ADHD & Cannabis

As marijuana is becoming more and more popular as a medicine, scientists and doctors are supporting cannabis as a solid treatment for ADHD. One of the most popular effects of marijuana is relaxation and it can be used with great results to manage symptoms of ADHD. 

A person suffering from ADHD usually has trouble staying focused and is hyperactive – both of these symptoms are manageable with the medical use of cannabis. Doctors believe that marijuana can help decrease impulsivity in patients. Moreover, many people who use cannabis for ADHD without any doctor’s supervision found that this plant works great for them as a medicine as well. 

Studies on ADHD and Cannabis 

In 2013 the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse published a study which found that some people were able to manage impulsive and hyperactive behaviours with marijuana. Researchers believe that cannabis may be helpful in treating hyperactive forms of ADHD. Marijuana is becoming more popular every day and many people may be unknowingly treating themselves with the herb, calming their symptoms at the same time. Dr. David Bearman believes that if someone is using marijuana before the age of 15, he or she presumably suffers from ADHD or PTSD. 

By 2015, German researchers published a study that explains the effects of marijuana on 30 patients suffering from ADHD who didn’t respond to usual treatment. After the study, most patients experienced reduced impulsivity and improved concentration and sleep. Contrary to prescription drugs, cannabis may be helpful in getting more control over life, work, and family, as it helps to treat ADHD symptoms without feeling intoxicated. When a patient is using marijuana, he can slow down the speed of neurotransmitters, which gives the brain more time to focus and concentrate. 

In 2016 at King’s College London studies showed that cannabis treatment is perfect for reducing symptoms in patients suffering from ADHD. 30 adult people with ADHD were given Sativex, a cannabis-based spray, or a placebo over a 28-day period. The spray contains a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC and is made from extracts of the whole marijuana plant. Patients who received cannabis treatment showed improvements in symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Moreover, these people scored higher on tests for emotional stability and cognitive performance. Scientists say that patients suffering from ADHD are able to gain cognitive enhancement and a high reduction of ADHD symptoms from the medicinal use of cannabis. 

Many people believe that only CBD has medicinal potential and is usable in treating diseases, but both CBD and THC have been shown to help in treating ADHD symptoms in animal models. 

Researchers found that young people who suffer from ADHD are three times more likely to use cannabis in their lifetime. In fact, the use of cannabis is extremely popular in ADHD patients, and it’s a great way of self-medicating their unpleasant symptoms. However, we still don’t know exactly how marijuana works when it comes to treating ADHD symptoms. 

Marijuana, Sleep, and Attention 

Adult patients with ADHD should try the medical use of marijuana if they’re having problems related to attention and sleep. Research shows that cannabis use is higher among people who suffer from ADHD, which is why scientists believe that some patients may use cannabis to cope with some symptoms. The Psychiatry Research Journal published studies that suggest a difference between women and men who use cannabis. Women and Men may be self-medicating their symptoms of ADHD and decreased sleep quality differently, but researchers have yet to investigate cannabis as a clinical treatment for ADHD in order to make it clear how to use this plant for treating this disease. 

Stimulants vs. Cannabis 

Usually, an ADHD patient is getting Ritalin or Adderall, both of which are prescribed stimulant medications. However, patients tend to combine stimulants and marijuana. Cannabis is not only helpful when it comes to treating ADHD, but also it also comes without the side effects of these stimulants. Prescribed stimulant medications can cause sleep problems, nervousness, and loss of appetite, and we all know that cannabis helps to solve these problems. 

ADHD patients usually use marijuana because it gives them better focus. In fact, many of these people find cannabis helpful when it comes to paying attention and staying on task. This may seem weird for you, as cannabis is thought to interfere with attention and focus in regular users, but it depends on the dosage, strain and the amount of THC in cannabis. 

As mentioned before, ADHD patients usually use stimulant medications like Adderall or Ritalin, which help them stay less impulsive and more focused. These prescription drugs boost dopamine levels in the patient’s brain. And this is how cannabis works, too. This leads us to the conclusion that cannabis might work in a very similar way as drugs treating ADHD symptoms. A big plus is that cannabis is reported to have much fewer side effects in comparison with stimulants. Doctors say that people who suffer from dopamine abnormalities should use substances that increase dopamine, such as marijuana. 

However, more doctors are starting to treat their patients with cannabis alone in order to balance the side effects and increase the therapeutic tendencies. Marijuana can be the same or better than conventional stimulants, and the side effects are almost impossible to find. Moreover, many patients prefer cannabis treatment, as it seems to have the lowest cost for the patients when it comes to side effects. 

Marijuana and ADHD: Medical Uses  

Medical marijuana can be used to help treat many diseases and conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and even cancer. Given that, we should be able to freely consume the herb, but the medical use of this plant is not widely accepted, and some people do not support the idea. Unfortunately, many doctors are still hesitant when it comes to recommending marijuana due to a lack of strict studies. Moreover, ADHD affects more children than adults, which is why people are not sure whether or not they should give cannabis to younger patients. 

Many patients with ADHD find cannabis extremely helpful for managing their symptoms, such as being impulsive and having trouble focusing. Fortunately, year after year we can develop new studies and proof of marijuana’s potential use in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 


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