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ADHD and Weed: What’s the Draw?

Does marijuana help with ADHD?

Posted Feb 26, 2015

THE BASICS

  • What Is ADHD?
  • Find a therapist to help with ADHD

One of my therapy patients showed up for his weekly session, but he was different this time. He was unusually late. His thoughts were scattered. His eyes were red and he was hard to follow.

I knew he had a history with marijuana and we’d been working together for a long time, so I just asked him straight out.

“Well … yeah,” (giggling like a stoned teenager).

And then we talked over the next few weeks about why he was lighting up again now after years of abstinence. For him, it was to relieve stress, numb uncomfortable feelings, enhance creativity, and improve focus. His relationship with his girlfriend was in bad shape and it helped numb out the feelings. His job paid well but the demands piled up with no relief in sight and it took the edge off. It made him more creative, he said, when he played guitar with his band. It helped him sleep better. And perhaps most interesting of all, it improved his focus.

But it wasn’t all positive. He knew that it made him less motivated. Work projects took longer to complete. It helped him avoid an overdue conversation with his girlfriend about what was really going on between them. And since he started using again, he rarely achieved orgasms anymore. He was also uncomfortable about driving to work while high in the morning.

Without going all “Reefer Madness” on his use, we figured out some ways to curb his reliance on marijuana and to address the needs that pot was helping with in other ways. He still uses occasionally, especially around music, but the self-medicating quality of his use dropped significantly.

So why marijuana?

Substance use is a common side-sick of ADHD. The most commonly used drugs with ADHD are alcohol and marijuana. The link between ADHD and weed is pretty well established not just in teens, but in adults as well. Since ADHD symptoms are often treated with stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, you might guess that folks with ADHD would be most drawn to other stimulants, like caffeine, cocaine or amphetamines. But, in fact, alcohol and marijuana seem to be bigger draws. Anecdotally, marijuana (derived from cannabis plants) has been reported to improve focus in some people with ADHD.

A few recent studies have looked at who with ADHD might be more prone to regular marijuana use, but the results don’t totally match up. Also, the studies provide generalities by looking at large groups of people, so they don’t take into account personal experiences and unique life situations like those described for the guy mentioned above.

Two 2014 studies looked at marijuana use and subtype of ADHD. One at the University of Albany found that people with ADHD who used marijuana daily were more likely to have the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms of ADHD, rather than the inattentive symptoms (see Loflin, Earleywine, DeLeo, & Hobkirk, 2014 for details). So marijuana helps manage the hyperactivity and impulse control struggles that come with that form of ADHD? Well, hold on a second.

Another 2014 study suggested that having the inattentive symptoms in adulthood or childhood, as well as the hyperactive-impulsive symptoms in childhood, were associated with higher chances of marijuana use in young adults (See Bidwell, Henry, Wilcutt, Kinnear, & Ito, 2014 for details). And still other past research found links between marijuana use and behavior problems (conduct disorder), gender or smoking cigarettes, when it came to ADHD!

The fact is the relationship between ADHD and marijuana use is probably just too varied and personalized to find clearly definable groups who use and who don’t use. At least anecdotally, many patients with ADHD mention its positive impact on focus as part of the draw in using it.

Whatever the reasons are, marijuana use is not without risk. While it certainly does not carry the addiction potential of cocaine or heroin, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that about nine percent of users will go on to develop dependence (addiction) to marijuana. Also, it causes problems with cognitive functions like short-term memory, judgment, and perception. That’s a big concern for someone trying to drive, do work, or attend school while high.

Find more about marijuana use at NIDA’s website.

adhd and weed

Well, this was an just an empty article that said absolutely nothing.

  • Reply to Paul
  • Quote Paul

Cannabis and hormones

Cannabis affects you in two major ways, it increases your epinephrine making you more alert and decreases your cortisol thus inducing its medicinal properties.

Patients who take medicine for anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder and etc. need dopamine to reduce their symptoms. Dopamine decreases serotonin.

Nicotine reduces symptoms of said disorders above, dopamine is secreted when ingesting nicotine.

What’s so difficult, haha.

  • Reply to Mr. Dot
  • Quote Mr. Dot

Cannabis, Cortisol and Serotonin

In addition to cortisol being decreased by cannabis, when your cortisol is. decreased, unlike oversecreted, the likelihood your serotonin would increase.

Thus inducing symptoms of OCD, Anxiety and etc.

You’re still aware, but you’re not stressed unless you induce those thoughts. (Does not make you secrete dopamine)

  • Reply to Mr. Dot
  • Quote Mr. Dot

This is interesting and I

This is interesting and I haven’t looked into this beyond this article at this point. However, as an adult dealing with OCD, GAD, and ADD I see great improvement when using marijuana. I do take prescription medication for OCD specifically, but it doesn’t treat the ADD. When I use marijuana, I am actually able to focus much, much better than when I am only taking my prescription medication for the OCD.

Now, I am not certain if it is the fact that it reduces my anxiety, thus allowing me to focus on something rather than being distracted by other concerns, or if it is because it simply allows me to hyper-focus on something. I can get much more work done when using and I can wrap my head around some more complex issues and logic I deal with in my profession. I’ve been curious why that is, thus why I’m here looking at these articles.

  • Reply to CPO
  • Quote CPO

Which Strain are you using?

