Adderall and Weed

Adderall-and-Weed

Adderall

Adderall is the brand name for a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s use is to commonly treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. As a central nervous system stimulant, Adderall increases energy, blood pressure, heart rate and improves attention and alertness- which is why most people use the drug. Adderall use is pretty common in college and academic culture for its ability to boost attentiveness and focus. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky found that 30 percent of its student population had abused a stimulant such as Adderall in order to enhance their studying. Adderall is a schedule II drug as categorized by the DEA which indicates that the drug has certain medical uses but has a high potential for abuse. 

 Adderall boosts the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. Dopamine is commonly referred to as the ‘feel good’ chemical. It occurs in the body when we do something pleasurable, such as eating, drinking or having sex. It is also released synthetically by drugs such as Adderall. Some people experience this also from smoking weed, which is why they might combine Adderall and weed. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone which is typically released in the body whenever we encounter a fight or flight situation. Therefore it is no surprise that the drug boosts attentiveness and alertness. 

Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall abuse is different than addiction. Abuse is generally considered any use of drugs outside of a prescription which includes taking more than the recommended dosage. Whereas addiction is a chronic disease where users experience compulsive desires to take drugs. Adderall abuse is pretty common with college students. They see it as a helpful tool for cramming before exams. 

Adderall-and-Weed

So is Adderall addictive? It can be. Typically the addiction stems from a previous history of abuse. If the abuse is to achieve a recreational high, the body will build a tolerance to the drug which will require the user to up their dosage. At a certain point, their body will begin to crave the amphetamine. Without the drug, people who are addicted may feel like they lack focus or attentiveness at which point could be characterized as an addiction.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Adderall has a half life of 9 to 14 hours. This means that it takes around 9 to 14 hours for the drug to reduce to half of the initially ingested dosage. Generally, Adderall will clear out of your system completely in 3 days; however, traces of the drug can last well past that. Certain drug tests can discover Adderall use such as:

  • Saliva tests can detect Adderall from 20 minutes to 48 hours after ingestion
  • Blood tests can detect Adderall from 12 to 24 hours after ingestion
  • Urine tests can detect Adderall from 4 to 7 days after ingestion
  • Hair follicle tests can detect Adderall from a week to 90 days after ingestion

What is marijuana?

Marijuana- also known as weed- is derived from the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. It contains hundreds of chemicals, some of which have psychoactive mind-altering properties such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other non-psychoactive chemicals such as cannabidiol (CBD). Marijuana is one of the most abused illicit drugs in the world, but it can be used to treat some medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, and mental health issues such as PTSD or schizophrenia to name a few. Marijuana is a very popular recreational drug as it can relieve anxiety and reduce pain depending on the strain taken.

There is a lot of debate over whether marijuana is harmful, and how harmful if so, and whether it is even addictive. Research is limited as marijuana is illicit in most countries, until a few countries and states within the U.S. legalized use in recent years. While marijuana use it not going to lead to addiction that looks like meth or heroin addiction, there is always the potential for someone to abuse it just as with any other substance. Certain studies have shown possible negative effects from chronic, long-term use, though those may also be tied to users smoking tobacco which is known to be very harmful. Further, it’s possible for illicitly obtained marijuana to be laced with other substances which is where significant danger can come in.

Why do people use marijuana?

Many perceive marijuana as a ‘safe’ drug with no harmful impact on the body. While it is much less harmful than most other schedule I drugs, it still has some negative side effects and is illegal in some jurisdictions even for medical purposes. So why do people smoke marijuana? Well, surveys show that “relaxation” is the biggest reasons people smoke weed. Further a study reported that “cannabis significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety and stress.”

How long does marijuana stay in your system?

It is hard to pinpoint exactly how long traces of weed will stay in your system as that is largely circumstantial. In general, weed will show up in a drug test via:

  • Saliva up to 48 hours after use
  • Urine up to 21 days after use 
  • Blood up to 36 hours after use
  • Hair up to 90 days after use

This varies by individual factors and length of use.

Mixing adderall and weed

Adderall is a stimulant. However, weed’s properties and varying effects on individuals makes it harder to characterize. For example, some people may feel more relaxed and calm after smoking which presents more depressant effects. However, others may experience paranoia, increased heart rate or anxiety after smoking. Weed can also be characterized as a hallucinogen given the altered state of mind one will experience. While many characterize it as such, some people do not experience such effects. The effects of marijuana use vary widely and this also varies by method of consumption (e.g., smoking a joint, using a pipe, using a bong, eating edibles, etc.).

Adderall-and-Weed

So what would happen if you mixed Adderall and weed? It’s hard to say for the reasons listed above. Some users will mix the drugs in hopes that the Adderall will negate the depressive effects of the marijuana. It’s best to avoid the mixture. Effects can produce harmful outcomes such as shallow breathing and increased heart rate. Further, the mixture of a stimulant and marijuana can alter your state of mind which could encourage users to take risks or express behaviors which could be dangerous. Overdose is unlikely unless the Adderall dosage is high enough or other substances are mixed that interact dangerously with Adderall.

Treatment for Adderall and Weed Abuse and Addiction:

Treatment for Adderall or weed  abuse addiction can be tricky to tackle individually. Both drugs have different effects on the body and mind. Further, both are abused for different reasons and there is no one-size fits all treatment plan. Therefore we recommend contacting us for professional help and treatment if you or a loved one are dealing with abuse or addiction.

Resources:

CNN – College students take ADHD drugs for better grades

The Washington Post – 11 Charts that show marijuana has truly gone mainstream

Journal of Affective Disorders – A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis

 

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