There is no safe mixture of weed and Adderall. Users have reported benefits, but there are dangerous health risks. Learn more. Studies show CBD impacts how your liver metabolizes medications and breaks down toxins, potentially causing harmful side-effects.
Can You Safely Mix Weed and Adderall?
On the surface, weed and Adderall, or “weederall,” seems like the ideal union. It’s not quite peanut butter and jelly, but the pairing of a stimulant with a depressant appears apt, especially when employed for recreational use.
Users report that marijuana, the formal term for weed, dampens the distress and irritability associated with Adderall. They also say that Adderall stokes alertness, counteracting the lethargy and impaired cognitive function that comes from marijuana use.
There is even a belief that people who take Adderall for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could benefit from using marijuana because it may allow them to lessen their Adderall dependence.
But, as with all substances, it isn’t all cotton candy and cake. There are significant, long-term health risks that come from recreational use of Adderall and marijuana. If anything, long-term Adderall abuse itself can cause devastating, life-threatening effects like seizures, depression, and coma. Marijuana can also make people take more Adderall, which heightens their risk of incurring those negative effects.
If that isn’t enough, when taken in combination, both drugs can make your heart race and cause shallow breathing.
What’s more, there is not much research available on the interaction between Adderall and marijuana. Only anecdotal reports exist from users who have experimented with both substances where varying results were experienced.
Plus, marijuana is more potent than ever by itself. Extremely potent variants or long-term use, in general, has its own negative consequences.
So, can you safely mix weed and Adderall without any ill effects? On a short-term basis, it appears that way.
In one Reddit post titled, “Adderall and Weed combo,” one user wrote, “I combined Adderall and weed last night, and I’d just like to say, I felt fantastic.”
In another post, a user praises the combination but offers a warning: “Adderall and weed is a really euphoric combo with amazing synergy…You just have to be careful because if you smoke too much weed or you blaze when you’re already coming down off the addy, you can literally feel insane.”
And that’s just the start of it. Taking Adderall with weed is safer than say, Adderall with alcohol. Still, long-term use of both substances can open up a Pandora’s box of addiction and life-threatening consequences.
Adderall And Marijuana: Is There A Safe Amount?
There is no easy answer to this question, as the effects of both drugs vary widely, according to the person and the grade and amount of marijuana they are using. A report from a site called 420 Intel states that the effects of taking both drugs vary widely.
With information culled from users who have experimented with this combination, they report that taking Adderall and weed led to the following:
Increased stimulation. The body’s heart rate spiked. For people who do not have a preexisting heart condition, the effect can be “a thrilling and exciting experience.” For others, this effect can be a distressing event.
Elevated euphoria. Both substances can give users a heightened experience of euphoria because they boost the brain’s dopamine levels. Dopamine is considered the brain’s “feel good” chemical because it allows humans to experience pleasure and satisfaction from certain activities like enjoying a slice of chocolate cake or having sex. According to the 420 Intel report, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana can diminish the “crash” associated with Adderall (more on this later).
Lessened anxiety. The combination of both drugs reportedly cancels adverse side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, irritability, insomnia, and appetite loss.
Heightened long-term health risks. There is no known incidence where a certain amount of weed has proven to be lethal. However, the same cannot be said of Adderall, a significant amount of negative effects and health conditions. And since taking weed and Adderall together can reduce some of the immediate sensations of those side-effects, the combo can actually lead to more Adderall use, increasing long-term risks, reports 420 Intel.
In essence, there is no one answer as to whether you can safely mix Adderall with marijuana. If anything, the sheer dangers associated with recreational Adderall use make this combination highly dangerous.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is comprised of four amphetamine salts: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall to treat the symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy in 1996. When this medication enters the body, it boosts the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine and speeds up brain activity. At doctor-ordered doses, Adderall works to diminish the impulsivity, hyperactivity, fidgeting, and lack of focus associated with ADHD, causing people to feel more alert and focused. The daily dose amount should not exceed 40 milligrams (mg).
However, a large number of people, particularly those in high school and colleges, have resorted to abusing “study drugs” like Adderall to harness its stimulant attributes. Students take it so that they can stay up all night to study for tests and complete challenging assignments. Working professionals use it to help them gain an edge at work. Adderall abuse is rampant, especially in places where high achievement is a mandate.
Some professional athletes also use Adderall to improve on-field performance. Others still use it to enhance sexual performance.
The 2011 science fiction movie “Limitless,” where the protagonist takes a pill that allows him to achieve extraordinary success, is believed to be based on the mythical properties of Adderall and its ability to improve cognitive function.
