Why Mixing Zoloft and Weed Is Not a Good Idea – Just Pick One

By . Reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya | August 1, 2022 | Health & Relief

Patients with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD often use Zoloft and weed to manage their symptoms. 

By the end of this article, you will have answers to these questions:

  • Can you smoke weed on Zoloft?
  • How does weed affect Zoloft?
  • Can you replace Zoloft with weed?

Additionally, we will dive into more detail on how Zoloft and weed work to help with anxiety and depression. Plus, we will understand how weed interacts with other antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin. Ready? Let us begin.

Zoloft and weed

So, what happens when you mix Zoloft and weed? Existing studies and patient testimonies reveal three potential outcomes from mixing Zoloft and weed.

  • First, nothing may happen, and both drugs may work just as intended.
  • Secondly, both drugs may amplify each other’s effects. 
  • Finally, after weeks of using Zoloft, some users discover that they no longer get high when they use weed. That’s right, weed has zero effect on them, even when they take potent edibles.

What can we conclude from these different observations? We’re all different. And weed plus Zoloft will affect everyone differently. So, it’s vital that you make your decision as an individual and not off another person’s experience. Most importantly, you must pay attention to your healthcare provider’s advice.

We asked our Quick Med Cards community if they had an experience mixing Zoloft and weed. Here is what Jacob and Kelly had to say.

What happened when Jacob mixed Zoloft and weed?

“It was the summer after my sophomore year of college when I decided to mix Zoloft and weed for the first time. I had been struggling with anxiety and depression, and my therapist had prescribed Zoloft as a way to help me cope. 

However, the Zoloft made me feel foggy and disconnected from the world around me. In desperation, I turned to weed as a way to self-medicate. At first, I felt better. The weed helped to ease my anxiety and made me feel more relaxed. 

But then, something started to happen. The Zoloft and weed began to interact in strange ways. My thoughts became tangled and jumbled, and I began to experience paranoia and hallucinations. It was as if the two drugs were amplifying each other’s effects, leading me down a dark spiral of mental illness. 

Thankfully, I got help and quit the Zoloft-weed combination before it did any lasting damage. But I will never forget what happened when I mixed those two substances.”

Kelly smoked weed while on Zoloft.

Woman smoking weed while on Zoloft

“For those who don’t know, Zoloft is a prescription antidepressant used to treat anxiety and depression. I started taking it a few weeks ago. At first, everything seemed normal. I still felt the effects of weed when I smoked, but then something strange happened. Suddenly, weed stopped having any effect on me at all. No matter how much I smoked, I just couldn’t get high.

After some research, I found that this is a relatively common side effect of Zoloft. Apparently, Zoloft alters how weed affects the brain, making it impossible to get high. For some people, this is a good thing. But for me, it’s been really frustrating. I liked smoking weed because it helped me relax and escape my problems. Now that it doesn’t work anymore, I feel like I’ve lost a valuable coping mechanism.

I’m not sure what to do at this point. Do I keep taking the Zoloft and just deal with the fact that weed doesn’t work for me anymore? Or do I stop taking the Zoloft and try to find another way to cope with my anxiety and depression? I’m still deciding, but either way, I thought I should share my story in case there are others out there struggling with the same issue.”

How is it looking so far?

Indeed, lots of research on the subject is needed. But so far, it does not seem like a good idea to combine Zoloft and weed. And why would you risk exacerbating your anxiety by mixing the two?

You’re probably wondering why weed is even in this conversation. It makes things worse! Well, Zoloft has its shortcomings in helping with anxiety. And where Zoloft falls short, medical marijuana shines. How? Read on. We’ll be getting to that shortly.

But first!

Are you already considering substituting Zoloft for weed? We recommend speaking with an MMJ doctor. They will assess your current condition. And inform whether medical cannabis will be beneficial for you. Additionally, a marijuana doctor can recommend specific strains for your anxiety.

