If you are already suffering from ADHD, ask your physician about medicating with CBD or cannabis instead of Adderall. But don’t mix the two. Here’s why.
Adderall is a widely prescribed medicine for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. It can also be used to treat narcolepsy.
Because it’s become so popular, many people have even started using it recreationally, or have been able to source it in order to stay up late at night to study. This FDA-approved drug, which is made up of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, works to stimulate the nervous system, improve one’s focus and concentration, while reducing impulsivity by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine levels within the brain.
However, taking Adderall is a bad idea whether or not you’re on prescription for it. It’s not uncommon for many people to get so hooked on it the way one would fiend for cocaine. That’s because dopamine is released when you take the pill, and when dopamine runs out, people will eventually feel the need to replenish it. Constantly wanting to replenish that dopamine can lead to a deadly addiction.
The misuse of prescription drugs is dangerous, and that includes Adderall. Its side effects include:
Problems with cognition
Worsening of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
It can even get worse when you combine it with cannabis.
Cannabis has long been a popular recreational drug, so it’s not surprising to see people experimenting by combining Adderall and pot. But why would people mix the two in the first place? The combo is so widely used that there’s already a term for it: Madderall.
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In some people, Adderall causes irritability, distress, and other uncomfortable emotions. That’s why they turn to cannabis; alternatively, they find that cannabis also negates some unwanted side effects of Adderall such as lethargy and fatigue. Other reasons why people combine the two is because it can make you feel more socially aware; this medical cocktail has been reported to give people a heightened mental state. Meanwhile, others report that they experience increased brain function and enables them to process information quicker and more efficiently.
The Risks Involved
While cannabis alone has proven to be a safe medication when used alone, there are serious risks involved when you mix it with other medications. When it comes to Adderall, a combination of both when taken at the same time can make one extremely drowsy or lead to fatal conditions such as a stroke or heart attack because Adderall has been known to increase the heart rate, while cannabis can do the same in people who already have underlying heart conditions. Prolonged use over time can weaken the immune system.
Additionally, some users report that Adderall enhances the cannabis high, causing them to increase their dose over time. When your body eventually adjusts to the medications, we develop a higher tolerance and will need higher doses to feel anything later on. This can lead to a deadly overdose when the two are mixed in the body.
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While there’s a lack of studies documenting the harmful effects of combining both drugs, one only needs to look at the properties of each on the human body to know that it’s an extremely dangerous thing to do. If you are already taking Adderall on prescription, don’t mix it with cannabis or other substances to begin with. And if you’re taking Adderall recreationally, it’s best you stop.
Continued usage of both can affect how your brain produces serotonin and dopamine, because it will be dependent on the presence of a chemical stimulus, causing you to feel depression or even anhedonia.
What About Mixing CBD And Adderall?
CBD on its own, just like cannabis, has also been a proven safe therapeutic medication.
It’s a different story when you combine CBD with prescription drugs, Adderall included. CBD, when taken together with stimulants can have unwanted side effects. It can wreak havoc on your liver because the drugs are processed in the liver, leading to altered concentration of these drugs within the body. Altered concentration of drugs cause them to no longer work or make the side effects even more pronounced.
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Some people enjoy combining CBD with Adderall because of CBD’s calming effects. It also helps some people find relief when they are coming off Adderall.
The studies say that since Adderall is metabolized by an enzyme called the CYP2D6, and CBD inhibits this enzyme strongly, a combination of both within the body means that much more medicine will enter the blood stream. They also note that Adderall already does enter the bloodstream at a high percentage (75%), which is why when people combine the two you can still suffer from a loss of concentration and focus. But because we all have a different constitution and biological makeup, the effects can be vastly different from person to person. For this reason, other people will say that CBD can actually strengthen the effect of Adderall in the body.
It is never safe to mix cannabis with other medications even if you have a prescription for both. You must at least consult your physician, who is ideally knowledgeable about both types of medications. Regardless, medical interactions can pose a serious health risk.
If you are already suffering from ADHD, ask your physician about medicating with CBD or cannabis instead of Adderall. These alternative medications have showed promise for treating difficulty concentrating and focus without the harmful and addictive side effects of Adderall.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.