Can You Use Marijuana If You Take Wellbutrin?
Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
If you take Wellbutrin, you may be able to safely consume marijuana. While using Wellbutrin and cannabis together does carry a risk of adverse reactions, this risk is relatively low compared to those associated with other prescription antidepressants.
Learn more about how to use Wellbutrin with marijuana, along with the possible side effects and other risks of combining the drugs.
What Is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin (generic name bupropion) is a prescription antidepressant. The drug is classified as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). Sold as Wellbutrin and Forfivo, bupropion is currently the only NDRI antidepressant available in the United States, and it is therefore considered an atypical antidepressant.
FDA-approved since 1985, bupropion may be used to treat many types of depression, including those linked to bipolar disorder. A standard dose of Wellbutrin is 150 milligrams (mg) per day, but depending on doctor recommendations, doses will vary among individuals.
Uses and How It Works
NDRIs like Wellbutrin work by blocking specific transporter proteins in the brain. This action raises the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine transmitters circulating through the brain.
Higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine can have a positive effect on mood. However, excessively high levels of these neurotransmitters can trigger side effects like aggression and insomnia.
Wellbutrin is indicated for use in treating the following conditions:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Some people also use Wellbutrin off-label to help with weight loss. Additionally, it’s used to help people quit smoking by treating nicotine dependence.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Wellbutrin
Mixing cannabis with Wellbutrin carries potential benefits and risks. Keep the following in mind as general guidelines but not as predictors of how you will react if you take both medications together.
Some people may positively respond to Wellbutrin and cannabis together.
Those not prone to panic attacks may feel energized rather than stressed by the effects of THC and Wellbutrin. In these cases, cannabis may enhance the effects of Wellbutrin and vice-versa, possibly reducing the amount of Wellbutrin needed. But the possible benefits of mixing the two drugs are not well-documented or understood, so exercise caution.
Possible drug interactions may occur when using cannabis in combination with Wellbutrin.
First, because of the different ways that cannabis interacts with your brain chemicals, using the plant with Wellbutrin could worsen depressive symptoms. For other people, taking Wellbutrin concurrently with THC-rich cannabis could raise anxiety levels or even lead to insomnia and panic attacks.
Before mixing these medications (or any others), familiarize yourself with how you feel while on each one. Also, consider reducing your alcohol intake, as alcohol does not mix well with either Wellbutrin or cannabis.
What to Do If You Need to Use Both Wellbutrin and Marijuana
Let your body become accustomed to Wellbutrin for a few weeks before using the antidepressant with marijuana. Doing so will allow you time to understand how you are tolerating Wellbutrin.
If you are experiencing any troubling side effects from Wellbutrin or have panic attacks or suicidal thoughts, speak with your doctor about lowering your dose or discontinuing the medication and replacing it with a different antidepressant.
Once you are established with Wellbutrin (or a different antidepressant), you may integrate cannabis into your daily regimen if your physician advises it. Always speak with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication, and talk to your pharmacist about possible interactions.
Why Mixing Cannabis With Wellbutrin Can Help You Feel Better
Due to evidence that Wellbutrin may help combat nicotine addiction, some researchers seek to understand if Wellbutrin could help relieve marijuana dependence.
In general, marijuana is not considered a physically addictive drug, but some people may become psychologically dependent on it and experience active marijuana withdrawal. Some people claim that Wellbutrin helped ease their marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
Other evidence suggests that bupropion may worsen people’s moods during marijuana withdrawal. Your doctor will best determine whether Wellbutrin is an appropriate mechanism for managing marijuana abuse withdrawal symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Many people may be able to combine Wellbutrin and weed safely, but you should check with your doctor before doing so. All prescription medications carry possible risks of drug interactions, so it’s vital to have an honest conversation with your doctor about every medication you are currently taking (including cannabis) to understand if your regimen is safe for you.
And suppose you’re looking to add medical cannabis to your regimen. In that case, Leafwell’s clinic is open and ready to guide you through the easy online application process to secure a medical marijuana card.