CBD Oil and Antidepressants: Can Cannabinoid-Use Replace Antidepressants?
Depression is a mood disorder that affects the way how a person feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. People who suffer from depression have trouble doing everyday activities and sometimes they have suicidal thoughts.
Antidepressants are used to treat depression. Researchers suggest that CBD is an alternative option that can also help with depression.
Understanding CBD Oil and Antidepressants
In recent years, CBD has gained a lot of interest among doctors, researchers, and patients. Numerous scientific researchers have shown that CBD has powerful antidepressant properties, and it is really safe for use.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of the many compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil is oil that contains concentrations of CBD in it. The concentrations of CBD, found in the oil vary. CBD oil also has low levels of TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the substance that makes the marijuana psychoactive. CBD oil is mainly used to treat different illnesses and diseases.
Popular CBD Oil brands:
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What Are Antidepressants?
Medications are one of the most effective ways of treating people with depression. Antidepressants are types of medicines that are used to treat depression. They are balancing some of the neutral chemicals in our brains. Antidepressants are always prescribed by a doctor.
There are many types of antidepressants available, and it takes a while before you find one that works. Also, some medication needs several weeks to take full effect.
Mixing CBD Oil and Antidepressants
One of the greatest challenges for doctors is to prescribe antidepressants to patients who are already consuming CBD Oil. It is a real challenge for them to prescribe the most appropriate drug and the right dose. Besides the generalized risks, every class of antidepressants is unique and the side effects and the potential interactions vary.
CBD oil and antidepressants interact through the metabolizing system in the body, and both of them have a neurologic effect with possible interactions in some neural pathways.
CBD Oil and SSRIs
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – SSRIs (like Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and Lexapro) are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat depression. Patients who mix them with CBD reported fewer side effects and drug interactions with SSSRIs compared to the other types of antidepressants.
SSRIs, same like the CBD Oil, act on serotonin receptors in the brain in order to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Unpleasant interactions with cannabis are really rare. There have been several reported cases that combining CBD and SSRIs can enlarge the risk of hypomania in some vulnerable population (for example in people with bipolar disorder).
However, physicians are suggesting SSRIs because of the risk of having adverse interactions with other drugs is really low.
The CYP450 Pathway
One of the basic and essential processes of the body is to eliminate foreign compounds. The liver is the main place where all of this happens. When we consume food or drug medicine, it is then broken down in the stomach and in the small intestine and the compounds extracted from the food are then taken to the liver for detoxification.
After the metabolism, these compounds are then distributed in the body with the circulatory system.
The CYP450 pathway is involved in the first phase of the metabolic processes that take place in the liver. CYP450 consists of a family of enzymes or proteins that are present throughout our body, but their highest concentrations are found in the liver cell, or also called hepatocytes.
The main role of these enzymes is a degradation and elimination of drugs in the body. This pathway is important because is commonly referred to as drug0drug interaction. CYP-mediated drugs can cause supratherapeutic levels of a drug in the system and the effect can even lethal. CBD, in this case, is a compound that is an agonist of the CYP2C19 pathway in the CYP450 system.
But, for now, the only compound derived from cannabis that needs to be monitored for some type of interactions with antidepressants is THC. On the other hand, CBD seems to be pretty safe.
Can CBD Replace Antidepressants?
It is well-known that CBD works on the endocannabinoid system and reduces the pain without any side effect. And this is the main reason why patients now are getting rid of the antidepressant in favor of the CBD. But, it doesn’t have to mean that you should stop using medications in order to start consuming CBD oil.
Many people are adding CBD oil to their regime to help them in a critical situation. Many scientists and researchers agree that CBD oil has a great role as a supplement instead of replacing the medicines. The main reason is that CBD is simply not enough studied for now. But, there are certain cases where antidepressants were replaced with CBD and the results were positive.
How to Prepare the Switch
If you are planning to replace your medications with CBD, it is really important to consult with your doctor first and he should monitor your whole process.
Your doctor will lower the dose of the antidepressants that you are taking in the first several months. During this period, you will continue to take CBD every day. As time passes, your doctor will start to increase the dosage of CBD oil. Finally, after some time you will completely stop using antidepressants.
Risks of Going Cold Turkey with SSRIs
Quitting your antidepressant medication all of a sudden may cause a range of withdrawal symptoms. Stopping “cold turkey” your medicines can even worsen your depression. Some of the side effects include:
- Getting sick
- Getting back to your treatment
- You might contemplate suicide
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased sweating
Finding the Right Dosage
One of the most frequent asked questions is how much CBD oil should be taken to treat depression. Well, there is no standard answer to this, because it varies.
The main reason is that CBD is acting differently in each individual. That is why you should be fully informed on how much CBD oil you should consume before starting using it.
Finding the right amount of CBD oil will be personal to you. Also, your weight and your height play a great role too. If you have some type of medical condition, it is best to consult your doctor before taking CBD oil. It is ideal to start with a lower dose first and building up.
There are no official guidelines for the amount and time needed for the CBD oil to show its full effect, so time and patience are the keys to finding the dose which is most effective.
On your first day of use, start with only one drop. Starting with this low dose gives your body time to adapt to the CBD. After two to three days, increase your dose to 2 drops per day for the next few weeks. During this time, you should see if you notice any visible reduction in your depression symptoms.
Be aware that it takes time for CBD to affect you, so it might take a while before you can notice some changes. You can separate your dose into a few smaller doses throughout the day, in order to enhance the absorption and efficacy of the oil.
According to the researches done from the users of CBD oil, doses from 40 mg to 600 mg are the most effective. But, still this is a wide range of number, and it varies from individual to individual.
CBD gummies make it easy to control your CBD dosage.
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Dangers of Replacing Antidepressants with CBD Oil
CBD oil is legal and available for sale. CBD oil can hinder hepatic drug metabolism and the activity of some enzymes in the liver. Some of the users have also reported a dry mouth after using the CBD oil.
Your first weeks without your medicines might be rough for you. You might get anxiety attacks, have sleep disorders. You might be feeling fatigued throughout the day and unfocused.
Also, you will be lacked in motivation and do only the basic daily routines. But, after one month you will start feeling better. As time passes, you will be able to see huge positive changes in your mental health.
CBD May Be the Relief You’re Looking For
CBD has shown in many cases to reduce depression and anxiety. Many people have found their relief in this supplement. They are finding CBD oil as an effective replacement for some traditional medications like antidepressants.
Depression is a common mental health issue that nowadays many people suffer from. Depression may result in different ways when not kept under control. The causes of depression are in truth very wide-ranging. This means that the solution is not as simple as just prescribing a pill.
The CBD oil can be a huge help in getting you, and your mind and body back to normal and full health. However, there is still research that needs to be done related to this subject. But the results of studies that have been done until now are promising and show completely how CBD works to reduce depression.