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Drug Interactions of Cannabis with Different Antidepressants

Cannabis can make people feel more relaxed, less stressed, and happier. People experiencing depression or anxiety are more likely to use cannabis than those without these conditions. Many people with these conditions also take prescription antidepressants while also consuming weed.

Combining psychoactive drugs and psychotropic medications may increase the chances of patients experiencing adverse effects, but few rigorous studies have been published that closely examine how cannabis and antidepressants may interact.

Patients who consume cannabis should be cautious and talk with their health provider when combining it with antidepressants. Newer antidepressants carry low to moderate risks when mixed with marijuana, while older antidepressants carry a higher risk.

Physicians note that one of the most significant variables when patients combine any sort of drug is the ability to measure to what degree each produces side effects and how the substances affect behavior and mood. Patients are more likely to misuse cannabis or transition from occasional to chronic use when they’re depressed.

Each class of antidepressants is unique and associated with varying side effects and potential interactions. Tricyclic antidepressants and MAOIs are associated with high potential cannabis interaction risks.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, PhD, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, has found that patients should abstain from cannabis and other substances during treatment of depression or anxiety—at least temporarily—that involves antidepressants.

While the interaction between cannabis and antidepressants remains poorly understood, there are some general guidelines that patients and healthcare professionals should follow. Patients who use cannabis should inform their healthcare providers and discuss the potential risks and benefits of combining cannabis with antidepressants. In some cases, healthcare providers may advise patients to abstain from cannabis use during treatment.

Patients should also be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with specific types of antidepressants. While newer antidepressants may carry lower risks when mixed with marijuana, older antidepressants may carry a higher risk. Patients taking MAOIs, in particular, should avoid cannabis use altogether.

In conclusion, while cannabis may offer some relief for people suffering from depression or anxiety, its use in combination with antidepressants remains poorly understood. Patients and healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential risks and benefits of combining cannabis with antidepressants and make informed decisions about their treatment options.


Antidepressant Type Prescription Brand Names Potential Cannabis Interaction Risk
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Sertraline Low to moderate
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) Low to moderate
Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Forfivo XL Low to moderate
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan) High
Tricyclic antidepressants imipramine (Tofranil), amitriptyline, doxepin High

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