While many medication interactions are mild to moderate at best, there’s always the risk of a problem arising from the combination of two drugs. So, it’s crucial that you know whether the prescriptions, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs you use are safe to be taken together.
Adderall and weed are two drugs that can overlap in the treatment of certain neurological disorders like ADHD due to their intended effects. Some users even take them together intentionally to address conditions like anxiety, depression, and focus issues.
In this article, we’ll go over how Adderall and weed affect you separately and together so that you can make informed decisions when it’s time for your next dose.
The Effects Of Adderall
Adderall is a stimulant that is often used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy by increasing the availability of essential neurotransmitters in the brain. ADHD is linked to reduced levels of dopamine in the brain due to an increase in dopamine transporters that reuptake the neurotransmitter at higher rates. This interferes with cognitive function, focus, memory, and other brain-related functions that lead to many of the symptoms associated with ADHD.
The activating effects of Adderall stimulate the central nervous system, increasing the production of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine while elevating heart rate and breathing rate. As a result, Adderall makes you more awake and alert, and improves your ability to focus.
However, Adderall can also cause side effects that range from uncomfortable to dangerous - especially when misused or combined with other harmful substances. These include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
The Effects of Weed
Weed, also known as marijuana or cannabis, is a drug that comes from dried cannabis plants. It contains a psychoactive chemical, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychological and physiological effects that lead to a “high” that can feel euphoric, distressing, or somewhere in between.
Weed is a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogenic all in one due to its wide range of potential effects, which will vary depending on factors like individual biology, the strains consumed, and interactions with any medications taken alongside it.
When consumed, THC interacts with your endocannabinoid system which helps modulate the central nervous system. It acts on the CB1 receptor which helps control the levels of various neurotransmitters so that you can experience a calming effect from increased serotonin, euphoria from increased dopamine, and stimulating effects from increased norepinephrine.
However, weed can also make you anxious, overstimulated, and delusional through the same pathways. Different strains of weed may elicit a different response in individuals and everyone will have their own reaction, which can lead to positive and negative effects unique to you.
Weed’s wide range of potential side effects includes:
- Slowed breathing or increased breathing
- Low or high blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Memory loss
- Trouble focusing
- Impaired coordination
- Fatigue or overstimulation
Possible Interactions Between Adderall And Weed
Both weed and Adderall are commonly used substances, with over 40 million Adderall prescriptions and 55 million marijuana users in the United States alone. So, it’s no surprise that Adderall and weed would be mixed by some users - especially since their perceived effects are believed to balance out the opposing side effects.
For many users, the idea behind combining Adderall and weed is that the weed will calm the activating effects of the Adderall so that you can enjoy a euphoric boost of energy and focus without anxiety or other nervous system reactions.
However, as we noted above, weed is not a reliable medication with straightforward results. The effects that different strains can have on different people vary extensively, which means that the stimulating effects of weed may be stronger than the sedating effects. These effects would then interact with the stimulant Adderall to cause further negative effects like a rapid heartbeat, overstimulation, anxiety, and impaired cognition which could trigger anxiety and be dangerous for those with a heart condition.
Another risk of habitually mixing weed with Adderall is the increased likelihood of overdosing. If weed manages the stimulating effects of Adderall enough to where you don’t notice the impact on your central nervous system, you may increase your dose to dangerous levels without your body’s inhibitory response to tell you when to stop.
Is It Safe To Mix Adderall and Weed?
While it’s not recommended that you combine weed and Adderall together habitually without approval from your doctor, it’s unlikely that singular instances of using both will cause any harm.
There’s not a lot of research available on the link between the two substances, but a 1973 study showed that there were no strong interactions between the two substances, so it’s unlikely that the combination would be dangerous in isolated events.
However, with potency increasing as much as 4 times what it was in the 1980s and the introduction of stronger extracts with higher THC concentrations, it’s possible that modern interactions would be more extreme.
Build An Effective ADHD Treatment Plan With Done
If you feel the need to combine Adderall and weed regularly, your ADHD treatment plan may not be working well.
At Done, our licensed team of clinicians will help you find the right medication plan for you that addresses your needs, considers your symptoms, and helps ensure you’re using substances safely for the best results.
To get started, take a free 1-minute assessment then schedule a 30-minute appointment with a licensed physician to get help with managing your ADHD. Effective relief awaits!