A person well known to me suffers from ADD (without the H!) and social anxiety. The ritalin he gets for ADD helps that but increases the social anxiety to the point that hes incapable of doing anything that involves another person. His doctor wanted to add Xanax to the Ritalin, but the patient is worried about interactions and side effects of the two. Hes been looking into Trainwreck, Jack Herer and K-train as an alternative but those 3 are rare on the black market (no legality what so ever here). I’ve found Mad Jack to be extreamly focused but in higher doses its nearly a sure thing for paranoia.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

9/9/16 Comment on marijuana, ADD and OCD

I just stumbled across your comment on an article in Psychology Today and am wondering if your opinion has changed in any way over the past two years. I am interested as my teenage son has OCD, anxiety and has ADHD Inattentive. He is on medication to help his anxiety/OCD but we haven’t found anything to help his ADHD and he feels marijuana is the only thing that helps. I’m skeptical about this being a long term fix without creating other issues such as dependency, etc. Your thoughts are very appreciated.

  • Reply to Julie
  • Quote Julie

RE: comment on marijuana OCD/ADD

Sorry I took so long to reply. No, neither my opinion nor my experience has changed in the slightest. I don’t really like the term “marijuana”, as that was the term used to get it prohibited in the first place. I can understand your worry about addiction but your confusing addiction and dependence here. Addiction is an obsessive/compulsive behavior that’ll be repeated despite negative consequences. You know this behavior from OCD already. Dependence is a psychological/emotional or, in some cases, a physical need for a substance. Cannabis can cause an psychological/emotional dependence in a small portion of its users. This is especially true of people using it against mental illness. That psychological dependence however is absolutely nothing compared to many antidepressants and is water compared to benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines can cause a physical dependence and the withdrawal can be deadly if not done properly.
The main problem I see in your case (and in mine) is legality. On the black market it can be extremely difficult to find suitable strains. Most dealers won’t be honest about it. This leaves you with the choice of growing your own or moving to a legal state. In any case I strongly advise dosing as low as possible. The goal isn’t to get stoned, it’s to reduce symptoms and remain/become functional. Ideally no one should notice that your son has medicated.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

In addition to cortisol being

In addition to cortisol being decreased by cannabis, when your cortisol is. decreased, unlike oversecreted, the likelihood your serotonin would increase.

Thus inducing symptoms of OCD, Anxiety and etc.

You’re still aware, but you’re not stressed unless you induce those thoughts. (Does not make you secrete dopamine)

I know this post is old, so you likely wont even see it. My experience however with cannabis is different.

Typicly when serotonin goes up libido goes down. Well my libido goes up. After a nice romp in the hay serotonin goes back up. Cannabis doesn’t numb my feelings, in fact I often find myself psychoanalysing myself, my actions and my interaction with others on a social basis.

Although I’ve never beed diagnosed with ADD/ADHD I frequently find that I’m more focused, not nessicarily on what I should be, but definately more focused.

As far as dopamin goes: I can’t say I’ve ever felt euphoria while high. Even happiness just from being high is rare. I am however capable of feeling happiness and the little things in life go considerably futher with that happiness.

Unfortunately nobody ever bothers to check the brain chemistry of the depressed. Yes, I know it’s difficult and expensive to test, but it sure would be nice if they’d do it anyway before prescribing meds that could cause someone to want to kill themselves.

I know I’ll never touch anouther antidepressant in my life.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

“Marijuana” ist not just one sort of plant

First off I can’t comment really on what you like to call marijuana, I prefer cannabis because marijuana is a dirogatory word referring to Mexican prostitutes, and add/adhd. My experience with this god-given life saver is with PTSD and depression.

Cannabis is the parent species of 3 distinct sub-species: cannabis indica, cannabis sativa and cannabis ruderis. We’ll forget ruderalis because from a medical/recreational standpoint it’s worthless.

Both indica and sativa reduce stress. That however is where the common ground ends. Sativa strains tend to produce very focused cerebral effects. It makes for a wonderful daytime medicine for depression or ptsd, indica on the other hand often causes drowsiness making it wonderful against sleeping problems – including nightmares.

I can certainly understand that some people use cannabis sativa for add/adhd because of its uplifting, cerebral and often focused effects. Personally I’ve never found sativa to reduce motivation, however too high of a dose can cause anxiety and paranoia. Indica can demotivate because it’s typically a “lazy” body “high” that can be sedating.

Fortunately the two have been crossed to cause hybrids with a wide range of effects. Unfortunately doctors tend not to listen to their patients, and this lifesaving herb has been banned on most of the earth, appearently for no other reason then to preserve the billion dollar profits of the phamacudical industry at the cost of human lives.

My advice as a patient and someone with damned good expirience with cannabis

* quit concentrating only on the cannabiniods! The plant also contains a wide range of terpenes all with their own effects. Analyze those effects in combination with the cannabiniods. For me that’s the only explanation why trainwreck has different effects then super lemon haze.

* listen to your damned patients! I know, they don’t have 10 year degrees in psychology or psychiatry, but they’ve been their own guinipigs for years. If a patient is terrified of antidepressants because they make him want to die, kill or both then listening to him instead of adding yet another antidepressant to his list my save his life as well as yours and those of the children in the elementary school down the street!

* look at the experience of other patients, it’s out there, it’s in the fucking Internet and your loosing your patients to it because they’re getting medicine that helps illegally or they’re moving to where it’s legal.

* quit pretending your all-knowing, we know your not! The fact that a medicine is illegal doesn’t meen it doesn’t help, it just means it’s illegal. Most of us don’t care.

