Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Treatments vary, but some people use marijuana to help relieve symptoms.
Research about the consequences and effectiveness of using marijuana to treat children, teens, and young adults has received mixed responses and usually concludes with the standard disclaimer about not rushing to judgement on the positive results the studies have just offered. ADHD is a mental health condition affecting around 6-9 percent of children and young adults, and about 5 percent of all adults around the world. Scientists think that the condition may stem from a lack of dopamine in the pre-frontal cortex region of the brain.Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain.Dopamine affects the thought processes, such as memory and attention.
Treatments for ADHD usually involve stimulant medications, such as Ritalin or Adderall that are prescribed by doctors. These medications help correct the dopamine levels, but they may have unpleasant side effects. To avoid these adverse effects, even skeptical parents are turning to Cannabis as a treatment option. In theory, this is viable, as it has the same effect on dopamine levels as prescription medications. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the United States. Opponents call it a “Gateway drug,” and say that it is more dangerous than some believe.
However In more recent years, Cannabis has made news as an alternative treatment for a variety of health conditions, including pain and mental health problems.
In a study of 268 separate online discussion threads, 25 percent of people said they believed that marijuana was useful. The researchers point out that research proving a connection between marijuana and positive therapeutic outcomes is limited.
Other limited studies have suggested that marijuana would improve cognitive ability and impulse control, so it may be useful for ADHD. Other research shows that marijuana use had no effect on cognitive abilities, or possibly made them worse, particularly if an individual started using it at a younger age. Supporters point out that marijuana has similar effects to conventional medication in restoring balance to dopamine levels in the brain.
On this basis, they suggest that because people with ADHD do not experience any adverse effects, marijuana is better for treating ADHD than traditional medications with known side effects.