Is Cannabis Therapeutic for ADHD?

Therapeutic cannabis for ADHD symptoms

Symptoms of ADHD can be treated with a range of medication, but sometimes, it's ineffective. But recently, cannabis is showing its capabilities in easing symptoms. Image Credit: By ABO PHOTOGRAPHY on Shutterstock

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is most commonly found in children. But there are a significant amount of other things to take into consideration with ADHD. According to statistics, race and demographics can attribute to the condition. In fact, it’s said if a persons mother tongue is English, they are four times more likely to develop ADHD than those that have English as a second language.

In America alone, it’s suggested that 6.4 million children have been diagnosed with the disorder. Although prevalent among children, four percent of American adults live with ADHD, too.

Many people who suffer from ADHD have difficulty focusing — often fidgeting, appearing restless, and speaking out at inappropriate times. As a result of this, children with ADHD find themselves having academic difficulties. Adults with ADHD also may find themselves having trouble while working due to lack of concentration.

Recently, questions have raised regarding cannabis as a therapeutic for conditions like ADHD. Many people are self-medicating with cannabis — with or without a doctors prescription — but where are the facts behind treating ADHD?

What Are the Treatments for ADHD?

There is no known cure for ADHD. However, about one-third of children with ADHD will outgrow it — usually during their teenage years. There are various types of medication for treating ADHD — such as Ritalin and Adderall — that are used to alter the levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain). While these medication work for some, others react badly. As a result, they look for alternative treatments.

One of these alternative medications is medical cannabis. When people use medical cannabis as a form of treating ADHD, it’s often self-medicated. Testimonies from cannabis users using it to treat ADHD are promising, and so are the studies.

Research is indicating that cannabis may be able to help treat many of the symptoms associated with ADHD. Clinical trials are showing that CBD — a cannabinoid of cannabis — is showing promising results. Those that are diagnosed with ADHD were given CBD throughout the course of the trial. The study revealed that hyperactivity and inattention were eased with the help of CBD.

However, there are skeptics that believe that CBD could actually exacerbate ADHD symptoms with long-term use. There are also risk factors to take into consideration where treating ADHD with cannabis is concerned. Giving it to children, for example, may interfere with brain development at such an early age. Using cannabis before the age of 21 can seriously heighten your chances of cannabis dependency, and developing psychotic disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. As well as this, combining traditional ADHD medication with cannabis can cause side effects like a racing heart.

With more clinical trials than ever, we may be closer to having a more in-depth look into scientific studies. Research is continually backing up public claims of patients and caregivers. Situations like this are happening more and more for a variety of conditions. As of 2018 in fact, the first-ever cannabidiol FDA-approved drug for epilepsy had been approved — Epidiolex.

There could be a chance of CBD medication for ADHD going in the same direction. But until more research has been proven, it’s all hearsay for now.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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