Yet, like other stimulant drugs, Adderall is capable of inflicting significant cardiovascular and psychological distress.
Adderall use comes with common and serious side effects, particularly when the substance is abused.
Common side effects associated with Adderall include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in sex drive or ability
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Weight loss
The serious side effects are enough to make weed and Adderall use a dangerous activity. Those physical and mental effects are as follows:
- Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Believing things that are not true
- Mania (a frenzied or abnormally excited mood)
- Unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes
- Swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat
- Pain, numbness, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- Feeling unusually suspicious of others
- Agitation, fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Blistering or peeling skin
- Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- Changes in vision or blurred vision
- Paleness or blue color of fingers or toes
- Slow or difficult speech
- Motor or verbal tics
- Teeth grinding
Marijuana is not as safe as you think, especially these days. Weed is more potent than ever, with THC levels as high as 13 percent. For context, the average THC levels in marijuana from the 1970s was about two percent.
Then there are products known as marijuana concentrates, which are highly concentrated masses that look like honey or butter that contain astronomical levels of THC, ranging from 40 to 80 percent, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Long-term or excessive use of marijuana or concentrates can produce mental and cardiovascular distress, including paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, increased heart rate, and spikes in blood pressure.
When taken in tandem with Adderall, those effects can be greatly exacerbated, where the user will experience the negative effects of both. What’s more, abusing Adderall can still allow someone to experience an overdose, where the stimulant can be lethal.
Why People Mix Adderall and Weed?
If Adderall and weed might be dangerous when they two are mixed? Why do people mix these drugs in the first place? People typically mix psychoactive chemicals for one of two reasons: to enhance the positive effects of one or both substances or to counteract the negative effects of one of the substances.
For weed and Adderall, it’s generally the latter reason. Marijuana is said to help cut down on some of the negative side effects of Adderall. Cannabis also causes some nervous system depressing effects like sedation, a lack of focus, and even confusion. As a stimulant, Adderall can potentially counteract these effects.
Adderall and weed also share similar effects in the brain and body. In fact, researchers are investigating the use of cannabis in treating disorders that would usually be treated by Adderall like narcolepsy and ADHD. Mixing the two drugs for recreational use may be intended to enhance their stimulating effects. Certain strains of cannabis can cause stimulating effects rather than depressing feelings. Mixing it with Adderall may offer a more exhilarating high.
Adderall and other stimulants are sometimes used on college campuses as a study drug. That is, a drug that’s used as a cognitive performance enhancer rather than a recreational substance. Stimulants like Adderall can increase focus and alertness, which helps people study for longer hours.
However, taking Adderall without a prescription can lead to unwanted side effects like insomnia and anxiety. People may use marijuana to come down off of Adderall, so they can relax and sleep after pulling an all-nighter.
Why is Mixing Weed and Adderall Dangerous?
There isn’t an abundance of studies that look at the effects of mixing cannabis and Adderall on the brain and body. However, we do know some things about the combo from their respective effects in the brain.
Plus, mixing any two psychoactive substances without a doctor’s guidance can be potentially harmful. If you are taking a prescription drug like Adderall, you should avoid taking any other drugs without knowing how they might interact.
However, there is no clear evidence that cannabis and Adderall have any clear interactions in your system. Subjective reports claim that users of both either felt more or less high than they would normally.
The long-term effects of both drugs in the brain may have effects that haven’t been studied yet. There is some potential for negative effects of using both drugs for long periods.
For instance, long-term Adderall use can affect your brain’s ability to release dopamine and serotonin without a chemical stimulus.
That can lead to depression and anhedonia, where you can’t feel pleasure outside of drug use. Marijuana may also cause your brain to release less dopamine after heavy use. These drugs may combine to cause issues like depression after long-term use.
How Professional Treatment Can Help
Taking weed and Adderall qualifies as polysubstance abuse where two or more substances are taken concurrently. Such substance abuse requires the highest degree of substance abuse intervention. That intervention is best in a professional treatment setting.
A reputable professional recovery program can help you realized sustained sobriety and relief from the dangerous effects of marijuana and Adderall. Treatment begins with medical detoxification, where marijuana and Adderall are removed from your system, and any withdrawal symptoms like depression, nausea, and vomiting are treated using FDA-approved medications. This is part of what is called medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which has been proven effective in treating the psychological effects of withdrawal.
Treatment does not end with detoxification. Because addiction impacts the emotional and mental aspects of your being, holistic therapy and care that addresses the root of your abuse problems will greatly heighten your chances of achieving sustained sobriety.