Also, do you have a medical marijuana card? Why is this important? – You ask. 

Well, a med card will give you access to medical-grade cannabis. Usually, medical weed is more effective in treating anxiety than recreational cannabis. 

So, kill two birds with one stone by clicking the button below.

Zoloft and weed for anxiety and depression

In brief:

  • Zoloft and weed are two popular treatments for anxiety and depression. But they work in different ways.
  • Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), while weed is a cannabinoid. 
  • SSRIs increase the level of serotonin in the brain by inhibiting its reuptake which helps improve mood and relieve anxiety. 
  • Cannabinoids, on the other hand, interact with the endocannabinoid system. 
  • This system regulates mood, pain, appetite, and memory. Cannabinoids can thus help to improve mood and relieve anxiety and depression. 
  • Zoloft and weed have different side effects. Some may find a particular set of side effects more tolerable.

So, which one should you choose? Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. And, of course, your doctor or mental health professional has the final say. 

Let’s take a look at how Zoloft and weed perform individually.

Zoloft

Patient taking a Zoloft pill for her anxiety and depression

Zoloft is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). That means it’s a medication used to treat anxiety and depression by increasing serotonin in the brain. Other types of SSRIs include Prozac, Lexapro, and Fluoxetine.

Besides SSRIs, there are other types of antidepressants. For example, Wellbutrin or Bupropion; a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). NDRIs work by increasing available dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Doctors usually prescribe Zoloft to treat mental illness. For example, anxiety disorders, major depressive disorders, PTSD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

How does Zoloft work to help with anxiety?

Zoloft works by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in mood regulation. When levels of serotonin are low, it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Additionally, low levels are likely to trigger anxiety and panic attacks. 

By boosting serotonin levels, Zoloft can help improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression.

How long does it take Zoloft to work?

It can take more than a month for Zoloft to start working. Generally, patients will observe a notable decline in depressive episodes around 4 to 6 weeks. So, it’s necessary to be patient and give it time to work.

What are the potential side effects of Zoloft?

Zoloft may cause side effects, including

  • anxiety,
  • diarrhea,
  • excessive sweating,
  • fatigue,
  • hair loss,
  • headaches,
  • heart palpitations,
  • insomnia,
  • nausea,
  • and sexual side effects. 

Generally, Zoloft is a safe and effective treatment for anxiety and depression. But speak to your doctor if you experience any of the listed side effects.

Is Zoloft addictive?

People often ask if Zoloft is addictive or habit-forming. The answer is no. Zoloft is not addictive or habit-forming. But some people may experience side effects when they stop taking Zoloft, such as nausea, headache, and fatigue. These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days.

Still, any time a person takes psychoactive medication, there is the potential for abuse or misuse. And while Zoloft may not be addictive, it can still be harmful if misused. If you are concerned about stopping Zoloft, talk to your doctor.

Can you OD (overdose) on Zoloft?

Although it is a relatively safe drug, an overdose is possible. Symptoms of a Zoloft OD may include 

  • nausea, 
  • vomiting, 
  • drowsiness, 
  • dizziness,
  • tremors, 
  • and seizures. 

While death caused by a Zoloft overdose is rare, the situation becomes dire if other drugs are involved. If you suspect you or someone you know has overdosed on Zoloft, seek medical help immediately. An overdose of any medication can be dangerous, so it’s vital to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Weed and Depression

Weed on a plate. It is used to treat depression

Weed and depression regularly appear in the same sentence. And for good reasons. Weed helps with depression by working on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for maintaining balance in the body, including regulating mood. 

The cannabinoids in weed, CBD plus THC, interact with the endocannabinoid system to spur various effects. For instance, THC helps relieve pain and increase appetite. What’s more, it is responsible for making users feel high. CBD is non-intoxicating and helps reduce anxiety plus improve mood. 

Existing studies show that weed can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. And it cultivates optimism in the treatment of other mental health conditions like PTSD. But it is worth noting that weed is not a cure-all. And more research on the topic is required.

