Comparison Summary: Kratom vs. Adderall
|Natural or Synthetic
|Anxiety, depression, opiate withdrawal, high blood pressure, and diarrhea
|ADHD and Narcolepsy
|2.5-10 grams per day
|5-60 mg per day
|Common Side Effects
|Constipation, loss of appetite, insomnia, and weight loss
|Dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia
|Level of Risk
|Risk of Addiction
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that affect children. However, it also affects many adults.
It’s estimated that around 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. It’s most commonly discovered in school-aged children when the symptoms lead to problems with academics and disruptions in the classroom. ADHD is more commonly seen in boys compared to girls.
Symptoms include the inability to focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Adderall is one of the most common drugs used to treat ADHD.
Nearly 50 million prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, were dispensed to help with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in 2011.
Adderall & ADHD
Adderall is a medication commonly prescribed to manage ADHD and quell depression. It helps increase dopamine levels while suppressing epinephrine.
Patients who have ADHD will experience poor concentration and controlling behavior that worsens with time. The symptoms of ADHD can become so severe that it affects one’s social life.
Adderall has been proven to effectively increase concentration and alertness, enhance one’s mood, boost cognitive functions, and decrease feelings of fatigue. It boosts energy, improves focus, and reduces restlessness and fidgeting.
It acts as a stimulant similar to caffeine — only much, much stronger.
It’s suggested that Adderall is likely to work better if combined with other forms of ADHD treatment methods. Such as organizational skills training and cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works by changing negative thoughts and behavior patterns.
Many college students use Adderall non-medically or illegally to stay up and study for long periods. Others may use it for its stimulating effects that can cause euphoria, energy, and weight loss.
Side Effects of Adderall
However, there are negative side effects of taking this medication. Such as:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Mood changes
- Trouble sleeping
Long-term use can result in kidney damage and insomnia. For users who use it illegally, it can cause intranasal damage if the users snort it and, of course, financial and personal relationship issues.
A few other points to keep in mind regarding Adderall is that the medication can worsen pre-existing heart conditions. Taking Adderall can significantly increase blood pressure and heart rate, which can cause severe issues for anyone who has pre-existing heart issues.
Adderall has also been known to worsen symptoms of certain mental disorders that cause psychosis, like bipolar disorder. A 2008 study revealed 40% of bipolar sufferers experienced stimulant-induced mania when taking Adderall.
Both of these are legitimate reasons only to take Adderall if it has been prescribed to you and you are under the care of a clinician.
Kratom & ADHD
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a natural herb native to Southeast Asia that has been used to manage a variety of different physical and mental issues.
Many people who have ADHD have turned to kratom for relief. The right strain of kratom can provide the same benefits as Adderall, like increased concentration and alertness, enhanced mood, improved cognitive function, and a decrease in feelings of exhaustion.
Kratom can also effectively boost energy levels, improve focus, and reduce restlessness and insomnia. It’s been compared to stimulants like caffeine.
Due to these similarities, it’s pretty clear why individuals who face the challenges of ADHD decided to try kratom as a natural alternative to managing their symptoms.
Students have also turned to kratom to help them with long hours of studying mentally draining subjects in the same way as Adderall.
However, kratom is not a federally controlled substance, so there aren’t any repercussions that need to be considered unless you live in a state or area in which it’s banned or otherwise controlled.
Many individuals also use kratom for its energizing, stimulating, and euphoric benefits recreationally, while some use it for other purposes.
Related: The Best Kratom Strains for ADHD.
Side Effects of Kratom
All substances that have an effect on the body bring the risk of side effects. Kratom is no different. While the side effects of kratom are much milder than they are for Adderall, they’re still worth watching out for.
Some negative side effects associated with kratom are:
- Aggressive behavior
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach pain
Long-term effects of kratom use include dependency, addiction, and liver or kidney damage.
Related: Is Kratom Bad for Your Heart?
Kratom vs. Adderall: Comparing the Dose
Kratom dosing recommendations are left up to the individual vendor because it’s an unregulated substance. While not illegal, the FDA doesn’t recommend its use.
Recommended doses depend on a range of factors, including the person’s height, weight, and any pre-existing conditions they suffer from.
We recommend starting small and building up to a level where you feel comfortable. This can start with as little as 2.5 grams twice per day to up to 10 grams per day.
Of course, it depends on the potency of the strain.
Adderall is typically delivered in divided doses throughout the day. Depending on the patient, this could be anywhere from 5-60mg per day.
Unlike kratom, Adderall is FDA approved; therefore, dosing recommendations are set by the body. However, it’s ultimately up to a person’s healthcare provider to decide on how much a patient requires.
Kratom vs. Adderall: Which Option is Safer?
Although both substances have the potential for dependency and addiction, the risks of addiction from Adderall are far greater.
Adderall has a tremendous effect on the brain by increasing the levels of dopamine, otherwise known as the “feel-good” hormone. As users build up tolerance, they increase their dosage to get the same effects every time.
Kratom is a natural substance and comes with a much lower risk of addiction. The stimulant effects are much less intense in nature.
However, users should still monitor their dosages with kratom and avoid taking it every day.
Like Adderall, people who become dependent on kratom can still experience withdrawal symptoms.
Generally, kratom is a much safer option.
Can Kratom & Adderall Be Mixed?
Some users report that the combination of taking kratom with their Adderall prescription helps them feel more confident. Many kratom users also report being able to counteract the anxiety that comes with long-term Adderall use.
Some believe it is the key to unlocking the benefits and much-needed relief that Adderall offers without some of the most common negative side effects.
Combined, Adderall will increase your productivity and help you focus, while kratom works to keep you calm, feeling positive, and motivated.
Many Adderall users have reported using kratom in larger doses to help them sleep when their medication has made it difficult to do so.
In conclusion, combining the two seems to make an individual feel more alert, sharp, productive, euphoric, and focused.
Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Adderall?
Besides the known side effects that kratom and Adderall have separately, taking them together can also result in some unwanted or uncomfortable side effects.
The two substances produce similar side effects, and there’s a chance you may experience some of the more common ones. However, it just depends on you.
If you are going to use them together, it should only be done very occasionally, and it is also a good idea to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before combining the two for your safety.
It’s hard to say that taking kratom with prescription stimulants like Adderall is safe and doesn’t pose a risk to your health; we simply just don’t know enough about the possible interactions between these two substances yet.
Final Thoughts: Kratom vs. Adderall — Which is Better?
Kratom and Adderall share many similarities when it comes to their benefits and effects on ADHD symptoms. They also have remarkably similar side effects.
This does not mean that kratom should be a replacement for your Adderall medication, and taking it together should be done with caution. It is recommended that you consult your doctor first before doing so.
The reason we do not feel kratom is a reasonable replacement for Adderall and treating ADHD is that kratom comes in tons of different strains and varieties.
For those who suffer from serious diagnosed medical conditions, Adderall should be taken following the directions of your doctor.
However, if you simply want to experience increased energy and focus, kratom is far less intense and comes with a much lower risk of dependency.