This kind of therapy is offered through outpatient treatment, where clients can access evidence-based and alternative therapies such as:
How Does CBD Interact With Medications and Intoxicants?
According to Single Care, approximately 64 million people in the US have tried cannabidiol (CBD) in the past 24 months, including CBD oils, capsules, vape products, and topicals. A staggering 22% of those have either used CBD to supplement existing prescription medication or replace them completely.
With so many people supplementing CBD with other medications (or replacing them completely), the concern over unwanted adverse effects when combined is growing.
All drugs and substances have the ability to interact with each other. CBD is no different. When you consume CBD with, say, antidepressants, ibuprofen, or aspirin, they don’t magically stay away from each other. There’s a blending of the two (or three) as they work within your body.
The question is: How does each type of medication interact with CBD and are there any adverse side-effects?
- CBD is said to be beneficial against diabetes. CBD and diabetes meds break down by the same enzymes. Could increase or decrease the amount of CBD and diabetes medication (Metformin) in the blood. May lead to adverse effects.
- CBD and blood thinners (e.g. Warfarin) are metabolized by the same enzymes. CBD may slow down the rate at which Warfarin is metabolized. May stay longer in the body. Possible adverse effects/toxicity.
- CBD and central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Both act on special receptors that cause sedation. Could enhance each other’s effects (in theory).
- CBD and Adderall (ADHD meds). Inconclusive. More studies needed. May balance each other out or cause unwanted side-effects.
- CBD and alcohol. CBD may amplify alcohol’s sedative effects or protect your body from alcohol abuse. More research needed.
- CBD topicals are applied to the skin. Don’t go into the bloodstream. Won’t be broken down by the liver. Drug interaction risk is minimal.
- Elderly patients should be cautious when consuming CBD and other medications. Age causes liver inflammation and dysfunction. May not metabolize drugs or CBD well. Possible adverse effects.
- Speak to your healthcare practitioner before taking CBD with or without other medications. Nothing replaces professional medical advice.
How CBD interacts with your body and other medications
Despite CBD’s advantages, its achilles heel is how it can affect certain medications, as well as how it interacts with intoxicants.
In some cases, CBD can enhance the effects of medications and intoxicants. In other cases, CBD may reduce the effects of medications and intoxicants. Why? Put simply, CBD interacts with vital cannabinoid receptors found all throughout your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a naturally-occurring biological system designed to regulate and maintain core physiological functionality.
CBD also inhibits the cytochrome P450 system found in the liver. The P450 system is composed of valuable enzymes that break down, process, and/or metabolize medications, drugs, and intoxicants. The two most significant enzymes are CYP3A4 and CYP2D6, both responsible for metabolizing many medications you see today, as well as CBD.
When CBD inhibits P450 enzymes, it can essentially slow down or prevent other substances from being metabolized, potentially resulting in unwanted effects and side-effects.
CBD and Metformin
How does CBD affect Metformin?
CBD on its own may have beneficial and positive effects for people with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham believe a CBD + tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) combination may help reduce blood sugar levels and increase insulin levels. Therefore, CBD products with a full-spectrum hemp extract carry both CBD and THCV may be beneficial here.
Paired with Metformin? Somewhat unknown at this point. We know Metformin doesn’t metabolize the same way other medications do. In fact, it actually inhibits the liver’s CYP3A4 enzyme the same way CBD does, which could slow the breakdown of both substances.
In this scenario, there are two possibilities: A reduction of CBD and Metformin in the blood or an increase of CBD and Metformin in the blood for longer periods of time. Either way, this could lead to unwanted toxicity and side-effects.
What is Metformin?
Metformin is an orally consumed medicine designed to tackle type 2 diabetes, as well as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Sold under other trade names such as Glucophage, Fortamet, and Glumetza, Metformin was originally derived from French lilac until it was synthetically made in a lab during the late 1920s.
What does Metformin do to the body?
Metformin is known as a biguanide antihyperglycemic agent. It lowers the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by the liver into your bloodstream, while making your body better-equipped at responding to insulin.
CBD and blood thinners
How does CBD interact with blood thinners?
Taking both CBD and blood thinners at the same time should be approached with caution.
In a recent 2017 case report, both CBD and Warfarin are both metabolized by the CYP450 system. Warfarin is metabolized by the same enzymes that metabolize CBD: CYP2C9 and CYP3A4.
CBD also competitively inhibits several of its own enzymes (CYP1A1, CYP1A2, etc).