Is weed a depressant or antidepressant?

Despite its potential benefits, there’s a lot of debate about whether weed is a depressant or an antidepressant. Some people say that it can help relieve depression. Others claim that it can make you more depressed. So, what’s the truth?

Well, it turns out that there is evidence to suggest that weed can help diminish depressive symptoms. But at the same time, it could increase the likelihood of developing depression.

So, what does all this mean? It’s hard to say for sure. Yet, it seems that weed may have different effects on different people. Some may find it helpful in managing their depression. And others may find that it worsens their symptoms. 

If you’re considering using cannabis to treat your depression, talking to an experienced MMJ doctor is necessary.

Antidepressants and weed

If you’re taking antidepressants, you are probably curious about how they might interact with weed. It’s a common question, but there isn’t a straightforward answer. 

The reality is that it depends on the individual. Marijuana could help improve your antidepressant symptoms or make them worse. 

Also, marijuana could interact with antidepressants in other ways. For instance, weed may affect how the body metabolizes antidepressants. As a result, drug levels may increase or decrease in your blood.

Weed pills for anxiety and depression

Weed pills, cannabis pills, or THC pills are becoming popular today. Unlike smoking or vaping, these pills offer a discreet and convenient way to get your daily dose of CBD or THC. But do they work? 

The answer is a little complicated. Some users report feeling more relaxed and less anxious after taking weed pills. Others don’t notice much of a difference. 

Also, they can take up to an hour to take effect, so they’re not ideal for short-term anxiety relief. But THC pills are an efficient option for a long-term solution for chronic anxiety or depression. 

Moreover, weed pills are generally more effective than other forms of medical marijuana. For example, tinctures, smoking, or eating edibles

Can weed cause serotonin syndrome?

Serotonin syndrome is a concern to be aware of if you mix weed with antidepressants like Zoloft. 

Serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there’s too much serotonin in the body. Symptoms can include 

  • high blood pressure, 
  • rapid heart rate, 
  • sweating, 
  • tremors, 
  • and seizures.

While it’s true that weed can increase serotonin levels, it’s not likely to cause serotonin syndrome on its own. Most cases of serotonin syndrome stem from taking many medications that affect serotonin levels. So, although taking weed plus Zoloft in large amounts may increase the risk, it’s unlikely.

Should You Replace Zoloft with Marijuana?

Doctors showing Zoloft and weed

Replacing Zoloft with marijuana is a viable option with many benefits. But weed does have its faults.

  • First, weed is not an FDA-approved drug. That means the FDA does not recognize weed as a workable treatment option for anxiety and depression.
  • Additionally, studies and clinical trials on the effects of weed on anxiety and depression are scarce.

In contrast, Zoloft is an extensively studied prescription medication. And the FDA considers it a safe and effective drug.  

So, those are some risks to consider before making the switch.

Still, medical marijuana beats Zoloft on many fronts. For instance,

The side effects of weed are more tolerable compared to those of Zoloft. Marijuana’s side effects include

  • feeling high, 
  • red eyes, 
  • paranoia, 
  • dry mouth (cotton mouth), 
  • and slowed reaction time. 

But when compared to side effects like hair loss, headaches, and diarrhea, weed takes the cake.

Moreover, weed also deals with some of the adverse effects of Zoloft, such as insomnia and fatigue.

Still unsure about making the switch? Dispense your doubts by talking to a knowledgeable medical marijuana doctor.

Also, most states do not list depression and anxiety as qualifying conditions. So, anxiety may not be reason enough to get a med card. But these states don’t have such restrictions.

And our compassionate MMJ doctors are ready to listen to you and help.

Did you know that anxiety and depression are symptoms of PTSD? The following states have PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

CBD and Zoloft

CBD oil is a popular natural remedy for many ailments, but can it be taken with Zoloft? Research suggests that CBD may interact with SSRIs like Zoloft. But, the extent of this interaction is unknown.

Studies suggest that CBD may interact with serotonin receptors. For this reason, there is a theoretical risk that mixing CBD and Zoloft could cause serotonin syndrome. Still, this remains a theory owing to the scarcity of concrete research on the topic.

Delta-8 for anxiety and depression

Lately, some patients have tested delta-8 THC, short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, to treat the symptoms of their anxiety and depression. And they claim it works! So, what is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is a cannabinoid like delta-9 THC (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. But, delta-8 is only about half as potent as THC. It is present in small amounts in hemp plants. But most commercially available delta-8 products are lab-made.

Many anecdotal reports compare the medicinal benefits of delta-8 THC to regular THC. Yet, there is very little scientific evidence to support these claims. And although delta-8 may not be as potent as THC, it may cause similar side effects. Still, it is less likely to cause paranoia and anxiety, usually prevalent with THC.

The FDA disapproves of delta-8 THC and warns of its many risks. For instance, users may experience 

  • hallucinations, 
  • vomiting, 
  • tremor, 
  • anxiety, 
  • dizziness, 
  • confusion, 
  • and loss of consciousness.

Additionally, the authority warns that delta-8 THC products may contain contaminants because of the chemicals used to synthesize the cannabinoid.

Sativa or indica for anxiety and depression?

A weed farm, is growing weed easier than growing shrooms?

Both Sativa and Indica strains can be effective for treating depression and anxiety. The best fit depends on your symptoms and desired effects. 

For instance, Sativa strains are often more energizing and uplifting. As a result, they can improve your mood and deal with fatigue. Indica strains are sought-after for their relaxation effects. When you smoke Indica, you may feel a sense of deep relaxation and calm.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. So, a little experimentation to see what works best for you is okay. Keep in mind that smoking Indica can cause sleepiness and couch-lock. So, it’s not always ideal if you need to be active during the day. 

Also, some Sativa strains, especially THC-rich Sativas, are notorious for inducing paranoia and anxiety. So, picking a CBD-rich Sativa strain is advisable for anxiety and depression.

Common questions concerning Zoloft and weed

Below are answers to common questions concerning Zoloft and weed.

What is the link between Zoloft, insomnia, and nightmares?

Are you taking Zoloft and struggling with insomnia? You’re not alone. It is a common side effect of this popular antidepressant. And because of Zoloft-induced insomnia, fatigue and daytime drowsiness are commonplace outcomes.

On top of that, some people who take Zoloft also report having more nightmares than usual. So, if you’re tossing and turning at night or waking up from unsettling dreams, it might be time to talk to your doctor about other options.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to prevent nightmares. First, try to reduce your stress levels before going to bed. Secondly, avoid caffeine before bedtime.

How do Zoloft and THC interact?

THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can react with antidepressants like Zoloft. But like CBD, the interaction between THC and Zoloft is highly theorized owing to insufficient studies.

What is the best time to take Zoloft?

Most experts agree that the best time to take Zoloft is in the morning. That way, the medication can work during the day when symptoms are at their worst. Additionally, taking Zoloft in the morning helps prevent insomnia.

But some people prefer taking Zoloft at night to help reduce side effects such as nausea and fatigue. So, the best course of action should be to talk to your doctor about what schedule is right for you.

Can Zoloft cause hair loss?

Hair loss is a rare side effect of taking Zoloft. It’s unclear how Zoloft causes hair loss. One assumption is because of the medication’s effects on serotonin levels. On the bright side, it is a temporary side effect. Talk to your doctor if concerned about losing your hair while taking Zoloft. They may prescribe a different medication that doesn’t have this side effect.

Does weed help with SSRI withdrawal?

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking SSRIs is common. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, and dizziness. Some people find that weed helps with SSRI withdrawal by alleviating these symptoms. But research is insufficient to determine how effective weed is. If you’re considering using weed to help with SSRI withdrawal, talk to a cannabis doctor first. 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.