ADHD medications and marijuana are both commonly used by teens, college students, and young adults, so it’s important to understand the possible dangers and side effects of mixing Adderall and weed at the same time.
ADHD medications like Adderall are in high demand because they improve focus, concentration, and productivity for students and professionals.
At the same time, marijuana is now legal in the majority of states in the U.S. for medical and recreational purposes.
Due to the increased availability and acceptance of Adderall and weed, it’s necessary to recognize the potential for abuse and the possible health risks associated with using both substances together.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription medication that combines the active ingredients amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants prescribed primarily for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, although they are sometimes used for other conditions.
Adderall is available in both immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR) formulations, and it works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain to improve attention, focus, motivation, and impulse control.
Marijuana tends to have the opposite effect by reducing attention, motivation, and focus, so it is ironic that people would use weed and Adderall together.
What is Adderall Used For?
Adderall has become popular in recent years for its legally approved medical benefits and illegally for recreational use or to improve productivity at school and work.
1. ADHD Treatment
Adderall is FDA approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. It has shown to be very beneficial for improving focus and attention for individuals with ADHD.
The Journal of Global Health estimates that 366 million adults worldwide had ADHD in 2020, according to Forbes Health.
2. Treatment of Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden episodes of falling asleep. Adderall is prescribed for individuals diagnosed with narcolepsy to help stay awake and alert during the day.
3. Off-Label Uses
Adderall is sometimes prescribed for off-label use to manage binge eating disorder and treatment-resistant depression. Even though it is not FDA approved for these conditions, the stimulant qualities of Adderall can help with appetite suppression and depression.
4. Cognitive Improvement
Many people illegally misuse Adderall without a prescription because it is effective for cognitive improvement, focus, and productivity.
5. Athletic Performance Enhancement
It’s common for athletes and bodybuilders to illegally misuse Adderall to enhance athletic or physical performance. Users perceive the stimulant effect of the drug to be helpful, although it can be dangerous when not prescribed under the care of a doctor.
Adderall Side Effects
Adderall can be highly effective for treating its intended conditions but it’s essential to be aware of the side effects and potential adverse reactions.
It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction.
Common Adderall Side Effects Include:
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased appetite
- Nervousness and restlessness
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Mood or behavior changes
- Addiction and dependence
Weed Side Effects and Uses
Marijuana has some positive health benefits and can be useful for treating seizure disorders, glaucoma, pain, and nausea or vomiting caused by certain types of cancer treatment.
Although more research is needed to identify the true health impact it has on the brain and body, there are many known negative marijuana side effects.
Unhealthy Side Effects of Weed Include:
- Dry mouth and dry eyes
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased appetite
- Breathing problems
- Social anxiety
- Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS weed sickness)
- Dependence and addiction
- Slow reaction times
- Impaired memory
Even though Adderall and marijuana are very different substances, they share some common side effects.
Similar Adderall and Weed Side Effects
Even though weed and Adderall are very distinct substances with contrasting reactions in the brain and body, they do share some common side effects like the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Mood or behavior changes
- Dependence and addiction
This last side effect is concerning because regular or excessive use of weed and Adderall can lead to addiction, even though many people do not consider them to be addictive.
How Long Does Adderall Last?
The duration of Adderall’s effects depends largely on the amount and type taken. The immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR) formulations last for different durations.
Immediate-Release (IR) Adderall usually lasts for 4 to 6 hours and can be taken several times a day.
Adderall Extended-Release (XR) is designed to last for approximately 10 to 12 hours and is usually only taken once early in the day.
The duration of Adderall’s effects may vary for each individual depending on a person’s age, metabolism, dosage, and the presence of other medications.
The peak effects are usually felt within the first few hours after it is taken and include increased focus and alertness.
The effects of marijuana are felt almost immediately but do not last nearly as long as those of Adderall.
Interactions From Mixing Adderall and Weed and Other Substances
Adderall can have dangerous or unhealthy interactions when mixing it with marijuana, alcohol, and other substances.
It’s necessary for anyone using Adderall as a prescription or recreationally to be aware of the potential interactions and adverse health risks.
Adderall is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, so using both at the same time is not recommended because it can mask the feelings of intoxication and may put significant stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.
Combining Adderall with other stimulant drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine can lead to a dangerous increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
Some antidepressant medications can interact with Adderall and cause a potentially life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome.
Combining high doses of coffee or caffeine with Adderall may lead to excessive stimulation, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
Adderall can elevate blood pressure and heart rate and should not be used with blood pressure medications.
Over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, particularly those containing decongestants or Triple C may interact with Adderall resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Combining Adderall with other central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines can be dangerous and increase the risk of overdose.
Using marijuana and Adderall at the same can cause a wide range of side effects as outlined below.
Is it Safe to Mix Adderall and Weed?
Mixing Adderall and weed can be problematic and it’s important to understand the potential risks involved.
Both substances affect the central nervous system, so combining them may to a wide range of effects that will be different for each individual.
Each person’s response to this substance combination will vary depending on his or her metabolism, tolerance, and sensitivity to both substances.
Key Points to Consider When Mixing Weed and Adderall
1. Increased Heart Rate
Both Adderall and weed can increase heart rate. Combining them may amplify the effect and potentially heighten the risk of cardiovascular issues, especially for those with pre-existing heart conditions.
2. Anxiety and Paranoia
Some individuals may experience increased anxiety, paranoia, or panic attacks when combining Adderall and weed. This can be particularly concerning for those with a prior history of anxiety disorders.
3. Cognitive Impairment
Adderall is a medication used to improve focus and attention, while cannabis can have either a stimulating or sedative effect on cognitive functioning. Combining them may lead to unpredictable cognitive impairment related to motor skills and decision-making abilities.
4. Psychiatric Effects
Mixing Adderall and weed can increase the risk of experiencing hallucinations or delusions and worsen existing mental health conditions like psychosis and depression.
5. Dosage and Timing
The side effects of using Adderall and cannabis together will vary greatly depending on the dosage used, and the time each one was taken. Taking high doses of both at the same time is never recommended and can be dangerous.
Using them at the same time will also produce very different effects than taking Adderall in the morning and smoking marijuana or eating edibles later in the day. It may still cause some type of interaction, but the result will be less profound.
6. Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction
Regular users of Adderall and weed will develop a tolerance to each substance over time, requiring higher doses to feel the same effect as when he or she first started using them.
Increasing the dose and using them more frequently may result in a dependence and eventually addiction to both substances if the use continues.
Addiction changes the structure and function of the brain and it may lose the ability to boost dopamine and norepinephrine naturally if it is hijacked from drug abuse.
Combining any types of substances should be done with caution and an awareness of the potential consequences.
Mixing Adderall and weed is generally not recommended due to the potential risks and unpredictable side effects including addiction.