CBD has been used by people who suffer from mental health concerns like social anxiety or depression. Some people have even managed to use CBD to improve symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety and depression, following particularly traumatic incidents.
Unlike THC, the more widely known compound of marijuana and hemp plants, CBD does not cause the psychoactive high associated with cannabis use. Instead, CBD helps relax the mind and the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, a complex series of nerves and cells that communicate with the brain to control responses to pain. In this article, we look at CBD and SSRI interaction.
What are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors?
Traditional methods of treating depression are through prescription medication. Among the most common antidepressants prescribed to patients are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can be used to treat symptoms of moderate to severe depression.
SSRIs increase levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps transmit signals between the brain and other organs throughout the body. They help prevent serotonin from being absorbed by neurons so that the communication between the brain and the rest of the body remains fully functional and effective.
CBD and SSRI interaction
Receptors in the endocannabinoid system use serotonin to help stimulate moods and emotions. Two of those receptors, CB1 and CB2, are directly triggered by doses of CBD oil. These interactions help the receptors respond to the serotonin signals flowing throughout the body so that the brain responds in a way that reduces feelings of depression.
As an organic compound, health and wellness advocates are more likely to use CBD oil to treat feelings of depression than prescription medication. In addition to its organic roots, CBD can immediately support the flow of serotonin between the brain and vital receptors in the body. Medications like SSRIs and other antidepressants could take several weeks to show any effect.
Possible benefits of CBD and SSRI
To date, there is little in the way of medical research to indicate if there is a positive and beneficial relationship between doses of CBD oil alongside SSRI medications. There needs to be more research and clinical trials to verify if the two can coexist to further elevate depressive moods towards more positive emotions.
However, research into how CBD and SSRIs independently affect the body does indicate that they similarly influence responses to depressive symptoms. SSRIs are routinely used to target receptors in the body to support the mental health of people who suffer from depression and/or social anxiety.
Studies into how CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system show a similar effect to how SSRIs stimulate one’s mood and emotions. While it shows that either form of treatment could elevate mood levels, it’s still premature to state that they could coexist without negating their individual effects on a person’s mental well-being.
How to use CBD for SSRI withdrawal
If you suddenly stop taking SSRIs, your serotonin levels may no longer be sufficient to maintain a positive mood. It’s not uncommon to feel depressive thoughts and feelings during a withdrawal from antidepressant medication, including SSRIs.
CBD may be one way to help manage those feelings and curb the effects of SSRI withdrawal. While there is still no evidence to suggest the two forms of treatment can coexist together, studies have shown that CBD has very similar effects to SSRI in regards to how serotonin moves through the brain.
For that reason, you can purchase CBD oils and use those doses to help coax through an SSRI withdrawal. Each bottle of CBD oil comes with a handy dropper that you can use to administer a few drops of oil onto the back of your tongue. Once you swallow the oil, it will flow from your digestive system into your endocannabinoid system so that it can influence the flow of serotonin from the brain to vital receptors.
In addition to oils, you can choose more edible ways to make CBD part of a regular routine. You can take CBD gummies to add a more sweet taste to your therapy. There are also CBD edibles like multivitamins, tea blends, and seltzers that make for a more appetizing form of treatment.
Plus, you could apply CBD creams topically onto your skin. You could give yourself a nice massage on your arms or the back of your neck as you apply the lotion into your skin, a nice form of physical therapy to combat depressive thoughts. Your skin cells will absorb the lotion so that the CBD oil can directly interact with your body’s receptors.
Possible side effects when using CBD and SSRI
CBD and SSRI interaction: most people experience little to no side effects from CBD doses. In some cases, there may be symptoms of dry mouth, fatigue, or exhaustion so remember to pay attention to any of those minor symptoms if you feel less than one hundred per cent after your doses.
The potential side effects of SSRIs are similar to CBD, though there is also the possibility to experience headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness. These symptoms are more likely to occur during an SSRI withdrawal.
If you are noticing side effects of either form of treatment, it’s best to consult with your primary doctor. Since your doctor is well aware of your medical history, you may receive helpful advice on how to modify or discontinue your forms of therapy to help protect your overall health.