Kratom and Adderall: Interactions, Side Effects, and Everything Else You Need to Know

Mixing substances of any variety should be approached with the proper knowledge and background to enhance any potential benefits and limit negative side-effects. Kratom and Adderall are two different substances that are increasingly drawing attention for therapeutic uses. While potent and powerful on their own, combining the two can have a direct impact on the central nervous system (CNS) that is worth examining in more detail.

Kratom: What is it? 

Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia that has been used in traditional ways by people native to the area for many years. It is recently attracting more attention in other regions of the world for its wide-ranging benefits. The leaves of the Kratom tree, scientifically known as Mitragnya speciosa, are harvested and then dried to create a variety of products that are known available for personal use in regions where Kratom is legal. 

Kratom users can take advantage of the plant’s benefits caused by alkaloids present within the leaves of the plant. These alkaloids are compounds that interact with receptors found in the CNS. There are different Kratom strains and each has a different level of these alkaloids present within its leaves. These different strains are known to have slightly varying effects as well. The most abundant of these powerful compounds found within the leaves of Mitragnya speciosa is 7-hydroxymitragynine. Kratom leaf contains the highest concentration of alkaloids within the plant. 

Kratom and Adderall

The effects of Kratom include pain-relief and energy enhancement at higher doses. Therapeutic use can help ease chronic pain alongside withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction.This is of particular interest with the opiate pandemic affecting large portions of the US. Low doses of Kratom can have sedative effects that include a sense of calm and well-being. Choosing the right dosage of kratom will also make a difference. Both the dose and strain play a role in the overall effects of Kratom that a user will experience. It has also been used as an effective painkiller and treatment aid in opioid withdrawal.  

In the United States, Kratom is not regulated by the DEA which makes it legal and unregulated from a federal perspective. But there are state and local laws in place that Kratom users need to be aware of before attempting to purchase or possess the substance for personal or therapeutic use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has issued warnings regarding Kratom use in the US. 

Adderall: What is it? 

Adderall is a common prescription medication that is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD. Adderall is made by combining amphetamine and dextroamphetamine into a single dose that can be used by those in need of controlling symptoms of ADHD. Adderall can also be used to help treat narcolepsy, which is a sleeping disorder.

Adderall works in a similar manner to Kratom in that it interacts with receptors within the central nervous system. The drug works by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine. This is part of what makes the Adderall effective for those with attention disorders but also a cause for potential drug abuse, with effects and addiction similar to those experienced with methamphetamine users possible.   

It is classified as a stimulant, as are most amphetamines, and the use of Adderall can help increase the ability to stay focused and pay attention while improving organizational and attention skills – key factors towards therapeutic use in the treatment of those afflicted with ADHD. 

Adderall is typically prescribed by a doctor for daily use in the form of 1-3 doses, depending on user needs. A common prescription usually involves taking low doses of the drug until effectiveness is established. Higher doses might be needed for severe conditions but can lead to potential addiction and withdrawal symptoms if the use of Adderall is stopped after steady treatment. 

Adderall is a known illegal recreational drug in the United States with drug abuse issues arising from people without the conditions typically required for Adderall prescriptions using it for other desired effects. The drug is often ground down with users snorting the resulting powder for a quick reaction. Using Adderall recreationally is illegal, dangerous, and can lead to serious side-effects. High doses of the drug can also lead to chemical dependency. 

Is it Safe to Take Kratom and Adderall Together? 

It’s important to note that both Kratom and Adderall are two powerful substances that should be consumed with caution. While they both can have beneficial therapeutic uses, they each have inherent risks to use both on their own and in combination. Always consult a medical professional before using either substance for any treatment and know that the side-effects of each can be undesirable for some people. 

As mentioned earlier, both Kratom and Adderall work within the human body by directly affecting the CNS. This means that they can be used together to aid and benefit one another but caution should be taken when doing so. They are both stimulants which means that taking either on their own can lead to increased energy. Adderall is entirely a stimulant while Kratom can also have calming and sedative effects. 

The only recommended safe way to use Kratom and Adderall together is in very low doses. In this way, the two substances can have an effect that helps to increase the focus and cognitive abilities provided by each on their own. And because of Kratom’s ability to aid in withdrawal symptoms from opiates, it can also ease the common side-effect of a crash or come-down that can be associated with Adderall and other amphetamines. 