Sofar Prozac nearly killed me and those around me, Zoloft nearly killed those around me, and venlafaxine nearly killed me! This illegal herb saved me from all three. Since my freaking doctors wouldn’t listen to the guy taking the shit they lost a patient who wound up saving himself, luckily! I still remember getting that Baggie instead of the gun I was looking for.

If doctors were really interested in helping patients then they’d be demanding legalization instead of pushing the pHarma drugs killing said patients!

One pissed off patient!

  • Reply to Jeremy schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy schoenhaar

Article didn’t tell me anything.

that I didn’t already know.
My boyfriend who has ADHD has an on again/off again relationship with pot.
I have never smoked it, and don’t have the desire to try it.
In addition to his ADHD, which is well managed, he suffers from back pain, which can be severe at times, and OTC pain meds just don’t cut it.
Since I don’t smoke it, he thought it best to keep his smoking a secret. When I found out about it, I was pissed that he lied to me.
After lying to me about it twice, he has since been open and honest, which I appreciate.
There seems to be pain relief and benefits from using it, and I am not a prude, and have no right to judge those who use it.
Obviously, he also smokes it because he likes it.
I have heard all the comments about how pot isn’t addictive.
That said, a person can become addicted to anything.
I feel that he needs to find alternative ways of managing his pain. He has said the same.
Going to work high, driving to and from work high, is not a good thing.
I don’t like to have a conversation with him when his eyes are bloodshot, glazed over, and he is slurring his words. He doesn’t remember the conversation anyway, so why bother.

  • Reply to Celeste
  • Quote Celeste

Article didn’t tell me anything

“that I didn’t already know.
My boyfriend who has ADHD has an on again/off again relationship with pot.
I have never smoked it, and don’t have the desire to try it.”

At Least its on/off which is a sign that he’s doing something right. If you don’t feel the need/desire to try it then don’t. The purpose of what I’m writing is to try and help you understand your boyfriend.

“In addition to his ADHD, which is well managed, he suffers from back pain, which can be severe at times, and OTC pain meds just don’t cut it.”

The ADD/ADHD is likely part of the reason he got into Coke as you mentioned later. If OTC pain meds arn’t dealing with his pain then the options are cannabis or Opiates. Cannabis is here clearly the lesser of two evils. Cannbis can get psychologicly addictive, opiates get physicaly addictive and freaquently more and more is required to deal with the pain.

“Since I don’t smoke it, he thought it best to keep his smoking a secret. When I found out about it, I was pissed that he lied to me.
After lying to me about it twice, he has since been open and honest, which I appreciate.
There seems to be pain relief and benefits from using it, and I am not a prude, and have no right to judge those who use it.”

Cannabis is illegal in most of the world. That would explain why he lied about it. Think of the stigma associated with drug use. If the right strain is used then there can be serious benefits from using it ranging much further then pain management. His focas can improve and any urges to Coke can be greatly reduced. You do have a right to judge, but not until your judgement is based on solid facts instead of drug war propaganda which unfortunately continues today.

“Obviously, he also smokes it because he likes it.
I have heard all the comments about how pot isn’t addictive.
That said, a person can become addicted to anything. “

Liking something isn’t bad. Cannabis CAN be psychologicly addictive but nut physicaly. Typicaly any symptoms of a psychological addiction are gone within a few days of abstinance. While Opiate withdrawl can be deadly, with cannabis it typicaly is irriatablity, light depression and insomnia.

“I feel that he needs to find alternative ways of managing his pain. He has said the same.
Going to work high, driving to and from work high, is not a good thing.”

While being high at work isn’t good, it may be allowing hin to work. I don’t know how severe his pain is, but being under the influence of morphine at work would be considerably worse. I will, however not – for any purpose – condone driving under the influence. He should wait until he’s reached his destination, call in sick or find anouther way to work that doesn’t involve endangering himself and others.

“I don’t like to have a conversation with him when his eyes are bloodshot, glazed over, and he is slurring his words. He doesn’t remember the conversation anyway, so why bother.”

This is a clear sign that he’s taking way to high of a dose. My advise on this is:

* get a vaporizer instead of smoking
* Take it puff for puff. A single puff to 2-3 puffs is usually enough. When I’ve medicated, people can’t even tell I’ve medicated. Thats the way it should be. It’s perfectly ok to take one puff off a joint and then put it out and wait. It will affect taste however and that isn’t the case with a vaporizer. Chances are good that after he reduces his dose it will be much easier to have a meaningful conversation with him. It’s a lot like alcohol in that sense; if someones had 1-2 beers its easier to have a conversation with them then when they’ve had half a bottle of whiskey.

The dose determines the poison. He’s dosing to high and needs to reduce his dose. My advice to you specificly:

* Try to understand him and his reasons for consuming. Most drug-abuse is in fact self-medication.
* Finding the right dose when self medicating can be very difficult.
* Don’t be judgmental without being completely informed.
* Invite him to be open with you about his consume. Do not feel pressured into partaking though. A persons choice to consume is just that – a choice.
* Help him find a doctor that understands medical cannabis.
* Try not to view it as a drug of abuse. While it can be, and frequently is, abused; it’s a medicine. He just didn’t get any instructions for proper use when he baught it.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

Thanks for the reply

Thanks for your insight, and responding without criticizing me. I love my boyfriend, and want to understand him better.

