Many people already know what cannabidiol or CBD is and the many uses. There are several CBD forms, and the choice of which to use is yours. However, many do not know that CBD is not exactly ideal for combination with other drugs.
Due to the way it works in the body, it may inhibit metabolism. Over time, this may cause additional health problems. So, can you take CBD with Lexapro? To answer the question, you must understand what Lexapro is and how it works in the body.
Lexapro is an antidepressant belonging to the family of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. It has approval from the FDA and works at treating mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, and major depressive disorder (MDD). You may find the medication bearing other names such as Cipralex, escitalopram, Cilentra, Nexito, and Jolivel.
How Does Lexapro Work?
It works both as an antidepressant and anxiolytic that stops the reuptake of the 5-HT serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical found in the serum and blood platelets that works as a neurotransmitter. In other words, it is a stabilizer for the mood, promoting mental wellness in various ways. You may call it the happy compound.
In people living with depression, there is a drop in the level of serotonin in their bodies. As a result, such people see things as lackluster and are generally uninterested in life. They have a low mood and no longer derive joy in what used to please them.
What Lexapro does is increase the brain’s serotonin level. It stops the serotonin’s reuptake into the presynaptic neuron; the medication goes to the serotonin transporter (SERT) and binds to the primary binding site. The endogenous serotonin in the human body binds to the SERT. So, when Lexapro binds to the SERT, it stops the serotonin’s reuptake. That way, the brain can have more of the chemical and boost the person’s mood.
CBD as an Alternative to Lexapro
Is CBD a suitable alternative for the antidepressant? It may be a promising alternative because it effectively relieves pain and inflammation. It is also excellent at reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and in some cases, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Furthermore, CBD can reduce the symptoms of many autoimmune disorders because of its effect on inflammation and pain.
However, it is not as fully effective as an antidepressant as Lexapro. There is not enough research to show whether or not you can use it for this purpose. Nevertheless, CBD’s current properties are not enough to treat psychiatric disorders as we know them.
If you are using Lexapro or any antidepressant, it is best to speak with your doctor if you want to combine it with other medications. As safe as CBD is, it is not ideal for combination with other drugs, especially those that treat significant ailments. Before you take CBD and Lexapro simultaneously, your doctor has to know and approve them. Otherwise, it may have long-term adverse effects on you.
CBD and Lexapro: How They Interact
Seeing how Lexapro works, it is clear the medication works alone. You do not need to combine it with any other treatment method. CBD is harmless for the most part, producing mild side effects in people who adversely respond to it. However, it is known to interact with drugs, so it is usually medically recommended to avoid combining it with drugs.
So, if you take both treatment options simultaneously, how does CBD interact with Lexapro? There are two primary ways it happens. One is that CBD can slow the speed at which your body metabolizes Lexapro. Two is increasing the effect of the medications on the body.
If CBD slows the rate of the antidepressant’s metabolism, the body may begin to store the active ingredients in Lexapro, accumulating the quantity of the drug circulating in the body.
The same enzymes that metabolize CBD do the same for Lexapro. Both medications jostle for the enzymes’ attention when you take them simultaneously as they strive to metabolize. The result is that the enzymes cannot break all of them down, causing one or both to store in the body without quickly metabolizing.
While it looks like CBD may be inhibited from metabolizing by Lexapro since they use the same enzymes, there is another side. CBD naturally inhibits these enzymes, and Lexapro does not. That is why it is easier for the former to stop the latter’s breakdown in the system. Therefore, taking CBD and Lexapro together may lead to the accumulation of the antidepressant in the body, which is unhealthy.
An accumulation of Lexapro in the system can increase its possible side effects, adding nausea, headaches, drowsiness, and other effects. In addition, an unhealthy accumulation of both CBD and Lexapro may lead to serotonin syndrome. This syndrome is when the body has too much of the chemical, which may lead to other dire health issues.
There may be an agonistic interaction between CBD and Lexapro. When you take two medications that produce the same effects in your body, they have this effect. In simple terms, they go to work on the same receptors, causing changes that head in the same direction, which may be counterproductive.
CBD and Lexapro work on the body’s central nervous system, although they have different working methods. Lexapro works by causing the human body to produce more serotonin in people with low chemical levels. On the other hand, CBD works by neuromodulation.
However, both medications take the same antidepressant and anxiolytic actions in the same areas. Consequently, both medications may noticeably increase the effect on the body, causing drowsiness and lethargy instead of creating a better mood.
Possible Side Effects of Lexapro
Taking Lexapro may produce some side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to let your doctor know if you see any or some of the following side effects:
- Ejaculation disorder
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain
- Loss of appetite
This list is not exhaustive, so ensure you monitor how your body reacts to the antidepressant. This is especially true if you are starting on the medication. If the side effects worsen as you take it, you may want to discontinue it until your doctor clears you.
Can you take CBD with Lexapro? There is some risk of CBD interacting with Lexapro and inhibiting its metabolism. It may also act synergistically with the antidepressant effects of the drug. As a result, the body may have an unhealthy concentration of the antidepressant. While it sounds ideal, it produces unwanted effects: lethargy instead of a better mood.
You can take one or the other, but not ideally both simultaneously. Let your doctor know if you want to incorporate CBD into your daily routine, especially CBD oil. Your doctor is best positioned to advise on the effects and direct you to new medications that work better.