I May Be Starting ADHD Meds: Will I Have To Give Up Toking?

I May Be Starting ADHD Meds: Will I Have To Give Up Toking?

Dear Jane, I think I have ADHD, but I am worried that if I start medication to treat the symptoms, I will also have to give up my daily toking habits? Does the cannabis somehow relate to my ADHD? I guess I’m trying to see if it’s worth the effort to get a prescription or just keep doing things the way I am? —Vicky Vaper



I just went through a very similar situation. Actually, I had no idea that my symptoms were, in fact, ADHD symptoms. I just thought this was how everyone’s brain worked. Until my 5-year-old’s teacher brought some of his struggles to our attention and until, after a lot of paperwork and several office visits, we learned that my son has ADHD.

It wasn’t until I was checking boxes on a list of symptoms and started thinking, these are boxes I can actually be checking for myself.

I didn’t want to talk to my doctor about it right away, because I knew the first thing she’d tell me to do is cut back on my cannabis intake. Insert eyeroll here. After a lot of consideration and racing thoughts (you know the ones), I decided it was best to move forward and seek the same help that I’m trying to get for my kiddo. We can go on this adventure together!

I was prescribed Ritalin to treat my ADHD symptoms. I told my psychiatrist that I regularly smoke cannabis, and they did, in fact, come back with awful news. That I have to stop. At least for the first 6–8 weeks of introducing a new medication and establishing dosages. This way we can monitor the effects of the medication without cannabis blurring the results.

Awful news, but not the worst news. My doctor didn’t imply that I have to permanently stop smoking weed to benefit from ADHD medication. But it makes sense: cannabis affects the brain, so it’s going to affect ADHD. Exactly how depends on the person—at least that’s what I’ve gathered so far.

Here’s what I’d recommend: scroll through some Reddit threads. There are loads of comments from ADHDers about their personal experiences that can be super relatable and give you a better sense for how your brain will respond to things like cannabis.

My hope is that I’ll find a balance with cannabis and my ADHD medication that works for me. And I hope the same for you and your toking habits.