We aren’t kids anymore, (50). A little more info on his prior cocaine addiction.
He became addicted after a co worker introduced him to it, to relieve the pain from a broken jaw. The co worker gave him some to rub on his gums, and eventually he was snorting it as well. He was in his 20’s at the time, and almost everyone he worked with was using something. pot, cocaine, alcohol, heroin. (He was a DJ in a strip club)
He has used a vaporizer.
I agree that I shouldn’t be able to tell when he medicates. I would prefer this. Also, I have a 14 year old daughter that I don’t want exposed to it.
The only problem I’ve had with him is that I want him to be fully present when he is with me. I don’t want to question if it is him acting normally, or if its him high.

  • Reply to Celeste
  • Quote Celeste

Re: Thanks for the reply

Theres nothing to Criticize. I read your comments as fealing rather helpless and criticizing you won’t help either you, your boyfriend nor the legalization movement. We all need to quit pretending cannabis is harmless or the devils lettuce. It’s neither. It’s not a cure-all nor is it a sure path to hell.

If he was using cocaine to numb jaw pain then thats legit. It does numb. Now the question would be how often and for what purposes did he snort it? Often times people with ADD/ADHD, amoungst others, self-medicate. The problem isn’t so much the medication, but rather the dose. I’ve known several people who occasionaly used recreational cocaine with out any problems. Unfortuanately I wasn’t one of them.

The first step to you not noticing when he’s medicated is getting the dose set. Its alot like any other medicine in that respect. What dose is theraputic? With most medicines that dose is known. A doctor can tell you straight out

how much Xanax is needed to reduce anxiety. Cannabis self-medicators and even patients are left to the sharks. Thats why I say he should start with a single puff and wait. He can always smoke (or vape) more if needed.

Your daughter is more likely to be exposed to illegal drugs by friends and aquatances then from your boyfriend. My advise here is to have an honest talk with your daughter. The information presented should be as up to date and informed as possible.

* recreational cannabis is no differant then recreational drinking. The dose makes the poison. A beer after work is different then a sixpack for breakfast. Cannabis is no different. Moderation is the key.

* No drug is appropriate for youth unless there is a medical need. Neither cannabis no any other drug is harmless. Some drugs cause more harm then others but none, including asperin, are harmless. The juvenile brain is still developing, intoxication can negativly effect that development.

* Even when a drug is used as a medication its not harmless.

* The best place to experiment is at home, where a clear limit can be set.

* If your not 100% sure there are no adulterants in it, it should be considered unsafe and should not be consumed.

* Some people need cannabis or opiates as medicine. Nevee judge a person that uses a substance unless you’ve waalked in his/her shoes and really understand their circumstances.

Your boyfriend needs to find his dose. That will likely mean underdosing at first. Try having him take a single puff off a vaporizer when he’s in pain and then waiting 15 minutes. Then talk to him. Try and determine then what his pain level is and weather he seems present. If his pain level is still high then he can follow with a second puff. Then repeat.

That will, eventually, reach the point that both of you are more comfortable.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

Reply

When he was addicted to cocaine in his twenties I assumed he was using it because everyone else around him was using it. The strippers were snorting coke the bartender was snorting coke the bouncers at the club were snorting coke. almost everyone there was doing it. He loved the money he was making while he was working there but after he got clean he couldn’t go back to it because it was not an environment conducive to a a person in recovery.

  • Reply to Celeste
  • Quote Celeste

While peer pressure would

While peer pressure would certainly explain use, addiction is a lot more complicated. As I’ve said, I know nummerous people that used Coke recreationaly without developing any problems from it. Its alot like the guy that plays poker once a month and blows 20-50 bucks from his check vs. the guy that plays daily and goes into debt.

since it was 30 years ago it’ll be hard to say what other social aspects came into play (poverty, depression, etc).

My personal coke use was 20 years ago. Fact is Coke replaced something for me. Today, not infrequently, cannabis replaces coke. It reduces the urges that flare up with depression (nothing temporarly kills depression like coke).

Drugs addiction, much like gambling addiction or sex addiction, is a symptom. The reason for so many relapses is that we treat the symptom and ignore problem.

It was no differant with me. Pot, coke and LSD were replaced with Lithium and Zoloft which consequently made me want to kill and die. After several unsuccessful (and very dangerous) attempts with antidepressants, I went back to pot. It took a while to find my dosage, but at least I never wanted to drive from a freeway bridge or “practice” shooting in a high school on pot.

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

Another thing.

I wanted to mention something else in my previous post.

In his 20’s, my boyfriend became addicted to cocaine. It almost killed him. It probably would have, if not for an intervention by his family.
I am concerned that he will become addicted, but don’t know if my concerns are valid.
Using anything to escape from reality and avoid your problems doesn’t fix the problem.
The problem is still there.
I want my boyfriend to be present when we are together.