In other words, CBD essentially competes for enzymes in the same metabolic pathway as Warfarin, slowing down the rate at which it’s metabolized in your body. As a result, Warfarin’s presence and effects in your body may overstay their welcome, potentially causing unwanted bleeding and subsequent harm.
What are blood thinners?
Blood thinners are special types of medication that help your blood flow correctly through your veins and arteries. There are two types of blood thinners: anticoagulants and antiplatelets.
Anticoagulants mostly come in pill form and prevent the blood from clotting.
Types of anticoagulants include Dabigatran, Edoxaban, Heparin, and Warfarin.
Antiplatelets mainly come in pill form and are designed to combat platelets, tiny blood cells that combine to form clots to prevent bleeding. Types of antiplatelets include Aspirin, Dipyridamole, Ticagrelor, Vorapaxar.
What do blood thinners do to the body?
Despite its name, blood thinners don’t actually thin your blood. They also don’t penetrate and destroy existing clots. Instead, they’re designed to either prevent clots from happening or reduce the growth of already existing ones.
CBD and central nervous system (CNS) depressants
How does CBD affect CNS depressants?
CBD is an allosteric receptor modulator. It has the ability to change the shape of receptors found in your body, inhibiting or enhancing their behavior. CBD is known as a positive allosteric modulator of GABA-A receptors, meaning it enhances the receptor’s binding ability.
At a dose of 600mg CBD is known to produce substantial sedative effects by acting on your GABA neurotransmitters (rodent test subjects used). As mentioned, CNS depressants act on your GABA neurotransmitters as well.
Though still a theory, it’s possible that a CNS depressant and CBD combo could enhance each other’s sedative effects. No clinical research or trials are available to reinforce this theory.
What are CNS depressants?
CNS depressants is an umbrella term for three different medication subtypes: sedatives (diazepam, triazolam), sedative-hypnotics (zolpidem, zaleplon), and tranquilizers (mephobarbital, phenobarbital).
A reduction in brain activity may be an effective treatment for anxiety, sleep-related disorders, panic disorders, and stress symptoms.
What do CNS depressants do to the body?
CNS depressants inhibit brain activity via gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters located throughout your central nervous system.
This causes your brain (and, by extension, body) to slow down, producing a calm but decidedly drowsy effect. Many liken it to drinking a few beers.
CBD and anti-seizure drugs
How does CBD interact with anti-seizure drugs?
Contrary to common belief, CBD is now officially registered as an anti-seizure treatment.
Epidiolex, a CBD + THC combo drug developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, was approved for use in the United States in 2018. Patients taking this medication are under close medical supervision.
However, when CBD (Epidiolex or otherwise) is taken with other medications, unwanted problems may occur.
Researchers believe CBD’s interaction with anti-seizure medication (not Epidiolex) may cause abnormal liver functions and decreased drug efficacy.
What are anti-seizure drugs?
Anti-seizure drugs (also known as anticonvulsants) are a category of different medications designed to control or prevent the onset of epilepsy-induced seizures.
Some anti-seizure medication includes Brivarecetam, Carbamazepine, Diazepam, and Felbamate.
Certain anti-seizure medication targets specific symptoms or types of epilepsy. Some are intravenously injected or taken in pill/capsule form.
What do anti-seizure drugs do in the body?
Anti-seizure drugs do not cure epilepsy and epilepsy-induced seizures. Instead, they prevent and control seizures.
They do this by targeting specific areas of the brain causing seizures. Some will interact with neurotransmitters or latch onto neurons and change the activity of the cell responsible for the seizures. The GABA system and its affiliated receptors within your body could be targeted.
CBD and Adderall
How CBD affects Adderall
Not much is scientifically known about CBD’s interaction with Adderall, though some speculate it may weaken its effects.
CBD doesn’t act on cannabinoid receptors the same way THC does; however, it does target other receptor sites such as serotonin (5-HT1A), which may elicit calming and soothing anti-anxiety qualities.
CBD also interacts with GABA receptors, resulting in sedative effects.
Pair this with Adderall’s energizing and focus-promoting effects and the results could be conflicting.
We assume it’s dose-dependent. The more CBD you take, the more balanced the effects of both become (in theory). We obviously need to see more studies conducted for us to make a conclusive case.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a “combination” medication composed of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), though some users consume and abuse it illegally for recreational purposes.
It’s sometimes used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder where sufferers are unable to stay awake.
What does Adderall do to the body?
Adderall stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and changes the levels of natural substances found in the brain via important neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, etc).
