Treating ADHD with Cannabis: Know the Risks | cannabisMD

Treating ADHD with Cannabis: Know the Risks

How cannabis oil could treat ADHD

There are risks about using cannabis treatments you need to be aware of, especially when using it for serious conditions like ADHD & ADD.Image Credit: By tomertu on shutterstock

If you haven’t yet learned about cannabidiol, or CBD, it’s a natural remedy which is gaining popularity in the health and wellness realm. It’s a compound extracted from the cannabis and hemp plants, and is being investigated — and proven — as an effective treatment for various medical and health conditions.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may be one of those conditions. More and more ADHD patients have begun self-medicating with cannabis, even when doctors won’t or can’t prescribe it — and are reporting back positive results. Many who seek out cannabis remedies claim to prefer cannabis over traditional pharmaceutical ADHD medications to alleviate their symptoms. In treatment-resistant ADHD cases, the results are even more pronounced.

One study from 2015 suggests that using CBD as an effective treatment for adult ADHD symptoms may not just be anecdotal. This research reveals adult ADHD sufferers who use cannabis report better concentration and sleep, and reduced impulsivity.

But there are potential dangers: The use of cannabis by children may put them at risk for developing possible substance abuse problems later in life. Along with that, one study showed increased strain on the heart when cannabis was taken alongside a common ADHD prescription medication. There are also links to adolescent cannabis use and psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. As always, it’s important to educate yourself and know the risks when deciding to incorporate cannabis into an ADHD or any other treatment.

Treating ADHD With CBD

Despite the uncertainty and risks that can come with using cannabist, adult ADHD patients remain eager to experiment. For some, comparing the side effects of common ADHD medications — which can include headaches, stomach aches, insomnia and even stunted growth — with the side effects of CBD (which are comparably few) is motivation enough to try a new treatment.

One of the most popular draws of CBD oil is its calming effect. Clinical trials have shown that CBD can ease hyperactivity and possibly even inattention, which has positive implications for ADHD treatment. However, there are researchers who believe that CBD could exacerbate some symptoms and the long-term side effects of using CBD are still largely unknown.

Since existing research on the effects of CBD is still inconclusive, it’s not possible to recommend using CBD oil as a treatment for ADHD just yet. However, as more ADHD patients throughout the world try CBD and report positive outcomes, clinical research is sure to follow. We may have more definitive answers about ADHD and cannabis sooner than we think.

The content on cannabisMD is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Megan Solga
Megan Solga
Megan Solga is an international educator and mental health advocate with a background in medicinal cannabis research. She enjoys whiskey, bluegrass, and life in the mountains.

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