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Many people who smoke cannabis choose to do so for its mood-altering and stress-relieving abilities. There’s a potential that consuming cannabis with Seroquel – a standard treatment for bipolar disorder – can complement each drug’s ability to relax mania or alleviate depressive moods. However, this relaxation can quickly turn into paranoia, especially for individuals with bipolar disorder. This sort of reaction usually occurs after consuming too high a dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While no research explicitly explores the potential interactions between marijuana and Seroquel, plenty of studies offer competing evidence of cannabis’ effect on bipolar disorder.
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What Is Seroquel?
Seroquel is a branded name for the generic prescription medication quetiapine, an antipsychotic medication used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The medication helps treat acute symptoms of both conditions, including:
- Disorganized thinking
- Manic behavior
- Depressive moods
- Lack of motivation
- Trouble speaking clearly
Uses and How It Works
Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic that works by modulating the balance of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Doctors prescribe it as both a short- and long-term treatment to reduce some or all of the above symptoms, allowing individuals with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia to feel more balanced and integrated into everyday life.
In addition to the above disorders, quetiapine may also be prescribed as an “off-label” treatment for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD, among others. Off-label means that the FDA has not approved it specifically for these conditions, but your mental health provider may still recommend it as a viable line of treatment.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Seroquel
There is very little research examining the possible interactions between cannabis and Seroquel in humans. Interestingly, a small study found that using Seroquel may help decrease symptoms of cannabis use disorder, which can sometimes occur in cannabis users with bipolar disorder.
High-CBD cannabis remedies could potentially pair well with Seroquel, thanks to its overall anti-anxiety and stress-relieving properties and its lack of euphoria. CBD has also displayed antipsychotic properties.
Current knowledge indicates that cannabis used with Seroquel may increase adverse effects such as dizziness, confusion, coordination, and difficulty concentrating, but otherwise has no known interactions.
A review of several studies found that marijuana use – mainly in young people with markers for schizophrenia — could cause an increased risk of bipolar and schizophrenic symptoms later in life. While much more research is needed, you should talk to your physician about whether cannabis may worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder you’re taking Seroquel to alleviate.
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The Bottom Line
Cannabis is a psychoactive drug, and bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are psychiatric conditions. Many people have anecdotally found relief and improved quality of life using cannabis to soothe symptoms of their condition. Still, the research is sorely lacking when it comes to an understanding of how Seroquel and cannabis work together.
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