  • Reply to Celeste
  • Quote Celeste

Re: anouther thing

Hi Celeste, it not entirely impossible that he’ll become addicted to cannabis. The possibility is there. Information is piling that cannabis may be an exit drug, that doesn’t mean though that it completely non-addictive. Was the cocaine replaced with anything? Does he still get cocaine urges? As a “former” Coke addict myself, I can tell you cannabis does a great job at reducing those urges. If ADHD is the problem then cocaine is a common self-medication. As far a cannabis goes my advice is watch the strains used. Jack herer and all-47 are two I can suggest. The dosage should be as low as possible and as infrequent as possible. Www.leafly.com can deliver more effective strains. Just use the search function

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

Rose Weel is my name, I live

Rose Weel is my name, I live in USA. I want to say to the whole world how my husband was cured of his Alzheimer’s disease. Brothers and Sisters, my husband is 78 years old. He is a retired US Army. He fought so many wars, and had encounter with so many dangerous diseases. Before he embarked on his last peace mission to Iraq they were administered injections that will enable them carry out their duties effectively. So they went to the battle field where he lost so many of his colleagues and also he was shot on his throat but bullets don’t have much effect on him. So after the battle he survived it and returned back to USA off course he was rewarded heavily by the government, and that lead to his retirement. But after his retirement, he began to behave funny like forgetting all he did in the past, and sometimes don’t recognize me his wife quickly. I took him to Military hospital, and the doctor said some king of liquid in his body is causing him so many reactions, and this is affecting his brain to cut the long story short, after much diagnoses using EEG, and also the test of PROTEIN 14-3-3 all pointing out to the fact that his brain has malfunction. So he was giving medicines but his condition was still becoming worse even while taking the medicines administered. So we went back to the military hospital, and he was finally diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease and this the doctor said have no cure. So his conditions began to get worst by the day. I cried out for help, but the government only gave us financial support. I all the time surf the web looking for possible cure until I ran into a blog where a man named James Watt gave testimony on how his cousin was cured of CJD by an herbal doctor called Doctor Uwadia Amenifo. In his testimony he imputed the contact detail of the herbalist. So I quickly copied out the contact details of Uwadia, and I contacted him immediately and explained to him what my husband is going through. He encouraged me and promised me that surly he will cure my husband, so after all necessary arrangement was made; he prepared the herbal medicine, and shipped it to me in USA, so I followed his instructions, and gave the medicine to my husband. Behold just like a magic in my eyes my husband was responding positively to the medicine and in just less than 3 weeks I started giving him the medicine, he was very okay, and in less than 7 weeks my husband was totally curd, and as I speak to you now my husband is totally cured, and he is now very okay, and in good health. So please all here shall help me say a big thanks to Doctor Uwadia Amenifo for helping me cure my husband of his Alzheimer’s disease. Please if you need Doctor Uwadia’s contact details, here is it. Email ([email protected]) and his number is (+2349052015874). His website is http://druwadiaherbalhome.simplesite.com/ God bless all.

  • Reply to Rose Weel
  • Quote Rose Weel

No one here needs your

No one here needs your advertisement that’s likely a scam and even if it’s not it’s almost certainly illegal.

The only thing cannabis may cure is certain types of cancer and that has not yet been tested on humans. While cannabis may treat numerous diseases, it’s only a treatment not a cure!

  • Reply to Jeremy Schoenhaar
  • Quote Jeremy Schoenhaar

Yes, cannabis is as much of a

Yes, cannabis is as much of a band – aid as other treatments for psychiatric conditions. You’re not saying anything new here, and while it may kill cancer cells, that too is un-researched territory. All drugs are treatments, not cures. Ritalin for Adhd, seroquel and anti-depressants for BP disorder, opiates for chronic pain. marijuana for all of the above..literally no different. There is no mental illness with a current cure. Get past the idiot government and realize, it is no different then any other treatment. Its effectiveness and low toxicity should not continue to be ignored.

  • Reply to jls
  • Quote jls

Really what is this?

I doubt you practice if you think addiction, and dependence are the same thing. If you do?, well I’m Just seeing if I can actually post a comment here.
As someone with adhd with marijuana as a miracle treatment, I don’t have time to waste on shit like this..
“I’m way too ADHD right now and stoned off the reefer, and I have to take my grandmothers hearing aid before she gets addicted to it. Seriously, I would rather your “article” be propaganda, than to think about all these suffering people possibly in your care. Your in a position of trust dude.. doubtful tho

  • Reply to ADHD
  • Quote ADHD

Inappropriate article for this journal

This article reeks. . a rebuke of the patient, for his/her choice of treatment when conventional treatment is ineffective, is not only unprofessional it is closed minded. U should not be teaching other people.

  • Reply to Disappointed
  • Quote Disappointed

It can be a matter of degrees

More and more states are legalizing marijuana, fortunately, mine included. Marijuana, just like anything, can be overdone. I use it approximately every two weeks to take the edge off my anxiety and depression. I use the sativa variety because it doesn’t keep me from getting things done. In fact, just the opposite, it takes away those overwhelming, helpless feelings so I can just get going. I never drive after I’ve used. I also take just enough. That might be the key, in my opinion. Possibly some take more than is really necessary, and this negatively affects relationships and other aspects of life. Anything can be overdone, but I think there are many varied benefits to marijuana when it is used wisely.

  • Reply to Morwalk
  • Quote Morwalk

Millions of people are

Millions of people are diagnosed with ADHD in the United States every year. While many conventional therapies are available, patients and cannabis specialists are shifting towards medical cannabis treatment alternatives. Although, medical cannabis is not the magic bullet for treatment of ADD or ADHD, but it can definitely help ease its symptoms effectively.

A study published in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse 2014 analyzed cannabis use in around 2800 cannabis patients. The study showed that cannabis use may help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with ADHD. For more detailed explanation, consult 420 doctors of Online Medical Card and manage your medical condition more effectively.