In ADHD patients, Adderall helps with attention, concentration, and focus, as well as controlling impulsive and unhelpful behaviors. It can also help with cognitive ability, listening skills, organization, and completing tasks. Usually used in conjunction with traditional therapies (behavior therapy, etc).
CBD and alcohol
How CBD affects alcohol
There are two main cases for CBD’s effects in combination with alcohol:
- CBD amplifies alcohol’s effects (and vice versa)
In the case of CBD amplifying alcohol’s effects, very little research is out there. Most are outdated or too limited to make any conclusions.
Alcohol and CBD both produce sedation to varying degrees (depending on dose). Alcohol promotes relaxation, reduced inhibitions, and a level of confidence.
CBD does the same but in much subtler ways without a dramatic confidence spike. One study revealed CBD’s sedative qualities have the potential to decrease symptoms of anxiety and improve sleep.
Taken together? It’s really down to speculation.
Some believe CBD can amplify alcohol’s sedative effects (and vice versa) or increase each other’s intensity. Others believe that may simply balance each other out. Only time and more research will tell.
- CBD may protect or counteract alcohol’s effects and side-effects
More is known about CBD’s ability to protect or counteract effects and side-effects of alcohol.
Too much alcohol consumption over an extended period of time can result in a number of physiological problems. Damaged cells cause chronic inflammation and other conditions such as liver damage, cardiovascular disease, digestive issues, brain damage, and cancer.
Fortunately, there’s scope to suggest CBD has the ability to protect your cells against alcohol-related damage.
Studies on mice revealed something pretty staggering. A 2.5% CBD IV injection and a 5.0% CBD transdermal gel was used on mice with alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. The 5.0% CBD gel reduced neurodegeneration in the brain by up to nearly 50%. Similarly, CBD may also protect against liver damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption via cell and tissue regeneration.
What is alcohol?
Alcohol needs no introduction. Otherwise known as ethanol, ethyl alcohol, or “a good drink at the end of a long day”, alcohol is one of the primary ingredients in beer, wine, cider, and spirits. It’s created from fermented fruit, vegetables, and/or grains. It’s intoxicating and gets you drunk (in high quantities).
What does alcohol do to the body?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It slows down cognitive functionality, reaction time, and memory, as well as reduces neural activity, by activating and enhancing GABA neurotransmitters. Depending on dose, alcohol can either be a stimulant (small doses) or a sedative (large doses). In other words, for every drink you have, you’re one step closer to being drunk.
Approach grapefruit with caution (it acts in a similar way to CBD)
Grapefruit is highly nutritious and an amazing source of essential vitamins and nutrients. However, grapefruit does have its downsides.
According to the FDA, grapefruit inhibits the very same liver enzyme CBD does (CYPA4). This enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of over 85 medications currently in use today.
Grapefruit’s inhibitory behavior is very similar to CBD. It can cause the metabolization process to slow down significantly, resulting in higher concentrations of these medications in your bloodstream. As this concentration increases, so do the risks of adverse side-effects and/or overdose (in more extreme cases).
Do CBD topicals reduce the risk of drug interactions?
It’s difficult to say whether CBD topicals reduce the risk of drug interactions. Logically, it would reduce the risk.
With CBD topicals such as CBD cream, CBD lotion, and CBD balm, you’re not consuming or inhaling them orally. Instead, you apply them to your skin for targeted, localized relief.
Since the aforementioned CBD topicals aren’t known to penetrate through the skin’s outer layers into the bloodstream, most CBD (and other plant compounds) will reside in the skin’s protective layer and interact with receptors there.
Since CBD isn’t reaching the bloodstream, the likelihood that it needs to be broken down in the liver is very low. No drug interaction (to the best of our knowledge).
Are elderly people more at risk of CBD and drug interactions?
The elderly population could potentially be more at risk from side effects while taking CBD alone. Some believe the elderly will experience more noticeable sedation than younger CBD users.
The elderly population are more at risk of liver problems and dysfunction due to increased inflammation during the aging process. Inflammation of the liver can prevent proper metabolism of medicinal drugs, as well as CBD and its cannabinoid counterparts, which may lead to adverse effects and a further decline in liver function.
We recommend elderly CBD users to be careful when taking CBD alone or with other prescription medication.
Always consult your doctor before taking CBD with other medication
Our aim with this article isn’t to treat, cure, or diagnose you of any medical conditions. We also didn’t write this as a replacement for professional medical advice. If you’re just starting a CBD regimen or you’re already taking CBD with other medications, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.