Using Adderall and weed in combination may seem like a smart way to offset the unwanted side effects of each substance. Moreover, because Adderall is a stimulant and marijuana is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, one could easily presume that some of their effects would counteract each other. If this were true, the combined use of these substances could elicit a more enjoyable experience overall. Unfortunately, there may be significant, long-term dangers associated with the use of Adderall and weed.
Chronic amphetamine abuse itself can lead to devastating, life-threatening effects, including seizures, anxiety, and severe depression. Marijuana impairment tends to lower inhibitions and may make a person more inclined to use other substances, such as Adderall, in excessive amounts. A person may be more likely to lose track of how much Adderall he or she is using and underestimate the potential for adverse effects and overdose.
When used in conjunction, both drugs are associated with accelerated heart rate and palpitations. At present, not much research has been conducted on the interaction between Adderall and weed. Instead, as noted, anecdotal reports from users are all we have to reference regarding positive or negative interactions between these two substances. Positive outcomes have included reduced irritability and restlessness associated with Adderall use, and increased alertness as Adderall may help counteract the lethargy and impaired cognitive function that results from the use of marijuana.
More About Adderall
Adderall is a prescription stimulant that consists of the active ingredients amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is FDA-approved to treat symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD and narcolepsy. At prescribed doses, Adderall works to ease hyperactivity and combat concentration difficulties related to ADD/ADHD, allowing a person to feel more alert and focused.
Many people report abusing Adderall as a study or performance-enhancing drug to utilize its stimulant effects. Students or shift workers may take amphetamine products to stay awake and alert for prolonged periods. Like other stimulants, the abuse of Adderall can cause a significant amount of cardiovascular and psychological stress on a person’s body and emotional well-being.
Effects of Adderall
Common side effects include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
More severe side effects include the following:
- Mania and paranoia
- Agitation and confusion
- Face edema
- Itching, rashes, and hives
- Blistering or peeling skin
- Numbness or tingling
- Difficulty speaking
- Motor or verbal tics
- Fever and sweating or chills
- Severe muscle stiffness
- Impaired coordination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Weakness or numbness
- Changes in vision
- Teeth grinding
More About Marijuana
Marijuana is widely considered to be a relatively safe substance when compared to many others, including alcohol, opioids, methamphetamine, and cocaine. However, marijuana’s potency has been steadily increasing in recent years, and THC levels as high as 13% have been documented. In the 1970s, THC levels averaged about 2% in comparison.
Chronic or excessive use of marijuana has been associated with mental health and cardiovascular problems, including anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, palpitations, and significant increases in blood pressure.
Is There a Safe Way to Use Adderall and Weed Together?
Concerning the safety of using Adderall and weed together, there is no way to predict what consequences a person will face. The effects of both drugs can be diverse, depending on various factors, including the doses typically ingested and whether Adderall is being abused or used as directed by a doctor. Also, individual biological differences, such as sex, height/weight, metabolic rate, and overall health.
Mixing two potentially intoxicating substances is never considered “safe.” That said, many have done so, and users who have experimented with the combined use of Adderall and weed suggest that the following “positive” effects may occur.
Increased Euphoria – Both Adderall and weed both increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurochemical that acts on the brain’s pleasure and reward centers, and its effects can include heightened euphoria and feelings of well-being. Routine activities, such as eating, sex, and exercise, increase dopamine, but some substances such as stimulants and marijuana can increase dopamine to unnatural and excessive levels.
Increased Stimulation – As noted, both Adderall and weed use can accelerate heart rate, and their combined effects may feel exciting and fun for users. However, for others, such as those with a heart condition or anxiety, this can be very distressing.
Reduced Anxiety – Both Adderall and weed are associated with increased anxiety in some users, but when used in conjunction, specific, competing effects of each substance might be neutralized, at least partially. These include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
The Negative: Increased Risk of Adderall Overdose
It is well-established that the use of marijuana is highly unlikely to lead to a life-threatening overdose. Adderall, when used in excess, however, can lead to overdose and death. Because the use of Adderall with weed can mitigate some of the side effects of the former, this combination can drive more Adderall use, thereby increasing long-term risks and the potential for overdose and other adverse complications.
A lethal dose of Adderall is purported to be between 20-25 mg per kg of weight. Using this guide, a fatal dose for a person who weighs 70 kg (154 pounds) would be about 1,400 mg. This amount is more than 25 times greater than the highest dose a doctor should prescribe. Still, a person using marijuana might not be able to achieve the effects of Adderall they seek and could end up taking an excessive amount.
Potential Adverse, Long-term Effects on the Brain
There isn’t much research that has focused on the potential adverse effects of combining marijuana and Adderall. Nonetheless, we know some things about the brain in general and how substances such as these can alter its functioning and structure long-term.
For example, using substances such as Adderall and marijuana long-term or excessively can impair the brain’s ability to release dopamine and serotonin without chemical intervention. This effect can result, at least short term, in intense feelings of depression and anhedonia (an inability to feel pleasure), even when a person is not under the influence of these substances.
Moreover, when combined, the use of these drugs may cause severe emotional issues, including clinical depression, after long-term use.
How Professional Treatment Can Help
The abuse of Adderall and weed together qualifies as what is known as a polysubstance use disorder. This condition may be much more severe and challenging to treat than dependence on only one drug. It often requires an intensive, integrated approach that can effectively address both problems in addition to any comorbid mental health conditions, such as ADD/ADHD, depression, or anxiety.
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers offer detox services and programs that help individuals achieve sobriety and long-term relief from the potentially dangerous effects of Adderall, marijuana, and other substances.
During treatment, clients can benefit from evidence-based and experiential therapies, such as the following:
- Individual and family counseling
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Peer group support
- Art and music therapy
- Health and wellness programs
- Relapse prevention
- Aftercare planning
Substance abuse in any form can cause severe life-altering effects and health problems over both the short- and long-term, up to and including death. The sooner a person gets help, the sooner they can begin to reverse some of the harm done and prevent future problems from occurring.
If you or some you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we urge you to call us today and let us help you get on the path to recovery, one step at a time!