Modafinil and Weed | What You MUST Know
Modafinil and weed.
Who in their right mind came up with such a combination? The two seem to be polar opposites when you first look at them.
Weed is usually associated with lazy stoners who sleep in, eat voraciously, and don’t do anything productive. Modafinil, on the other hand, is the ultimate nootropic for anybody who wants to feel like Edward Morra from the movie “Limitless” in real life.
But perhaps I’m being judgmental here…
It is indeed possible that weed and Modafinil together could be an undiscovered dual-threat for enhanced productivity and creativity. Potentially to improve sleep quality too?
Which is why I wanted to craft this guide. To detail all the reasons you should — or shouldn’t — take Modafinil and marijuana together.
P.S: I am not a doctor. Always obey the laws of your country, and always consult a medical professional before beginning any new smart drug regime. All information in this article is entertainment only. See the full disclaimer here.
What is Modafinil?
First, let’s get the obvious question out of the way: Why is Modafinil so popular and how exactly does it work?
Modafinil is a prescription drug that is classified as Schedule IV by the Federal Drug Administration. Physicians will often use Modafinil to treat the following conditions:
- Sleep apnea
- Shift worker sleep disorder
We presently don’t know its current mechanism of action after decades of study, which makes Modafinil an incredibly complex drug with much left to discover about its true nature.
But here’s what we know so far :
“It is thought to act primarily through noradrenaline (NE) and dopamine (DA) transporter inhibition. It also acts on serotonin, histamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate.”
It is believed that modafinil’s action on orexin also results in increases in the hypothalamic release of histamine and one of the actions of histamine is arousal and wakefulness.”
Modafinil gained its infamous reputation when people starting using the drug for off-label purposes. Namely for improving concentration, attention and focus.
Adderall is no longer the drug taken by the cool kids who want to study. Having spoken with numerous students, I can confirm that Modafinil is now the #1 focus drug for anybody in college or university.
In 2015, prestigious researchers at Harvard and Oxford deemed Modafinil “the world’s first safe smart drug” after extensively investigating its properties :
“Modafinil’s effect as a nootropic varied from task to task, but it worked particularly well in improving decision making and planning, and it consistently conferred more benefits during longer and more complex tasks…of the studies that factored in Modafinil’s impact on mood and other side effects, 70 percent didn’t show any consequences.”
So where exactly does weed come into the picture here?
Modafinil and Weed | The Basics
Before we talk about the possibility of combining weed and Modafinil together, we need to understand how weed works on the human mind. There is a very deep body of research about marijuana, so here are the most important things you must know.
In any given cannabis plant, there are hundreds of naturally occurring chemicals called “cannabinoids.” They bind to receptors on our cells and then exert their effect on the body.
The only two you should be concerned about for the time being are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
THC is psychoactive and is primarily responsible for making users “high” after ingesting it. It is also what makes stoners hungrier, and sometimes lead to fits of paranoia and anxiety.
CBD is not psychoactive and is best known for inducing a state of calmness and relaxation. It is commonly associated with a reduction of pain, anxiety, and any kind of physical or mental tension.
Simple enough? Good, because there are two types of cannabis strains you should know about :
“Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
Sativas are said to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
Hybrids are thought to fall somewhere in between, offering a balance of indica and sativa effects.”
In general, Sativas contain a higher concentration of THC than CBD, while Indicas contain a higher concentration of CBD than THC.
This explains why each strain has the effects described above.
By now, it should be obvious where Modafinil and weed can be potentially used in a constructive manner.
The name of the game is to define what your outcome is, pick the correct strain, and time its use appropriately.
For instance, a Sativa strain may add a boost of concentration or creativity to your dose of Modafinil. An Indica strain, on the other hand, would offset the wakefulness effects of Modafinil.
But you want to use the right dose. Too much CBD will cancel out Modafinil’s focus-boosting effects, and too much THC while using Modafinil will overstimulate your mind and make you unfocused.
The latter effect takes place because THC, like Modafinil, can increase the release of the feel-good hormone known as dopamine .
However, all of this is speculation. What does the science have to say about putting Modafinil and marijuana together?
What the Science Says About Modafinil and Weed?
Both drugs have been heavily studied by themselves for the past few decades.
There isn’t much we don’t already know about Modafinil and weed, which is why we generally have a clear picture of how they affect the body and mind.
