Can You Safely Mix Adderall and Weed?

Published December 16th, 2020 by Angel Rivera
Fact Checked by
Camille Frecking
Medically Reviewed:
Jacqueline Hensler
Updated Date: Mar 1st, 2021
 

Adderall and weed are two substances that are illegal when used without a prescription but are commonly abused. 

Adderall is a prescription drug that is used to improve focus and concentration in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some people without ADHD may seek Adderall to improve their focus, such as college students ahead of a big exam or employees during a stressful time at work. Weed is naturally derived from the cannabis plant and, when smoked, is associated with feelings of well-being due to increased dopamine levels. 

Some people believe that using Adderall and weed together has the potential to counteract some of the negative side effects of either substance, but can you safely mix Adderall and weed?

What is Adderall, and what are its side effects?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ADHD and insomnia. 

While Adderall is available by prescription only, there is a large black market for the drug due to people wanting to take the medication to improve their focus.

Adderall, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high potential for abuse. Adderall is associated with a number of side effects that can be serious and require immediate medical attention.
Common side effects of Adderall that usually do not require medical attention include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight loss

Common serious side effects of Adderall that may require immediate medical attention include:

  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Bladder pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Difficult, burning, or painful urination

Less common side effects of Adderall that may require immediate medical attention include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Runny nose
  • Hoarseness
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sweating

Most patients experience side effects associated with Adderall when they first start taking the drug or when they increase their dose of the medication. People who take the medication for the management of ADHD symptoms typically find that their side effects diminish over time as their body adjusts to the medication. 

However, people who use Adderall without a prescription or on an irregular basis may experience more side effects depending on the dosage they take.

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What is weed, and what are its side effects?

Weed, also called marijuana or cannabis, is typically produced from the dried leaves of the cannabis plant. The active ingredient in weed is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychoactive properties. 

The DEA classifies weed as a Schedule I controlled substance because there are no currently accepted medical uses for weed, and the substance has a high potential for abuse. 

While weed is a natural substance derived from a plant, there are still potentially dangerous side effects associated with its use. People who use cannabis may experience any of the following side effects:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attack
  • Increased appetite
  • Heightened senses
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired thinking
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impaired learning abilities
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Increased heart rate

Additionally, the use of weed may cause long-term effects and impaired brain development of young adults, which may lead to impaired thinking, impaired memory, and impaired learning functions. 

Some studies have shown that people who regularly smoked weed as young adults lost more IQ points over their lifetime compared to people who did not smoke the substance. The use of weed may also lead to dependency or substance use disorder.

Why do people mix Adderall and weed?

Mixing Adderall and weed may be a common occurrence as people who use one or both of the substances seek to counteract the negative effects of each substance. 

Adderall is associated with side effects such as distress and irritability, and people who combine Adderall and weed are often hoping to experience the sedating effects of weed to eliminate some of these unpleasant feelings.

 Weed is often associated with feelings of lethargy and impaired cognitive function, so some people believe that using Adderall at the same time will improve feelings of alertness.

 On the surface, it almost seems like the perfect combination, as individuals believe they will get the best of both worlds by using both substances at the same time. However, there are many unintended consequences that can occur when you mix Adderall and weed.

Can you safely mix Adderall and weed?

While it might seem like combining Adderall and weed would be the perfect combination, there is no way to safely mix the two substances. 

Adderall is a stimulant and weed can act as a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen. 

While people may provide anecdotal evidence that mixing Adderall and weed is safe, the reality is that the combination is dangerous and there is an increased risk of experiencing negative side effects.

What happens when you mix Adderall and weed?

Despite the differences between the two substances that make them seem like the ideal combination, mixing Adderall and weed may lead to negative effects. 

Individuals may have different experiences when using Adderall or weed, so it is difficult to predict how the combination of the two substances will affect any particular person. 

One of the most common occurrences when mixing Adderall and weed is an increased heart rate. Both Adderall and weed have the potential to raise the heart rate as a side effect, especially when the two substances are combined. A racing heart, or tachycardia, can be dangerous and cause cardiovascular problems over an extended period of time, particularly in people with a history of heart problems or those with a heart problem that has not yet been identified.

Some people may experience the pleasant, relaxed high they desire while mixing Adderall and weed, which is the reason why so many people are willing to take their chances with the potential for negative effects. 

However, mixing Adderall and weed is often dangerous.

What are the dangers of mixing Adderall and weed?

There are a number of dangerous effects that can occur as a result of mixing Adderall and weed, including cardiovascular problems, substance abuse, and overdose. 

Mixing Adderall and weed can cause long term cardiovascular problems because both substances have the potential to increase the heart rate. 

When combined, these substances can bring the heart rate up to a dangerous level, which may lead to heart problems over time. Adderall and weed may also interact to cause shallow breathing, making it difficult for people to get enough oxygen, which can further exacerbate a rapid heartbeat. 

Because mixing Adderall and weed together can cause desirable and pleasant effects in some people, the combination contributes to an increased risk of substance abuse. People who use Adderall and weed together may experience a more pleasant and euphoric high that is highly addictive and increases their desire to use the combination again. As a result, people who mix Adderall and weed together are more likely to abuse the substances. 

Additionally, the combination of Adderall and weed makes it easier to overdose on Adderall, which can be life threatening. The use of weed masks some of the effects of Adderall, so it can be difficult for people to know when they have taken too much of the drug until it's too late. As a result, overdose is more likely. 

Summary

Although it might seem like Adderall and weed are the perfect pair, there is no safe way to combine the two substances. Adderall should only be used by people with a prescription for the medication, and the drug should not be used with weed. When combined, Adderall and weed may lead to the development of cardiovascular problems, substance abuse, or overdose.

Sources:
https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling 
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/marijuana-use-and-its-effects#1 
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana 
https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63163/adderall-oral/details

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