Can Cannabis Cause Serotonin Syndrome? What We Know

CBD, or cannabidiol, is being used all over the world to treat various medical conditions. We can’t deny the fact that it is definitely a good cure for many health-related issues, and a lot of people have cured their conditions by using products made with CBD.

Since it is obtained from the hemp plant that influences the brain, it can affect various other chemicals in the body.

Among all, serotonin is the most highly-affected chemical in the body, and there are a lot of assumptions out there that claim that CBD is related to serotonin syndrome as well. If you want to know more about it, then read this post till the end, as we have shared some useful insights that will help you understand more about CBD and its relation to serotonin deficiency.

What Is Serotonin & Its Role In Our Body?

Serotonin is basically a neurotransmitter in the human body which is responsible for various emotional changes. While it is produced majorly in the brain, it can also be found in the gut. Mood, anxiety, sleep, appetite, and the sleep-wake cycle are some of the things that are influenced by the serotonin levels in the body. It is thought to play a role in feelings of well-being and happiness.

Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mood disorders. Serotonin also plays an important role in regulating appetite, which is why medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain, such as antidepressants, can cause weight gain. Additionally, it is also involved in regulating body temperature, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.

Not only this, but a recent study shows that low levels of serotonin may be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke because it affects the blood flow of the body too. It can directly play a vital role in the formation of blood clots. So, it is really important to check on the serotonin levels if you are concerned about your physical and psychological functions.

Serotonin Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of having low-level serotonin depend on various factors and conditions. Generally, the symptoms might appear after 6-24 hours, depending on the type of substance you’ve consumed. Since serotonin is influenced by various physical and psychological things, it can be caused by various means.

Sometimes a person might not know, but he may be dealing with serotonin syndrome. It is recommended to follow regular check-ups once you have been diagnosed with serotonin syndrome, as it will keep you protected against every other medical condition. Below we have mentioned some of the symptoms you or someone having serotonin deficiency may face:

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Shivering or goosebumps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

NOTE: Symptoms typically appear within hours of taking a medication that increases serotonin levels or taking multiple medications that affect serotonin levels. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing serotonin syndrome, seek medical attention immediately. It’s important to note that other conditions can also cause these symptoms, so it’s always best to consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

Can Cannabis Cause Serotonin Syndrome?

Cannabinoids, the compound found in cannabis or CBD products, can influence the serotonin levels in the body, so yes, they can cause serotonin syndrome. Though there are no cases reported by cannabis users that their serotonin levels have decreased to the extent that they start experiencing a syndrome, it is always best to stay on the safe side.

Regular and overdosage of CBD products might imbalance the serotonin levels, thus causing serotonin syndrome in the body. If you have combined it with other medications that also affect serotonin levels, such as antidepressants, then you might land in a situation where you can experience serotonin syndrome.

Cannabinoids basically bind to the serotonin and other receptors in the brain; thus, long-term heavy cannabis use may lead to an overall decrease in serotonin levels. After consuming CBD or cannabis products, if you start experiencing problems like depression and anxiety, then it means you have low serotonin levels in your body.

What Is The Reason Behind Serotonin Drainage?

Serotonin in the human body is influenced by many things, including medications, food, behaviour, physical activities, and many more. Mostly, the reason behind serotonin drainage is a drug reaction between two or more substances that play with the receptors. If you are on a medication that changes serotonin levels and consume another that does the same that there will be a chemical imbalance in your body for sure. Here are some of the reasons why you might be having a serotonin shortage in your body:

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can cause a decrease in serotonin levels by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, which can eventually lead to a depletion of serotonin levels.
  • Chronic Stress: Prolonged stress can cause the body to produce an excess of cortisol, a stress hormone that can interfere with the production and function of serotonin.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: A diet lacking essential nutrients such as tryptophan, which is used to make serotonin, can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels.
  • Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to lower serotonin levels, which can increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Chronic illness: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), have been linked to low serotonin levels.
  • Substance abuse: The use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco can disrupt the normal functioning of the serotonin system, leading to a decrease in serotonin levels.

FAQs Related To CBD and Serotonin Syndrome

Can Cannabis Cause Serotonin Syndrome?

Yes, cannabis can cause serotonin syndrome because the cannabinoid compounds found in CBD products bind themselves with the serotonin receptors of the body. Although if you are consuming cannabis or CBD products within limits, then you don’t have to worry about anything because the case is generally related to ones who consume high doses of CBD.

What Drains Serotonin?

Serotonin can be drained by many things like nutritional deficiencies, medications, chronic stress, substance abuse, lack of sleep, chronic illness, and genetics. However, there are many other reasons as well, so if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, then you might have to consult a doctor about the same.

How To Treat Serotonin Syndrome?

Depending on the real cause behind serotonin syndrome in your body, the doctor may prescribe some other medications and discontinue the medicines you are already consuming. Sometimes doctors prescribe swallowing activated charcoal because it can absorb the remaining medications from the body. Also, you might have to take a medication called a serotonin antagonist, which helps to decrease the levels of serotonin in the body.

How Common Is Serotonin Syndrome?

Very few people out there suffer from serotonin syndrome, but that doesn’t mean it is not a serious thing to talk about. It’s important to note that serotonin syndrome is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing serotonin syndrome, seek medical attention immediately.

Can CBD Oil Cause Serotonin Syndrome?

Many people out there ask if weed, CBD products, or cannabis oil can be a reason for serotonin syndrome. Well, CBD oil comes with cannabinoid compounds, and it can affect the serotonin levels of the body. There have been no reported cases of serotonin syndrome from the use of CBD oil alone, but it’s possible if consumed with high dosages of medications that already affect serotonin levels in the body, such as antidepressants.

Final Words

So, this is all about serotonin syndrome and how CBD affects the body. As mentioned above, there are various causes of low serotonin levels in the body so you must pay attention to everything you are consuming before jumping to CBD. We recommend doing regular check-ups with a health professional to be sure of the chemical levels.

Although we have shared everything related to serotonin syndrome and CBD on this page, if you know something more, then do share your views with us. Also, if you want assistance in taking any medications or CBD to cure medical conditions like serotonin syndrome, then we recommend consulting with a health professional.

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