Is It Safe To Mix Adderall & Weed? | Effects & Dangers

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 19, 2023

Adderall and marijuana are frequently used together to counteract their respective side effects. However, mixing weed with Adderall can lead to serious issues like increased heart rate, overdose, and substance use disorder.

Mixing Adderall and weed is unsafe because it can lead to adverse effects and serious health conditions. Although many people in Ohio engage in this form of drug abuse, there are significant risks involved.

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant and prescription drug that consists of four amphetamine salts: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. It’s used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy

Marijauna, or cannabis, is a psychoactive drug that’s smoked, vaped, or ingested to relax or manage symptoms from chronic illness. The main psychoactive ingredient in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Mixing Adderall & Weed

One of the main reasons people mix Adderall with weed is to counteract the negative effects of one of the drugs. 

Since marijuana is a depressant and Adderall is a stimulant, the marijuana may lessen some of the negative side effects of Adderall. On the other hand, Adderall may cut through the depressant effects of marijuana.

How Mixing Adderall & Weed Works

Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This is typically what eases the symptoms of ADHD.

Weed uses THC to bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This stimulates the neurons and signals the brain to increase the levels of dopamine. This increase triggers the brain’s reward system which is what often leads to people using the drug again and again.

Effects Of Mixing Adderall & Weed

To understand what happens when you combine Adderall and marijuana, it’s important to first understand the side effects of each drug. These side effects can range in intensity from mild to severe.

The side effects of Adderall can include:

  • dry mouth
  • depression on the comedown
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • weight loss
  • change in sex drive

The side effects of marijuana can include:

  • paranoia
  • increase in appetite
  • mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • high in blood pressure
  • hallucinations
  • increased heart rate
  • short-term memory loss
  • slowed cognitive function

There are few studies that have examined the effects of combined marijuana and Adderall. What the actual high feels like may vary from person to person. One or both of the drug’s effects may be heightened, or you may feel the effects of one drug more than the other.

Dangers Of Mixing Adderall & Weed

There are several dangers that can occur when taking the two drugs together. Most of these issues occur when you use the drugs long-term, but if you have certain pre-existing conditions, combining the drugs can cause issues even on the first use.

Increased Heart Rate

While Adderall and weed may seem completely different, they both increase your heart rate. 

For people with heart conditions, an increased heart rate can lead to very serious issues including heart attack, arrhythmia, increased blood pressure, and stroke. 

Additionally, if you use these two drugs together over a long period of time, it can have long-term effects on the heart for people who didn’t have cardiovascular issues before.

Dependence & Addiction

While both drugs have been shown to have some medical uses, Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance which means it has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance which means it has an even higher potential for abuse.

Adderall is also abused as a study drug to help young adults and college students stay up late and study for exams. Students may use marijuana to help comedown from Adderall or sleep, further increasing the risk of substance abuse issues later in life.

Using Schedule I or II substances long-term can lead to the development of physical or psychological dependence, which means you may not only experience withdrawal symptoms when not using, but also rely on the drugs for enjoyment, pleasure, or engagement.

Adderall Overdose

Mixing Adderall and weed can lead to an increased risk of an overdose. Overdose can occur because weed may mask some of the effects of Adderall, which may in turn lead to further Adderall use. 

Signs and symptoms of Adderall overdose may include:

  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • depression
  • blurry vision
  • psychosis
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heart rate
  • diarrhea
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

In Ohio, more than 1,000 overdose deaths involving psychostimulants like Adderall were recorded in 2020.

If you or a loved one struggles with marijuana or Adderall abuse, marijuana abuse, addiction treatment options are available.

At Ohio Recovery Center, our substance abuse treatment options feature medical detox, behavioral therapy, and other services in a comfortable inpatient setting. For more information on how we can help, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/011522s040lbl.pdf
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601234.html
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/marijuana.html
  6. Ohio Department of Health https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/6a94aabe-ea77-4c01-8fd8-2abdd83b4ff8/2020%2BUnintentional%2BDrug%2BOverdose%2BAnnual%2BReport.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_M1HGGIK0N0JO00QO9DDDDM3000-6a94aabe-ea77-4c01-8fd8-2abdd83b4ff8-o2GcAjB

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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