Higher doses of Kratom and Adderal combined with each other are not recommended as it can be very dangerous and potentially fatal. This is, in part, why the FDA recommends avoiding Kratom use outright even though the DEA has no current regulations on it in place. There are documented cases of Kratom overdoses (some fatal) and the vast majority of these involve other substances in the Kratom user’s system. 

Adderall is not always the deciding factor in these overdoses, but it should be taken as a strong word of caution that heavy use of Kratom and Adderall together can have fatal consequences. Toxicology results from some of the overdoses mentioned above are not entirely conclusive but 

Can Kratom Work as an Alternative to Adderall? 

While Kratom does provide similar energy enhancing and cognitive boosting benefits the effects of Adderall are more specifically targeted towards this use. For anyone afflicted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you should listen to your doctor’s advice in regards to treatment. 

Adderall can have very targeted benefits for those with this condition and while Kratom may provide some slightly similar benefits, it cannot be recommended as a safe and effective alternative. 

For specific treatments of established conditions, Adderall use has been documented and studied for some time now. There are very few, if any, studies regarding Kratom use as an effective treatment for ADHD, narcolepsy, and any other intended purpose. If you have been clinically diagnosed with any of the above and prescribed ADHD, it’s recommended to stick with what the doctor ordered rather than try to treat the conditions with Kratom. 

If you want a slight boost of energy or have a need for enhanced focus and cognition, Kratom use may indeed be able to help you out. But that still doesn’t mean that it is any sort of viable alternative to Adderall. Kratom poses some very intriguing possible benefits and therapeutic effects but it is still not recommended by mainstream medical communities. Adderall is safe for use under controlled circumstances and for intended purposes. 

If you have a history of drug abuse and don’t want to use Adderall to avoid addiction or any other unwanted side-effects, Kratom may be a possible alternative. Just remember that you should always get professional medical advice before attempting to treat any condition or altering any preexisting treatment. 

Side Effects of Kratom Use

In addition to the benefits of Kratom, there are also a handful of potential side effects that can arise upon consumption. You should always be aware of these and remember to start with small doses to limit the potential of any of these side-effects becoming severe. 

Common side effects of Kratom include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Tongue numbness
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Delusions
  • Breathing trouble
  • Brain swelling
  • Liver damage
  • Dependence
  • Death

While many of these symptoms only arise with very heavy use, they need to be understood because they pose inherent and obvious risks. Another side-effect that occurs in relation to dependency is withdrawal symptoms after heavy and/or steady use of Kratom. This can include loss of appetite, anxiety, insomnia, anger, muscle pain, and fever, among others. Even when using Kratom for its known benefits such as in treatment for opioid addiction, any of these side-effects are still possible. 

Side Effects of Adderall Use

Even though Adderall is more widely used and studied in common medical situations, doesn’t mean that it is without side-effects. It can be a habit-forming substance when abused and should only be taken as directed by a medical professional. Since Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine,  it has similar side-effects to each of these. 

Common side effects of Adderall include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Decreased libido
  • Addiction

An allergic reaction is also possible as a result of Adderall use and can appear in the form of itching or a rash and even trouble breathing. Another rare side-effect of Adderall use is a condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk of this condition can be increased or heightened due to interactions with other drugs and medications. 

If you experience any of the above side-effects when using Adderall, you should contact your doctor immediately to decrease the risk of any of them becoming severe. 

Kratom and Adderall – The Final Verdict

While there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence of Kratom and Adderall being used together to increase and enhance the effects of both substances, taking them together is not directly recommended. Both of them have plenty of side-effects on their own and these can be amplified when they are taken together. 

Self-medicating for serious conditions such as ADHD can be dangerous and potentially fatal. And while Kratom use is growing and the science and understanding of the plant continues to grow, there are no adequate studies to recommend it as a direct medical treatment as of yet. And while Adderall is commonly used, it has its own set of inherent dangers, including physical dependency. 

If you do choose to use Kratom and Adderall together, start with lower doses and if you experience any adverse side-effects, stop using both of them immediately.         

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