Modified on: 31/08/2023
Many wonder whether CBD can cause side effects when taken together with antidepressants such as sertraline.
And if you have opened this article, it means that the question has intrigued you too.
Ignoring the consequences of combining these two substances could cause serious harm.
Confusion, difficulty concentrating, dizziness… To mention a few.
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In short, you end up taking drugs that only make them worse instead of curing particular ailments.
Quite a problem.
In this article, we’ll try to shed some light on the side effects of taking CBD and sertraline simultaneously.
CBD and sertraline: what are the side effects?
First, let’s clarify what sertraline is.
Sertraline is an antidepressant known as a ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and works by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain.
It is used to treat a range of conditions, including but not limited to:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder;
- panic attacks;
- stress disorder;
- social anxiety disorder (social phobia);
- severe forms of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).
Sertraline helps improve general mood and sleep quality and increases appetite and energy levels, restoring interest in daily life.
It reduces fear, anxiety, other unwanted thoughts, and the urge to perform repeated tasks that disrupt the daily routine.
Comparing CBD with sertraline, both have similar characteristics in treating anxiety and promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
However, their combined consumption could impact their safety and efficacy, so clarity should be sought regarding possible side effects.
First, it is essential to remember that Cannabidiol has recently gained popularity. And it is this popularity that has helped CBD reveal its medicinal nature.
Indeed, some consumers have started mixing CBD with prescription drugs to maximise its efficacy.
Because of this recent trend toward using CBD for medicinal purposes, there is a distinct lack of studies validating drug interactions for many drugs, including CBD and sertraline.
The studies that we know and can rely on help us understand whether taking these substances together is possible.
It is believed that the use of CBD with sertraline may worsen the side effects of the latter, such as:
- difficulty concentrating.
Furthermore, when sertraline is taken together with CBD (in the form of CBD flower, for example), older adults may experience disturbances in thinking, judgement and motor coordination.
In general, CBD is believed to have some theoretical drug interactions. However, other experts are convinced that interactions are only slight or rare and do not cause severe reactions.
However, there is not enough clinical evidence to state this with certainty.
A concrete answer to the possibility of taking CBD with sertraline is still largely unknown due to unstudied potential interactions.
Therefore, it is best to understand better how CBD might interact with sertraline.
How might CBD interact with sertraline?
Sertraline is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that requires extensive metabolisation by various enzymes, a process that is essential to eliminate pharmaceutical compounds from the body.
In other words, the slower the drug metabolisation process, the longer the drug remains in the system, causing potential toxicity and different dangerous outcomes.
In contrast to this process, research indicates that CBD inhibits many metabolising enzymes we mentioned earlier. This leads to a dangerous increase in the concentration of sertraline in the body.
What does this mean?
It means that the longer sertraline remains in the body because CBD inhibits its metabolising enzymes, the higher the concentration of sertraline in the system, which can be toxic and cause adverse effects.
But that is not all.
Although theoretical reasoning states that interactions between CBD (present, e.g. in legal hash) and sertraline may cause side effects, some data and studies claim otherwise.
Firstly, further CBD interaction data state that the risk of CBD-sertraline interaction is specifically low.
Secondly, many studies predict that even if CBD inhibits some specific enzymes needed to metabolise sertraline, this is not significant.
According to some experts, the blood concentration required to influence and inhibit these enzymes greatly exceeds normal CBD dosages.
Finally, another study states that since sertraline is metabolised with the help of several enzymes, it would be complex for a single agent such as CBD to cause a serious or clinically significant interaction.
So the question is: what conclusions can we draw from this data?
Since clinical reasoning opposes the conclusions of theoretical reason, we can only make general assumptions until complete studies provide a more consistent data set and a solid decision.
Therefore, it is essential to consult your doctor if you wish to combine CBD with sertraline and follow their instructions.
This article shows the possible side effects of the interaction between CBD and sertraline, an antidepressant.
As you may have read, the theoretical arguments differ from the clinical ones, so further investigation is needed.
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