  • Reply to James J harper
  • Quote James J harper

Cannabis users

I was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago, Im now 57 and though I’v always known something wasn’t quite right I had no idea I was ADHD. I research it a lot and realised that not only had both my parents been ADHD but so are both my kids and so is near as damn everybody I know, I saw my sons first then some relatives and friends I never saw everyone’s at once but over time and still now everywhere i turn ADHD the one that shocked me most was my daughter I always thought she was so together so on the ball definitely not ADHD then i saw it and yes she is. What would the results be if you took a group of cannabis smokers and tested them for ADHD Hmmmm ?

Does marijuana help with ADHD?

Mixing Marijuana with Other Drugs

Disclaimer: AspenRidge Recovery does NOT endorse the use of any mind-altering substances, including cannabis. We know that marijuana is an addictive substance that can cause significant problems in the lives of many individuals and families. If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana addiction, contact us directly at (855) 281-5588. Please understand the risks associated with mixing marijuana with other drugs. Read more below.

Mixing Marijuana with Other Drugs: What You Need to Know

Our advice to those who struggle with addiction is always to abstain from the use of habit-forming substances. However, because weed is readily available to residents of Colorado and other states, we believe it is our duty to provide relevant health considerations and educate you about marijuana drug interactions.

Considering there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the potential benefits of medical marijuana, it can be easy to assume that this drug is safer than others. However, there are many risks that come with marijuana use, particularly when used in combination with other prescription medications or with illicit substances. Mixing marijuana with other drugs, in fact, can be risky and even

Weed – Colorado Legalization & Nationwide Use

Without question, the United States has seen a profound shift in drug policy in the past decade. Colorado was the first to legalize marijuana in the U.S. with Amendment 64 passed in 2012. Since then, a number of other states have followed suit, making it legal and accessible for recreational and medicinal use. Nevertheless, pot is still illegal in most states. Users caught in possession of the drug can be ordered to pay hefty fines or spend time in jail. Still, millions of Americans are daily users and rely on this substance to get through the day.

As more studies are conducted with respect to pot use nationwide, the more is understood about risks involved in mixing marijuana with other drugs. There’s some indication that cannabis interacts negatively with other substances, such as alcohol, for example. We’re taking a closer look.

How does cannabis interact with other drugs?

Although most people would probably rank weed pretty low on the totem pole in terms of danger, combining it with other substances can have negative consequences. In this article, we will talk about what happens when mixing marijuana with other drugs, such as:

  • alcohol
  • prescription drugs
  • illegal substances.

But, first – let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about cannabis. We will be talking about naturally grown cannabis – NOT dabbing or synthetic marijuana.

We offer marijuana addiction programs for Colorado residents. Our compassionate staff offers supportive services for a variety of substance addiction and we provide a dual-diagnosis approach to the treatment of ongoing substance misuse, abuse, and addiction.

1. Can Marijuana Kill You?

The potency of the weed available for sale on both the black market and in legal dispensaries around the country is significantly higher than it was decades ago.

Unfortunately, the potency of marijuana can create issues for users. In fact, many described the sensation of feeling like they’re dying. A weed induced panic attack can sometimes cause a feeling of impending death.

When cannabis contains high levels of THC (the active ingredient in pot that gives you a buzz), it can cause a feeling of overwhelming anxiety, which can generate a feeling of extreme panic. In this frenzied state, many people will think, “Uh-oh. Can marijuana kill you?” The answer is no. While ingesting high levels of THC can cause a user to FEEL like they are going to die, the feeling quickly passes.

Still, there are both short and long term adverse side effects of marijuana use. It has been known to cause impaired judgment and motor skills, and there are increased risks of use when mixing marijuana with other drugs.

2. Is Marijuana a Depressant?

Many people who come to us for addiction treatment ask us, “Is weed a depressant?” The drug actually falls into three categories. Weed can be classified as a:

  • depressant
  • stimulant
  • hallucinogen.

This is because cannabis affects everybody in unique ways and various types of pot generates different kinds of effects. When some people get stoned, they feel relaxed and sleepy.

Some immediate side effects include and experienced:

  • loss of motor skills
  • poor coordination
  • lowered blood pressure
  • short-term memory loss.

In this way, cannabis is a depressant for many users. However, you might be surprised to learn that for many, weed is a stimulant. When most people think of stimulants, they think of cocaine or methamphetamines. These drugs make the user feel super “speedy.” Pot doesn’t deliver this type of extreme mental or physical stimulation. Nevertheless, it can cause someone to experience an increase in:

  • heart rate
  • raised blood pressure
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • amped energy
  • a jolt of motivation.

Finally, weed can be hallucinogenic. While a user won’t experience extreme hallucinations like they would if they took LSD or DMT, they can have auditory, visual, or sensory hallucinations. (For example, someone who is high on weed might think their cat is telepathically communicating with them). So, there you have it. Clear as mud, right? Whether weed is a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen depends on your own body chemistry and the type of cannabis you are using.

3. How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?

In order to understand why mixing marijuana with other drugs is not a good idea, it helps to first understand how cannabis affects your brain. Essentially, when you use cannabis in any form, the drug activates tiny little spots on the cells in your brain. These are called “cannabinoid receptors.” Those little receptors are there to receive endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that our system produces naturally to help our body and brain communicate with each other.

