Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) doesn’t seem to cause any negative effects when taken alongside marijuana.
However, it is worth noting that lisdexamfetamine is a stimulant medication used for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that cannabis has a moderate interaction with other stimulant-based ADHD medications. The psychotropic effects of amphetamine-based medications may be enhanced by using cannabis while taking them.
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What Is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is the brand name for lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, a stimulant-based drug prescribed for ADHD symptoms in people five years and older.
Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate may also be prescribed for moderate-to-severe binge eating disorders in adults and is composed of the amino acid L-lysine attached to dextroamphetamine. Vyvanse is taken orally, usually in tablet form.
- Generic Name: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate
- Brand Name(s): Vyvanse
- Drug Availability: Prescription only
- Therapeutic Classification: Amphetamine
- Available Generically: No
- Controlled Substance: Yes; Schedule II
- Administration Route: Oral
- Active Ingredient: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate
- Dosage Form(s): Capsule, chewable tablet
How Vyvanse Works
Lisdexamfetamine is an inactive prodrug that works after being converted by the body into dextroamphetamine, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant.
Lisdexamfetamine is a TAAR1 agonist and a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 inhibitor that can enter monoamine neurons, allowing them to release and prevent the reuptake of monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, among others. This stimulating effect can help improve focus, cognition, and physical performance.
Put simply, Vyvanse works by promoting the release of “feel good” compounds while at the same time preventing them from being “soaked up” and broken down. This results in more “feel good” compounds circulating throughout the body.
Potential Health Benefits and Risks of Mixing Vyvanse and Cannabis
Common side effects of Vyvanse include:
Less common but more serious side effects include:
- Stimulant addiction
- Heart palpitations and increased heart rate and blood pressure, which may, in some cases, lead to cardiac arrest
Medical cannabis can help mitigate some of these side effects. Indeed, appropriate use of medical cannabis and careful utilization of cannabinoids and terpenes like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and limonene may help reduce the need for harsher, more addictive, and far more psychoactive stimulant-based medications used to manage ADHD.
However, it is important to note that even though cannabis use does not interfere with the metabolization of Vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine, the two are psychoactive drugs. Cannabis has both sedative and stimulating properties, depending on each cultivar’s (strain’s) chemical profile, and these can reduce or enhance lisdexamfetamine’s overall effects.
The Bottom Line
There is no known negative interaction between Vyvanse and cannabis.
However, as cannabis interacts with other similar stimulant medications and both substances have psychoactive properties, it is wise to dose them carefully if using them together. Speak to a medical marijuana doctor to get the best advice and help keep an eye on your condition.