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Antidepressants and Marijuana (Weed): Is There Any Harm?

Antidepressants and marijuana can be dangerous depending on the type of antidepressant. Learn about the risks of weed and antidepressants.

There may by a negative link between some types of antidepressants and marijuana. Antidepressants are generally used to treat depressive disorders and research shows that people with depression tend to use illicit drugs more than the average population. Of those who do use drugs, it's likely many with depression also use marijuana. The key, however, is that most people don't report this use to their doctor, so there is less information on antidepressants and marijuana than for other drug interactions.

There are some case reports though involving weed and antidepressants that show some types of antidepressants are negatively affected by marijuana – sometimes dramatically so. Types of antidepressants include:

It's also important to note chronic use of more than small amounts of marijuana acts as a depressant and this depressant effect can reduce the efficacy of antidepressants.

TCA and MAOI Antidepressants and Marijuana

Tricyclic antidepressants and marijuana can be a dangerous combination as both drugs can cause tachycardia – an increased heart rate. Tachycardia can be very serious, possibly fatal, and require emergency, medical attention. Tachycardia has been seen even in those who use marijuana regularly.

Tricyclic antidepressants and marijuana have caused:1

  • Tachycardia severe enough to require intensive care
  • Extreme restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest and throat pain

MAOI antidepressants and weed may also have adverse interactions. It appears marijuana affects how MAOIs work in the body but the full effect is not known.

Modern Antidepressants and Marijuana

Weed and modern antidepressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs are thought to interact less frequently and less severely than in TCA or MAOI antidepressants. Weed may increase the antidepressant levels in the blood and possibly increase sedation effects. It's important to note though, a significant study has not been done on modern antidepressant and marijuana interactions.2

article references



 

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2012, January 11). Antidepressants and Marijuana (Weed): Is There Any Harm?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/antidepressants/antidepressants-and-marijuana-weed-is-there-any-harm

Last Updated: May 17, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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