What Are the Dangers of Mixing Adderall & Weed?
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
Using Adderall and weed together might seem like a viable combination, but mixing Adderall (a stimulant) with marijuana (both a depressant and stimulant) can cause unwanted side effects and even result in heart complications.
More on Adderall
Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, Adderall is also a popular drug of abuse among high school and college students because they believe it will help them focus, be productive, and need less sleep.
Working professionals in fast-paced work environments also utilize Adderall for the same effects.
Since Adderall is used often both as a prescribed drug and an illicit drug, many individuals mix Adderall with alcohol and cannabis.
More on Cannabis
Marijuana and weed are interchangeable terms used to describe the cannabis plant, the flower of which is used to make cannabis products like edibles, oils, or even smoked directly after the flower is dried and cured.
Cannabis has a psychoactive ingredient called THC that produces euphoric and relaxing effects. Since cannabis has been legalized in many communities across the United States, it is common for people to use cannabis in conjunction with alcohol and prescription medication.
Adderall & Cannabis Interactions
Adderall and cannabis on their own will interact with several other drugs, including alcohol, opioids, and other prescription medications.
Since marijuana is a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogen, it is hard to estimate what each individual’s reaction might be.
There are different strains of marijuana that often fall into either Sativa, Indica, or hybrid categories, and each marijuana strain produces different effects. Generally, Sativa strains will produce more euphoric, stimulant-related effects, while Indica generally produces a more relaxing effect.
If an individual insists on combining Adderall with marijuana, it might be beneficial to consider what strain of marijuana produces the least number of undesired effects.
However, it is always best to avoid mixing drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications. Although weed and alcohol are both socially acceptable, and in many places, decriminalized at the very least, both of these substances can alter the intended effects of Adderall.
The Dangers & Risks of Mixing Adderall & Weed
The primary danger of mixing Adderall and weed is that individuals who do so increase their chances of developing use disorders with both substances. Both drugs can also result in chronic health conditions if abused.
With adult and adolescent cannabis use on the rise, it’s important to be aware of these risks before engaging in recreational or prescription use.
Long-term Adderall use, abuse, and addiction can lead to chronic health problems like heart arrhythmia, the effects of which can be tremendously amplified by the use of marijuana.
Increased Chance of Adderall Overdose
In some cases, mixing Adderall with weed can reduce or diminish the intended effects of each drug, especially Adderall. This can open the door for an overdose if an individual takes more Adderall to produce the intended effects.
Negative Physical Symptoms
Some individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, numbness of the lips and/or extremities, or mental health issues when combining Adderall with marijuana.
When to Seek Help
Adderall can be addictive whether it is given as a prescription or not. Weed may not be physically addictive, but it has been shown to be emotionally addictive. Weed also has damaging cognitive effects, especially on those diagnosed with ADHD.
Signs that you or someone you know needs help with Adderall and cannabis addiction include the following:
- Social withdrawal
- Inability to meet professional and social obligations
- Acting out of character
- Engaging in drug-seeking behavior
- Impulsive behavior
- Suicidal ideation
- Mixing or combining controlled substances
- Changing or “swapping” prescriptions
If you or someone you know has mixed Adderall and weed and experiences negative symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. If you are uncertain if medical care is needed, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get an assessment from a professional.
Treatment for Substance Misuse
If you are unable to stop using Adderall or weed despite a desire to do so, it’s the sign of a problem.
Treatment for co-occurring Adderall and cannabis misuse is available. It often consists of the following:
- Physical detox (often medically assisted)
- Support groups
The bulk of the work takes place in therapy, where you’ll identify triggers that prompt you to misuse these substances. You’ll develop coping mechanisms that can help you resist the urge to use when it hits.
Peer support groups are also available for those who abuse weed and stimulants such as Adderall. Often, rehab centers will require an individual to join a 12-step group and attend a set number of meetings each week as a requirement for program completion.
There is no set process for recovering from cannabis or Adderall misuse and addiction. Treatment is generally ongoing, even after the individual completes detox and rehab, as addiction is a chronic condition for which there is no cure.
But addiction can be effectively managed for life with ongoing care. Taking an approach that incorporates physical detox, rehab, psychiatric care, and ongoing support gives an individual the best chance of making a full recovery.
Prescription Stimulant-Induced Neurotoxicity: Mechanisms, outcomes, and relevance to ADHD. (November 2021). Michigan Journal of Medicine.
Adolescent Cannabis Use and Later Development of Schizophrenia: An Updated Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies. (January 2022). Journal of Clinical Psychology.
The Damaging Effects of Cannabis on the ADHD Brain. (July 2022). ADDitude Magazine.
Cannabis Use Disorders and ADHD. (January–February 2016). Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health: Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (June 2017). Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute.