Citation: Gabe. "I Am a Very Careful Stoner: An Experience with Cannabis & Buproprion (exp116004)". Erowid.org. Jan 19, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116004
Wellbutrin and Cannabis
Important information: I have severe ADHD and depression, and moderate anxiety. I have been on Adderall, a stimulant medication prescribed for ADHD, since I was 12 years old, and I stayed in the 30-40mg range (maximum dose for minors is 50mg) until quarantine, when I stopped taking it since I graduated early. I have tried Ritalin and Vyvanse, as well. Wellbutrin, which I was prescribed for my depression and have been taking since late 2020, is also a stimulant medication and has similar side effects, just not NEARLY as pronounced. Before that I had tried fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), the first of which gave me traumatic nightmares (I have CPTSD and have been known to experience occasional nightmares that evoke the same feelings I felt during the trauma, usually different events though, and this medication made them very frequent, often multiple a night), as well as horrible nausea that felt like I had food poisoning. Both medications made me feel sort of shaky and disoriented, both caused weight gain, horrible temperature regulation issues (I'd wake up in pools of sweat), all kinds of sleep problems, low sex drive, and sertraline made me nauseated, too, just not quite to the same degree as fluoxetine. Sertraline worked pretty well for me for a few months except that I later realized it didn't improve my symptoms of depression, it simply made me numb to it, so when it got worse and I became suicidal, there was absolutely no warning. I went from feeling nothing, to crying, to wanting to die in a matter of 4 hours. I overdosed that night, so then I talked to my doctor and she recommended I try Wellbutrin.
I talked to my doctor and she recommended I try Wellbutrin.
My reactions to Wellbutrin XR alone: in the first two months, the side effects were most extreme. I had complete appetite loss to the point I was concerned for my health, my depression may have contributed to that because it was more difficult to even get food in the first place, but chewing and swallowing without gagging was difficult. It was like forcing myself to eat after Thanksgiving dinner. I did lose a lot of weight, which was okay because I had gained 25 pounds on SSRIs, but I never dropped below 120, which is probably the ideal weight for my body type. I initially took it at night to help with the appetite loss, which did affect my ability to sleep, but now that I take it in the morning it's not as hard to fall asleep. I do find it harder to wake up and don't feel as well-rested after sleep, however. But after they kick in once I am awake, they help me stay awake the whole day and make it easier to pull myself out of bed and actually accomplish the things I wanted to do that day. My ADHD and depression work together in making it difficult to get things done because it's hard to actually move my body to initiate tasks, I can decide I'm going to do the dishes but then struggle to actually move to get up, and depression makes it difficult to find the motivation to even try. Wellbutrin helps with the executive dysfunction, allowing the little energy I have to be used more productively.
And just tacking this onto the end here, Wellbutrin also makes my hunger irritability (hanger) MUCH worse, but I'm not sure if that's just because I go longer without eating than normal because I forget when I last ate and only notice I'm hungry when my stomach starts cramping. I find that normally I just get irritable and sick of everyone, but on Wellbutrin I've begun feeling really, really miserable when I don't eat. I feel hopeless and in pain and so lonely and just done. HOWEVER, very important disclaimer, I'm really depressed and I know for a fact that not taking care of my physical health makes my depression worse, so it's very possible that my medication has nothing to do with it. I just decided to include this because I don't know where it comes from, so maybe this'll be useful for someone doing research.
My reactions to weed alone: I am a very careful stoner, I tend to use it more medicinally than recreationally. I primarily use it for my depression. I tend to prefer indica-dominant hybrids because heavy indicas make my executive dysfunction worse while sativas tend to make me dissociate, actually much like Adderall did for me. I absolutely prefer a body high to a head high, I smoke weed for the feeling of relaxation and calm. I don't like feeling fucked up or that I'm thinking very differently than usual. I appreciate a burst of creativity and will often smoke late at night and then write, play an instrument, paint, build a house in the sims, etc., but typically I'm just high enough to feel it and not much more than that. Because of this, my tolerance has stayed pretty low; I could never dream of finishing any size blunt in one sitting and I very rarely smoke an entire bowl. Though my main method is dab pens with cartridges, and I typically take 1-4 hits off those depending on temperature, mood, strain, etc.
My experience of Wellbutrin and weed together: When I first started Wellbutrin and the side effects were at their peak, smoking weed did not feel good.
When I first started Wellbutrin and the side effects were at their peak, smoking weed did not feel good.
I'm an anxious person and starting a new stimulant medication worsened it, and the act of smoking weed gave me anxiety because of society's general perception of it, so being high on top of all of that was just a bad idea. It didn't go well, it didn't feel good, I only started feeling better when it began to wear off and I felt in control of myself again. I didn't really notice that it made my high any stronger than usual, but I've heard of people having pretty intense interactions too, which is why I included the information about my mental health and experiences with other drugs.
After I got used to Wellbutrin and it became pretty regular in my system, smoking weed was an option again and I picked it back up. I'm not sure if Wellbutrin has contributed to keeping my tolerance low, whether by increasing the effects of weed and thus needing less of it, or making me feel more anxious when I get too high, so I smoke less in the first place. The one interaction I can say with 100% certainty happened because of Wellbutrin was heightened anxiety. I also notice that when I smoke earlier in the day (when there's more Wellbutrin in my system, since I take it in the morning), I get more muscle twitches, as well as hiccups. I haven't paid attention enough to say they're related, but it stood out enough to notice, so take that information as you will.
Weed also absolutely improves my appetite on Wellbutrin. I'm not someone who typically gets munchies when high, I usually eat the same amount I normally do but I enjoy eating just a little bit more, and that's exactly what I need on Wellbutrin. It helps my stomach feel less queasy when I eat after going hungry for many hours, it makes food taste better so it's easier to swallow, it just overall improves eating. I have also noticed that when I get very high, my balance gets a little worse and my legs feel shaky, but I don't remember if that used to happen before I was on Wellbutrin because I don't usually get that high intentionally. I do feel that my focus is improved by taking both together, but that's just experiencing different effects of both at the same time, not an interaction. I find that getting very high puts me more at risk of dissociation while on Wellbutrin, which is very common for me with stimulants. Ritalin made me dissociate so bad I only remember about 5 minutes of the experience and never took it again. Adderall makes me depersonalize (I detach from my emotions but I'm still aware of everything going on around me and I can still learn, it's just a little more difficult to commit long-term memories). Wellbutrin has no obvious effect like that on its own, only at its absolute peak do I feel a very slight out-of-body experience, but it's similar to the feeling of a nice, gentle high on cannabis. That's probably why I like my medication so much. Weed also greatly improves my sleep quality while on Wellbutrin. When I smoke an hour or two before bed, I find that I dream more often and I feel much more well-rested when I wake up, and I usually naturally wake up after 8 hours of sleep where, without weed, I might initially wake up after 6-8 hours but then fall asleep multiple times again throughout the morning and actually start my day around noon or later having slept 10+ hours.
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