Drug and Alcohol - Trends and Statistics

Weed and Adderall: What You Need to Know About Pot & ADHD Medication

Is it safe to mix weed and Adderall? Learn how these two drugs mix in our blog. Polydrug use, like weed and Adderall, can be dangerous.

Weed and Adderall: What You Need to Know About Pot & ADHD Medication

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 12, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, more than 250 people in the United States of America lose their lives every day because of drug abuse. Drug addiction has become one of the primary healthcare concerns for the country and the world today.

Some of the most abused narcotic substances in the country include marijuana/cannabis/weed, painkillers, cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, and more. Apart from these drugs, many people are into polysubstance use. As you can guess from the name, polysubstance use means using two or more substances simultaneously.

One popular combo is mixing Adderall and weed.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a trade name for a combination of prescription drugs known as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s a mix of four different amphetamine salts:

  • Amphetamine sulfate

  • Dextroamphetamine sulfate

  • Dextroamphetamine saccharate

  • Amphetamine aspartate

It is a stimulant that helps treat patients with health conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) narcolepsy, and more. However, some people misuse it for recreational purposes or to enhance their performance and boost it.

Adderall is often considered a “study drug,” by college students and others, but there’s never been proof Adderall improves test performance.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall works by altering brain chemicals like many other stimulants. It enhances the naturally occurring brain chemicals like neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is a chemical that helps our brain in perceiving rewarding behavior. Norepinephrine affects and alters the user's blood pressure, breathing rate, blood vessels, sugar levels, and heart rate.

Adderall is available in two forms: time-release capsules called Adderall XR and immediate-release tablets. This medication has potential side effects like increased heart rate, restlessness, sleep-related troubles, headache, stomachache, dizziness, hoarseness, dry mouth, slowed speech, irritability, and more. 

What Are Some Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall does have some side effects. These include:

Additionally, extended periods of Adderall abuse can cause a person to experience a “crash” when they stop taking the drug. A crash is a period of exhaustion and depression as a person’s body tries to adapt without Adderall in its system.

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Can Prescription Medications Like Adderall Be Abused?

Yes. In fact, prescription drug abuse is unfortunately common. The term “drug abuse” doesn’t just mean illegal drugs. Drug abuse is about behaviors, not substances. Drug abuse includes:

  • Using a prescription drug that isn’t yours

  • Taking too much of a prescription

  • Using a prescription in a way not directed by the prescription (like crushing pills and snorting them)

  • Deliberately taking too much of a prescription

  • Trying to obtain prescriptions falsely

What is Weed?

Weed is the street name for cannabis (or marijuana). Weed is the flower of the cannabis plant and has active compounds called cannabinoids. When used, weed creates feelings of relaxation and euphoria. It’s the main reason people use weed recreationally, although some use it as a sleep aid or as a way to manage chronic pain.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are responsible for the effects produced by marijuana. They both act on different neurological pathways that create mental and physical reactions. THC is considered more psychoactive among the two. It acts on those parts of the brain that help our brain to perceive the surroundings.

THC is the main reason for the euphoric effect. CBD, on the other hand, is said to affect the sleep and mood patterns of the user. It affects the serotonin level in our brain and generates a calming effect. 

Are There Side Effects to Weed?

Most people use weed to relax. Weed provides most people with what they call a “head high,” a feeling of peace where deep thoughts can be explored. However, weed also can have some nastier side effects.

These include:

  • Anxiety

  • Fast heart rate

  • Paranoia

  • Difficulty thinking

  • Hallucinations

  • Nausea

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What Happens When You Mix Adderall and Weed?

Weed is a psychoactive drug generally used to get moderately high and relax. Adderall, on the other hand, is a stimulant drug that leads to increased activity in the central nervous system. Weed is taken for recreational purposes, and Adderall is primarily prescribed to treat ADHD and sleep-related disorders – although the recreational use of Adderall is somewhat common.

This does not mean medication cannot be misused. Some people use medication without a prescription or obtain it via illegal methods. All of this is considered abuse. However, they both have the opposite effect. This is the reason Adderall and weed interaction can be hazardous. The practice of mixing Adderall and weed is known as “Weederal” or “Diet Weed.”

Not much scientific research has been done to obtain the exact results of the interaction between the two. We only have anecdotal incidents about people experiencing the outcome of combining both substances. 

Some say they balance each other out since weed works as a depressant and Adderall works as a stimulant. A few people diagnosed with ADHD who are prescribed Adderall claim that consuming weed can help them relax. They say that using Adderall can cause agitation, fatigue, and distress. Weed use can help in relaxing them with these side effects of Adderall.