When someone uses weed, however, the drug generates “phytocannabinoids” (THC, CBD, and others) in their body that jump in and take the place of the naturally-produced cannabinoids. Some effects of the drug, like euphoria or decreased pain, can be attributed to the fact that these new cannabinoids alter the way the body and brain are communicating with each other.

Combining weed with other drugs, however, can alter this process, making things a bit more complicated. Marijuana drug interactions can cause phytocannabinoid production to increase at an unsafe rate, making it difficult for the user to function properly.

4. Can You Become Addicted to Weed?

Without a doubt, absolutely, no question about it – you CAN become addicted to marijuana. Most regular pot users will laugh at this assertion. They will say they can quit anytime, but they don’t want to. They will say they enjoy the way green makes them feel and that they have no intention of stopping. They will say weed is a natural substance that grows from the earth and that it completely harmless. Most people who use bud regularly refuse to even consider the possibility that they might be addicted. Here’s the thing. Heroin is also a natural substance that grows from the earth. Those who chase the dragon offer up the same explanations for their habit – they can quit anytime they want, they don’t want to quit, they like the way the drug makes them feel, etc. No one questions if heroin is addictive, yet users will insist they aren’t hooked! The same is true for regular cannabis users.

The Straight Scoop On Marijuana Drug Interactions

Now that we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about weed, let’s talk about mixing marijuana with other drugs.

Most pot users completely downplay the powerful effect this drug has on the brain and body. In recent years especially, we have been taught that weed is relatively safe – especially when compared to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, and other addictive drugs. Like any psychoactive drug, pot can interact with other psychoactive chemicals in a way that produces less than desirable results.

As weed becomes increasingly more accessible, it is helpful to know about marijuana drug interactions. That way, if you or someone you care about chooses to partake of this substance, you’ll be able to do so in the safest and most responsible manner possible.

Mixing Marijuana and Depressants

Many people mix marijuana with depressant drugs like alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines (like Xanax) because they like the way it makes them feel. This can be dangerous.

Here is a quick study in pharmacology. Depressants are drugs that inhibit the central nervous system (CNS) functioning and cause breathing and blood pressure to slow down. Many depressants also increase the production of the neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA carries messages between cells. Increased GABA activity reduces brain function. This leads to drowsiness, increased relaxation, and deep sleep.

Mixing marijuana with other drugs like depressants can cause the heart rate to decrease to a very low rate. It can also inhibit the user’s basic motor skills, making it difficult for them to think clearly, speak, or react appropriately to things around them. More importantly, mixing weed with depressants can be fatal or cause serious health complications. This may sound extreme, but many people who have gone to the emergency room because they have stopped breathing tested positive for marijuana and depressants. This is not a coincidence.

Mixing Marijuana and Alcohol

Let’s talk about mixing marijuana and alcohol for a minute. These are the two most commonly used drugs in America.

Getting “crossfaded” is very common among pot users. People say they like the buzz caused by the effects of booze and pot. The risks can be significant. For starters, the combination of weed and alcohol is known to increase the effects of each drug. Users who mix the two become drunk and stoned much quicker and with greater intensity. Exaggerated effects of THC can cause those terrifying weed-induced panic attacks, as well. It can also cause:

  • extreme paranoia
  • frightening hallucinations
  • disorienting short-term memory loss
  • complete disconnection from reality.

Exaggerated effects of alcohol can lead to blurred vision, complete loss of motor skills, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, and other unpleasant consequences. Put these two together – and it’s a recipe for disaster. If your goal is to get high and drunk at the same time by mixing alcohol and marijuana, just know going in that you might be in over your head.

Excessive drinking becomes problematic when done in combination with cannabis because weed prevents you from vomiting. While you might become nauseous, you may not be able to throw up. Usually, when someone drinks too much, they throw up, which helps flush all the alcohol out of the system. However; pot can prevent this from happening. As a result, drinking alcohol and using cannabis at the same time leads to an increased risk of alcohol poisoning – which almost guarantees a hospital visit. According to US News at least 2,200 people die every year from alcohol poisoning. Many of them were drunk AND stoned. Also, It should go without saying that no one should ever drive or operate heavy machinery while they are under the influence of green and alcohol. It is particularly important for those who use a combination of marijuana and alcohol to stay far away from the driver’s seat of a car.

Mixing Marijuana and Prescription Medicine

Millions of Americans are prescribed benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin for anxiety, insomnia, and other health conditions. By themselves, these anti-anxiety medications are dangerous. They are not only highly addictive, but they also deliver a powerful sedative effect many. If you combine benzos and weed, you are looking for trouble. Remember, we told you that Xanax and other benzos are depressants. You should never mix depressants and cannabis. They can significantly reduce heart rate and blood pressure and lead to coma or death. Another thing you should know about mixing marijuana and benzos is that you are likely to wake up in the morning (if you are lucky enough to make it home safe) with absolutely no recollection of how you got there.

Benzodiazepines are notorious for affecting memory and causing blackouts. Bud is also associated with short-term memory loss. When you mix these two substances, you are likely to walk around in a mental fog that will prevent your brain from creating new memories. This increases the likelihood that you will put yourself in dangerous situations that could result in you getting robbed, assaulted, or something much worse.