But let’s just quickly recap the scientifically proven health benefits of each one…
~ Modafinil Benefits ~
Modafinil May Be Used To Treat Addiction
Modafinil has been examined in recent times for its potential use as a tool for recovery from drug addictions.
The research is still mixed to this day, but preliminary studies have been done to examine how Modafinil may help those who are hooked on cocaine, meth or other amphetamines.
The therapeutic outcome depends on the drug being examined :
- Reduced lethargy and sleepiness
- Helps users deal with withdrawal symptoms
- Lower cravings, which can help decrease the number of relapses
Whether Modafinil can be used to treat a possible addiction to marijuana has yet to be determined. Either Modafinil cancels out the brain fog associated with smoking weed, or the weed cancels out any extra drive that arises as a result of using Modafinil.
Modafinil Improves Your Mental Capacity To Work On Tasks
What I’m about to show you is one of the few studies done in healthy volunteers using a practical dose of Modafinil.
Sixty young adult males were instructed to take a placebo, 100 mg or 200 mg of Modafinil before performing a series of tasks related to attention span and memory.
Here was the main outcome of the study :
“Modafinil significantly enhanced performance on tests of digit span, visual pattern recognition memory, spatial planning and stop-signal reaction time.
These performance improvements were complemented by a slowing in latency on three tests: delayed matching to sample, a decision-making task and the spatial planning task.
Subjects reported feeling more alert, attentive and energetic on the drug.“
This is by far the most common observation of anybody who uses Modafinil…especially for the very first time!
Modafinil Reduces Fatigue And Tiredness
One of my favorite parts of using Modafinil is being able to work for hours on end without needing to recharge or take a break.
This not an “n=1” effect. Multiple studies consistently confirm Modafilnil’s ability to significantly reduce fatigue :
“Fatigue is notably reduced with modafinil supplementation, particularly during instances of sleep deprivation or hypersomnia.”
So if you have an impossible deadline to meet but you’re struggling to find the energy to meet it, look no further than good ol’ Modafinil.
~ Weed Benefits ~
Weed Can Relieve Chronic Pain
While some of the supposed medical benefits of weed are up for debate, one of the most reliable findings has been pain relief.
This was confirmed after The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine examined over 10,000 studies :
“In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.”
Whether you’re coping with a minor physical injury or a disease that inflicts a great amount of pain, weed can help soothe the pain and ease the recovery process.
Weed May Improve Creativity
It’s one thing to be laser-focused, but sometimes we need to relax and allow ideas to freely float around in our minds.
This is why weed is often used by musicians and artists who need an extra jolt of creativity.
One interesting study conducted in 2011 found that acute use of cannabis increased divergent thinking on both highly creative and uncreative individuals. Divergent thinking refers to the ability to generate multiple ideas about a topic in a short period of time.
Here’s a potential explanation for why this happened :
“…cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which in turn might lead to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking.
A drug-induced altered state of mind may indeed lead to breaking free from ordinary thinking and associations, thereby, increasing the likelihood of generating novel ideas or associations.”
Don’t take this as gospel. Weed may have no effect on creativity – or even a negative effect – depending on the individual who uses it.
Weed Shows Potential As A Treatment For Inflammation
While we don’t know if getting high will take care of chronic inflammation, we certainly know the cannabinoids within weed may be helpful :
“…several studies showed that cannabinoids downregulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs) as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses”
The authors of the quoted study suggested that the cannabinoids may be useful for treating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and many other kinds of inflammatory diseases.
Benefits of Weed and Modafinil…When Combined!
If you take a deep dive into the published medical literature, you will not find any studies examining the simultaneous use of Modafinil and weed.
This leaves us no choice but to take an educated guess as to how they would work when taken together.
We also need to see what has been experienced by other people who have experimented with Modafinil and marijuana.
Modafinil And Weed Can Lead To An Optimal Balance Between Productivity And Creativity
As awesome as Modafinil can be, sometimes your thinking can be a bit too rigid. Being laser-focused 24/7 means you can’t think unconventionally or look at solutions outside of the box.
But we don’t want to be so creative and open-minded to the point where we lose our sense of practicality. So how can we get the best of both worlds?
Take Modafinil in the very early morning and pound out as much technical work as you can. Once you’re done and you have a few hours available for freeform thinking, just a few hits of marijuana can be used to stoke the creative fire.
Combine Modafinil And Weed For Different Outcomes
I haven’t personally tried this myself, but some people have suggested that Modafinil and weed can be used at roughly the same time. I wouldn’t suggest using marijuana until you’ve taken advantage of the 3-4 hours of peak productivity gained when you use Modafinil.