Then we have other people who recount having different experiences from the above. There have been cases where the combination has set off unpleasant side effects leading to severe health consequences like depression, cardiovascular problems, and more.

Some people have mentioned that mixing Adderall and weed can worsen the side effects generated by each drug. Let's discuss some dangers and health risks of using Adderall and weed together. 

Health Risks of Mixing Adderall and Weed

Some people have indeed benefited from using the combination of Adderall and weed. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for everyone. This is why it is imperative to state that combining any intoxicating substance, including caffeine, alcohol, and narcotics, can result in unpredictable and unforeseen results.

Every individual is unique, with a unique body type and health condition. It is impossible to assess what damage polysubstance abuse can do to all of them. Arrhythmia is considered one of the long-term side effects of abusing Adderall. The meaning of arrhythmia is high blood pressure and addiction.

Similarly, abusing marijuana can also have long-term health complications like cognitive impairment and memory-related troubles. Mixing Adderall and weed can exacerbate these side effects in some cases. It is also crucial to note that both marijuana and Adderall lead to increased heart rate. So, combining both substances can lead to cardiovascular disorders, especially if someone is suffering from an existing heart condition. 

Depression is the most common side effect of using both substances. Abusing Adderall can cause trouble with the naturally-releasing dopamine and serotonin levels. People mixing weed and Adderall may experience problems as their brain depends on external chemicals to produce these neurotransmitters. Therefore, such people are vulnerable to depression and anhedonia. Weed abusers also have similar experiences with depression.

Lastly, the biggest danger of combining and using these drugs is addiction. People with drug dependency have to go through various problems in both personal and professional spaces, along with mental and physical health problems.

So, all of the above dangers can be caused by mixing Adderall and weed. 

How Long Does Weed & Adderall Stay in the Body?

Multiple factors affect the duration a drug can stay in the system. So, estimating them can be a difficult task. On average, Adderall has a half-life of about 10 hours. This implies that Adderall will take almost two days to flush out of your system. However, its effects can remain in our bodies for about 1-3 hours. 

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Signs of Adderall and Weed Abuse

Adderall and weed users display various common signs. Some of these are mentioned below.

  • Having trouble quitting drugs

  • Experiencing intense cravings

  • Preoccupied with thinking about drugs

  • Preferring drugs over other interests and hobbies

  • Ignoring commitments and deadlines over substance abuse

  • Repeatedly being stuck in dangerous and risky situations because of them

Treating Weed & Adderall Addiction

Did you know combining Adderall and weed for misuse is called polydrug abuse? This is important to understand because whenever a person abuses multiple drugs (two or more), they must get proper treatment for both. One cannot get further in the treatment program without disclosing vital information such as this.

Apart from multiple cases of abuse, the patients also get separate treatment for mental disorders like depression and bipolar disorders. Unfortunately, many people underestimate substance abuse and its effect on people. They are completely unaware that it can lead to some personal and professional life-altering situations.

Indeed, the interaction between mixing weed and Adderall is not as dangerous as mixing Adderall and alcohol, but it is still highly unsafe. So, you must contact the nearest drug rehab center rehab facility to get immediate help. 

Drug Detox for Weed & Adderall

The quicker you make the decision; the less damage will be done. Generally, in all recovery programs, the first procedure is drug detox. This is crucial to achieving long-term sobriety as the body learns to live without drugs.

Drug detox staff help remove and clean weed and Adderall from the body in a safe fashion. This will cause a medical condition called withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms happen when a person stops using drugs and their body tries to rebalance itself without the substances. At a professional drug detox, withdrawal symptoms are far easier to tolerate and safer as well.

After drug detox, the patients ideally get enrolled in either an inpatient or outpatient addiction center.

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Drug Treatment for Weed & Adderall

Although everybody’s experience in rehab is different, many addiction centers use the same resources. These include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

  • Dialectical behavior therapy

  • Motivational interviewing

  • Individual or group sessions

  • Family and couple therapy

  • Relapse prevention planning

Weed & Adderall Addiction is Treatable. The Forge Recovery Center Will Help

The biggest risk of using weed and Adderall is addiction. Both of these substances are addictive. While the dangers may not be as high as that of other, “harder” drugs, combined weed and Adderall can damage a person’s life as effectively as any other addictive substance.

At The Forge Recovery Center, we use proven, evidence-based treatment to help people move past weed and Adderall abuse. After drug detox, we help our clients explore the roots of their substance abuse, addressing it at the root level. With us, our clients are able to build healthy coping mechanisms and more to leave both weed and Adderall behind them.

If you think weed and Adderall are taking over your life, there’s hope. Reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today to learn more about our effective cannabis addiction and ADHD drug addiction treatment plans.

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