Mixing Marijuana And Suboxone

What about mixing marijuana with other drugs like suboxone? This synthetic compound, which can be found in many opioid replacement therapy drugs like Suboxone and Subutex, has a sedating effect much like marijuana. Buprenorphine is often prescribed to those who are dependent on opioid drugs like heroin, Oxycodone, or Fentanyl. It helps fight off cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is likely that someone who is prescribed the drug would not want to mix it with an addictive substance like cannabis in the first place. However, those who are considering using bud while on Suboxone, Subutex, or another drug containing buprenorphine should seriously consider the safety risks. The problems with mixing marijuana and buprenorphine stem from the fact that the opioid replacement drug has strong depressant effects. Upon taking a prescribed dose of drugs like Suboxone, the user’s central nervous system will begin to slow down. Because marijuana can also act as a depressant, using the two drugs in combination can lead to respiratory depression and death. Also, it is important to note that combining marijuana and Suboxone or other opioid replacement therapies can render buprenorphine ineffective. This means that cravings for opioids and withdrawal symptoms will eventually kick in, which can lead to a relapse.

Can You Mix Marijuana And Antidepressants?

Mixing marijuana with other drugs like antidepressants are, also, a no.

Most drugs don’t mix with antidepressants. Pot is no exception. Antidepressants are prescribed to treat psychiatric conditions like

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • PTSD
  • other mental disorders.

Many people use green while taking their antidepressants to self-medicate in an attempt to find relief from their mental health issues. This is not the solution. In fact, mixing marijuana and antidepressants can actually make things much worse. For example, cannabis causes many people to experience anxiety. Those who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder or other similar conditions can actually feel more anxiety when they use pot. Medications like Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety. Combining these antidepressants with marijuana can counteract the meds and enhance anxious thoughts and feelings. Some studies have shown that chronic cannabis use can lead to depression. This is ironic because many people think getting high makes their condition better. The problem is, the drug wears off and feelings of despair return. Then, the user uses more pot to feel better. It can become a vicious cycle. Wellbutrin, Celexa, and Paxil are often prescribed for the treatment of depression.

Mixing weed and these antidepressants prevent the medications from working properly. Some Doctors Won’t Prescribe Antidepressants to Marijuana Users It is important to mention that taking antidepressants and weed together makes it almost impossible for your doctor to help you get better. When you are under the care of a psychiatrist, they monitor your progress and determine if the medication you have been prescribed is working. If you are using marijuana and antidepressants at the same time, there is no way to figure out which substance is causing what specific effect. Medication adjustments and changes are basically out of the question because they are completely counterproductive. Many doctors won’t even treat you if you are mixing these two substances.

Different Types of Antidepressants and Marijuana Drug Interactions

There are three different types of antidepressants that may interact with cannabis in negative ways – SSRIs, SNRIs, and MAOIs. Mixing different antidepressants with weed can produce varied side effects and problems. Let’s talk about these. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. Drugs like Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin and Paxil are examples. These help to treat depression other mental health conditions by increasing the amount of serotonin released in the body. Serotonin is a natural feel-good neurotransmitter. It promotes feelings of wellness and contentment.

Studies have shown that weed also helps release serotonin in the brain. For this reason, mixing marijuana and Prozac, combining weed and Wellbutrin, or doing pot with other antidepressants can have dire consequences. Specifically, too much serotonin can lead to Serotonin Syndrome. This occurs when the brain can’t handle the quantity of the chemical it’s been tasked to process. People who have Serotonin Syndrome will experience a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe. These include agitation, restlessness, mental confusion, rapid heartrate, high blood pressure, sweats, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, be warned: using marijuana and SSRIs can lead to life-threatening conditions like high fever, seizures, shock, irregular heartbeat, and unconsciousness. On another note, many people take the antidepressant Wellbutrin to help fight cravings for harmful substances. It is sometimes prescribed to people who are quitting smoking or in recovery from heroin addiction.

Mixing marijuana and Wellbutrin, like other SSRIs, is not a good idea for the reasons we have explained. Effexor is a Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). Other SNRIs include Cymbalta and Pristiq. These antidepressants work in very much the same way that SSRIs do. People who are prescribed SNRIs should not mix them with cannabis. THC and CBD (two of the major compounds in pot) and SNRIs can have an effect on the way serotonin is regulated in the brain. The combination of them can produce unpredictable results. Those who are prescribed to an SNRI and throw cannabis into the mix might find themselves feeling extremely disoriented. They are also subject to developing Serotonin Syndrome. MAOIs: Although Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) like Nardil are not prescribed very much these days (most patients who would have been prescribed them receive SSRIs or SNRIs instead), those who do take these drugs shouldn’t smoke pot. MAOIs interact with marijuana in a way that heightens the sedative qualities of cannabis to an unsafe level.

Be Aware of Cannabis Drug Interactions and Stay Safe

Truth be told, we think it’s a good idea to stay away from weed altogether. The stuff is addictive and it can cause some significant health problems. If you want to be healthy and avoid many of the problems that can come from getting high, your best bet is to find other pleasurable activities to engage in. But, as we have said – you are going to use the stuff until you are ready to quit. We respect that. Nevertheless, as cannabis becomes more commonly used in Colorado and elsewhere, we can all benefit from increased awareness of marijuana drug interactions. The effects of weed do not pose the kind of immediate health threats that other drugs do. However, when combined with incompatible substances, pot can be quite dangerous. Those who do choose to use weed should carefully take inventory of what else they put into their bodies. If you’re going to get high, please be safe. Think twice about mixing marijuana with alcohol and other drugs.

Mixing marijuana with other drugs carries serious health effects. Learn more about how cannabis interacts with other drugs here.