A small amount of a Sativa strain can be used alongside Modafinil to enhance dopamine release and sharpen your work ethic.
Likewise, a few tokes of an Indica strain can help offset some of the minor side effects of Modafinil side such as anxiety and irritability.
If you want to really mellow at night, you can take far more of the Indica strain after a productive morning/afternoon using Modafinil. This will offset Modafinil’s long-lasting effects and lead you towards a peaceful sleep.
Modafinil And Weed Could Help With Parkinson’s
An experimental study done on marmosets inflicted with Parkinson’s disease involved the use of THC and modafinil separately to assess if they can be used as alternative treatments.
The finding was really interesting :
“Δ9-THC improved activity and hand-eye co-ordination, but induced compound-related side-effects.
Modafinil improved activity and observed parkinsonian symptoms but not hand-eye coordination.
It can be concluded that both compounds have therapeutic values and could supplement existing therapies for [Parkinson’s Disease].”
For what it’s worth, a separate study also demonstrated that 400 mg of Modafinil can be safely used alongside 15 mg of THC .
Something to think about!
The Biggest Benefit?
Now, we’ve discussed a plethora of benefits when combining Modafinil and weed. Yet we didn’t cover the biggest benefit when mixing these two substances.
One of the worst side effects of Modafinil is insomnia. Due to Modafinil’s long-half life, it can be difficult for many users to fall asleep at a normal hour after using Modafinil during the day.
By using the right type of marijuana after a long day on Modafinil, you’ll be able to fall asleep quicker and sleep far better.
Improved sleep quality is the biggest benefit when combining weed and Modafinil.
Take Modafinil in the morning, then consume marijuana 1-2 hours before bed.
Oh, and if you don’t have weed on hand to help you get to sleep on time, never fear. CBD oil can be quite effective in helping to eliminate Modafinil-induced insomnia.
Just be sure to take 50-100mg CBD oil 2-3 hours before you want to get to sleep.
So what negative outcomes could possibly arise when weed and Modafinil are taken together?
There is nothing we know for a fact, but here are some of the most common observations amongst the brave few who dared to try this unorthodox combination…
Dehydration / Dry Mouth
One of the most common side effects of Modafinil is dehydration, usually in the form of a dry mouth or dry eyes.
It turns out that marijuana also has the same side effect, and at the same frequency. Except we know precisely why it happens.
The cannabinoids in weed interact with the receptors in your submandibular gland, which is responsible for producing saliva. When this happens, less saliva is produced and you get a dry mouth.
You’ll definitely want to double your intake if you use Modafinil and marijuana at the same time while carrying a full water bottle with you at all times.
A meta-analysis of 267 studies involving 110,000 patients across 10 countries found that cannabis use was positively associated with anxiety — the more you smoke, the more likely you are to get anxious .
While Modafinil doesn’t always make you anxious, I have seen it occasionally happen in some people. But these individuals were already prone to anxiety before they ever took Modafinil.
When using weed and Modafinil together, it is critical for anxious people to avoid using any strain with high THC content. If anything, you may find that an Indica strain high in CBD can bring you down towards a level of focus you can sustain for several hours.
Unwanted Long-Lasting Effects
Modafinil and weed – on their own – can have effects that last for several hours. Modafinil has a half-life of about 12-15 hours, while weed can last for as much as a few days.
Please remember that the former is a stimulant and the latter is a depressant. Depending on your individual biochemistry, combining the two may be risky :
“The dangers of combining the two are that the stimulant can mask the effects of the depressant (most commonly alcohol).
This can lead to a false sense of sobriety and alertness, which could lead to increased and dangerous levels of [depressant] consumption, and/or a false sense of security and engaging in dangerous activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery.”
If you really want to keep yourself safe, you may want to take Modafinil and weed on separate days.
Is It Worth the Risk? | Verdict
Based on my research, Modafinil and weed can be one of those combinations which can either work really well, do nothing for you, or lead to unwanted outcomes.
It’s certainly a combination I would be eagerly recommending to other people.
You will need to experiment with numerous variables to find an ideal combination…
- The strain of marijuana you choose to smoke and when you will take it.
- The dose of Modafinil you will use, and when you will take it.
Four different factors that can change the final outcome, and a lot of tweaking to find what works best for your body.
But if it ends up being beneficial, more power to you.
Got any questions? Please feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you!
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