Because it’s still illegal in most states, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the idea that cannabis can be used as a treatment for several mental and physical disorders. One of these hot topics includes its beneficial effects on people who are diagnosed with ADHD.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what experts have to say about the link between ADHD and cannabis. Although there isn’t a whole lot of clinical research to go off of, testimonies from people all over the world prove that there are therapeutic properties in cannabis that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders that’s diagnosed in children. It stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. People who have ADHD have a hard time sitting still and focusing.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 8.4% of children and 2.5 adults are diagnosed with ADHD. Symptoms can include:
- Short attention span
- Hard time focusing
- Zoning out frequently
- Poor organization skills
- Forgetting to do daily tasks
Treatment for ADHD may involve some sort of behavioral therapy that can help you create a plan to stay more grounded and organized.
There are also medications that you can take to offset some of the effects of having ADHD. These include stimulants that are typically used in severe cases. Also, some non-stimulants can be taken if you feel like stimulants aren’t that effective.
Cannabis As A Form Of Treatment
While the medicine that’s used to control ADHD is highly effective, it’s been known to have unpleasant side effects. As an alternative, many people have turned to the natural, healing properties of marijuana. Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug in the U.S. Yet and still, there’s a lot of question marks as to whether or not it can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
What Research Says
There just hasn’t been enough medical research to confirm if cannabis helps or not. Most of what we have to go on is word of mouth from people who have tried it themselves, and a few studies here and there.
One study shows that out of 268 separate forums, 25% of those individual threads claimed that cannabis was therapeutic in helping with ADHD. 8% said it made symptoms worse, and 5% claimed it was both helpful and harmful.
Some studies suggest that children may experience more side effects using cannabis than adults. A trial was conducted in 2017 to analyze the effects of marijuana on people who have ADHD. The results weren’t too significant, but they did conclude that children are affected more than adults.
Additionally, it’s believed that children who use cannabis are more at risk of developing dependency problems. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, children who start smoking marijuana before the age of 18 are up to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder.
What Does This Mean?
All in all, more clinical studies are needed to accurately determine if cannabis can be used to treat ADHD. After doing some research, it seems as though the effects are different for everybody.
If you or a loved one has ADHD, talk to your doctor about how they think cannabis can help. There are ADHD treatment clinics that’ll help you decide if cannabis is the right choice. You can even get a medical card if you’re interested in self-medicating.
Before you try it, be sure that you understand any long term effects or risks that may come from using cannabis.