dosage. Let’s learn more about using marijuana as a substitute for Zoloft, and their interaction.
Can You Use Marijuana In Place of Zoloft?
Marijuana is available in many ways, so you have plenty of options to choose from when administering it. It contains hundreds of cannabinoids that react with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating pain, mood, memory, stress, and immunity. CBD is also known to react with opioid and serotonin receptors.
As a result, medical marijuana patients often use it to treat disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. However, cannabis contains another widely available chemical compound, THC. You may have also heard about it, as this compound is responsible for imparting the high which is generally related to marijuana.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Long term use of THC may worsen depression, and short-term use will also have some side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Increase in heart rate
Keep in mind that you may not even experience these symptoms at all with THC products if you are careful with your intake. Too much of anything is always bad. Moreover, cannabis is mostly safe as you cannot really overdose on it, so taking too much does not require medical attention.
On the other hand, if you smoke you still experience damage to the lungs like regular smoking.
What Happens if You Consume Marijuana and Zoloft Together?
The research on consuming marijuana and Zoloft together is still lacking. As a result, we are not aware of any drug interactions currently. However, healthcare professionals have concerns regarding mixing the two medications.
For instance, some people that suffer from OCD experience paranoid thoughts. They may be prescribed Zoloft to help combat them, but smoking a cannabis strain with high THC content will worsen the condition.
Moreover, both substances have similar benefits and side effects, so taking them together isn’t a good idea. Although there is no scientific evidence as of yet, we are familiar with some potential side effects of consuming marijuana and Zoloft together. So, let’s look at these side effects in brief detail.
An Excess of Serotonin
If you visit a mental health specialist, you’ll see that they prescribe a very specific amount of Zoloft. It is meant to treat varying stages of disorders, as some patients may require a higher dose due to the advanced state of their illness. So, the amount is very specific and should not be exceeded.
Marijuana is also known to increase the production of serotonin in the brain. So, if you consume it along with Zoloft, that would result in an excess of the chemical in the brain.
This can easily lead to serotonin syndrome, which is a severe health risk. Its symptoms include vomiting, agitation, headaches, increased heartbeat, and muscle twitching. In some cases, this may even lead to death.
Increased Risk of a Bad Reaction
Cannabis hinders liver enzymes that are necessary for metabolizing Zoloft. So, consuming them both together would prevent the body from eliminating the anti-depressant like normal.
As a result, the Zoloft in your blood would be much higher than it should be. Any past behavioral issues may resurface and you could become highly aggravated. You may also experience other side effects like headaches, mood swings, sweating, nausea, etc.
Affects the Therapeutic Response
A therapeutic response refers to the result of any medical treatment whose results may or may not be favorable. Consuming Zoloft with weed will most likely cancel out all positive effects.
This may also lead to your doctor concluding that a specific amount of Zoloft isn’t enough for you and you could be put on a much higher dose, which would cause lots of problems. It is crucial to always be honest with your doctor.
If you’re wondering whether to consume Zoloft or marijuana, consider that they both have their advantages. However, cannabis and its products may be a lot easier to consume and treat many ailments. So, while the medication may help with some disorders, marijuana could tackle a few medical problems at a time.
Moreover, Zoloft needs some time to show results. Most patients report feeling better in three to four weeks after taking it regularly. Marijuana, on the other hand, takes a few minutes to hours to impart desirable effects. However, the best advice can only be given by a professional, so we suggest contacting California Marijuana Doctor for a consultation. We have a team of highly qualified and reputed doctors to guide you.