In 2021, over 41 million people were prescribed Adderall, which is a common substance used to assist those with ADHD. With over 22 states, New Mexico included, legalizing recreational marijuana usage, there’s a good chance that there is some overlap to be found between those who take Adderall and those who smoke weed. But is it safe to combine the two?
Here at Shadow Mountain Recovery, we believe in helping our community lead the lives they want to live as happily and safely as possible. The mixing of substances, both legal and illegal, can have potentially detrimental side effects. It’s important to know what is and isn’t safe to use with other prescription medications. If you currently have regular, prescription medications and want to partake in things like alcohol or marijuana, be sure to consult your medical provider in order to ensure that you can enjoy them safely.
What Happens When You Mix Marijuana and Adderall?
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It alters the levels and balances of three chemicals in your brain: dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These three work to give you proper serotonin when you complete tasks and also assist in your ability to focus. For those with ADHD, which is the medication’s primary target, this is very helpful. For those who don’t need these chemicals balanced in their brain, however, it can act as an over-stimulant. Some people take this substance without prescription in order to feel a heightened sense of focus and euphoria for a limited period of time.
Marijuana is both a depressant and a stimulant. The way it affects people varies from person to person. Some experience euphoria and relaxation while others might have heightened senses, altered perception of time, or even an increase in anxiety and paranoia.
When combining two stimulants and also a depressant, the effects on your body can vary drastically. Already, Adderall can impact those who don’t need it by overstimulating their brain. By having another stimulant in your system, you have a higher potential to experience negative side effects.
Why Do People Mix Adderall and Weed?
Most people who take Adderall outside of a prescription, or against the instructions of their physician, do so to feel a sense of euphoria. Others might use it as a means to hyperfocus before studying or before a test.
Many times when people take marijuana, they do so to unwind or relax. Some people even use different forms of marijuana as a sleep aid. As a prescription, it has been known to help those who struggle with seizures, as well as help with nausea and appetite for those going through chemotherapy or dealing with wasting syndrome.
Some people may choose to combine the two in order to receive the heightened effects of both. Unfortunately, this can potentially go both ways. While both marijuana and Adderall can cause people to experience euphoria, they also can both cause anxiety or overstimulation. Some may try to use the combination to destress while still focusing on an important task, while others may just try to combine them because they’ve heard of a friend who’s tried it and wanted to see what it felt like for themselves. Whatever the reason, combining substances can come with various side effects and potential risks.
The Effects of Mixing Adderall and Weed
Adderall and marijuana both have their own list of side effects, which need to be considered equally when the substances are taken together. These side effects can interact with each other or potentially lead to difficult combinations when both substances are present in your system at the same time.
Marijuana use can impact many things. Some of the most common effects felt when taken include altered senses, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, relaxation, euphoria, paranoia, or anxiety.
When taking Adderall, you might experience side effects such as lack of appetite, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, headaches, nausea, anxiety, or dizziness.
Some of these side effects counteract each other, or can even work in tandem. When taking both Adderall and marijuana at the same time, you might experience both relaxation and anxiety, which can make you feel unable to escape your anxiety despite it still being present. On the other hand, you could experience doubled anxiety. Some other potential side effects include:
- Being drowsy but unable to sleep
- Impaired thinking combined with dizziness
- Heightened senses combined with headaches
- Heightened paranoia and anxiety
The longer two substances are used in combination, the higher risk of dependence and overdose. There are also other, long-term side effects to consider when these substances are present in your system for longer periods of time than prescribed by a medical professional.
- Impaired memory
- Increased heart rate and heart damage
- Breathing problems
- Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (regular cycles of severe nausea and vomiting)
- Unwanted Weight Loss
The Dangers of Adderall and Weed
There are also other side effects that can come from Adderall misuse and marijuana consumption. For those who take Adderall as prescribed, taking it long-term is safe, but for those who misuse Adderall long-term, here are some of the side effects from Adderall that can occur:
- Severe insomnia
- Skin disorders
- Heart damage
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown)
Taking the two together can also result in an overdose. Although marijuana overdose is very rare and usually not dangerous, Adderall overdose is more common and more likely to have more serious consequences.
Here are some signs you or someone you know might be overdosing from Adderall:
- Rapid breathing
- Blurred vision
- Heart attacks
When substances are combined it can sometimes be more difficult to spot the signs of an overdose. If you think you might be overdosing on Adderall, seek medical help immediately.
Shadow Mountain Recovery Substance Use Disorder Treatment
When substance use starts to negatively impact your life, whether by affecting your finances, your ability to enjoy the things you love, or by putting strain on your relationships, it might be time to start looking for a way out. Here at Shadow Mountain Recovery, we understand that everyone’s lives are unique, just as their reasons for substance use are also unique. This is why we offer a variety of alternative, evidence-based recovery options to help you achieve the healing goals you set..
We offer options like detox, inpatient, and outpatient treatment to support systems and aftercare options. We want to set you up for success. We know a 12-step program doesn’t always work for everyone, so we have many alternative and evidence-based options that are offered by our professionally licensed and trained staff. From EMDR to ear seeding, nature hikes and chef-prepared meals, or yoga and other 12-step alternatives, we will help you pave your individual path to recovery.