Many adults use marijuana to cope with ADHD, but there are some risks.
One of the most popular reasons people use marijuana is to relax and calm their thoughts. Many people choose to take advantage of this to help with disorders advocated with an overactive mind, such as ADHD.
There aren’t many studies into using cannabis for ADHD, but many people believe that cannabis is effective for treating their symptoms. Some doctors supports marijuana use as an alternative for ADHD there are some risks including developmental abnormalities and risks for substance abuse disorders.
What Is ADHD?
Attention defecit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that effects focus, attention and behavior. ADHD is often diagnosed in children. When ADHD continues into adulthood, it can impair the ability to work and maintain relationships.
There are many ADHD symptoms, they all fell into three major categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsitivity. The most common treatment for ADHD are stimulant medications, such as Adderal, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse.
Stimulants work well for many people with ADHD, but not everyone. These medications may cause side-effects such as decreased appetite, sleep problems, and anxiety.
Can Marijuana Help ADHD?
Many people believe cannabis helps with their ADHD. Currently there is little evidence supporting the idea that cannabis can help treat ADHD.
A 2013 study shows that some adults use marijuana to manage symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity. A 2017 study found that Sativey ( an extract containing THC and CBD) helps improve hyperactivity and impulsivity in adults with ADHD without any impairment to cognition.
A German study published in 2p15 shows the effects of cannabis on 30 patients who didn’t respond to Adderal or Ritalin. After treatment, the majority experienced “improved concentration and and sleep and reduced impulsivity.”
A psychiatrist name Dr Eva Mils said that standard medications were “more demanding” on patients, where cannabis brought them “control that helped them in life, love and work, without feeling intoxicated.”
How does Cannabis Help ADHD?
Scientists don’t know exactly how marijuana can help with ADHD, but they do have some ideas. One theory is that people with ADHD suffer from Endocannabinoids deficiency. This makes them have low level of natural cannabinoids. They may more likely to benefit from unsung cannabis, since cannabis mimics cannabinoids.
Experts believe people with ADHD are drawn to cannabis because of the ability to help relieve their natural Endocannabinoid efficiency. Dr David Bearman is a physician in California and an expert in medical marijuana. Dr Bearman says, “If a person who is deficient increases their cannabinoids, you’re more likely to slow down the neurotransmitters and your brain will have more time to concentrate and focus.”
Dr Bearman continues and said , I had patient who credited graduating using cannabis. Also I had a PHD candidate who credited cannabis with being able to get his PHD.”
Marijuana vs Stimulants.
ADHD patients are normally prescribed a stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall. Both Dr Mila and Dr Bearman says often patients combine cannabis and stimulants.
According to Dr Bearman, cannabis not just treats ADHD, but also treats side effects of stumulanyltbmedications. For an example, stimulant stimulant drugs can cause nervousness, loss of appetite and sleep problems, where cannabis can treat the issues.
Dr Bearman says, his first choice could be to treat a patient with just cannabis. One if the important criteria in of acting medicine is to balance the side effects versus the therapeutic effects. The therapeutic effects of cannabis are THE same or better than the conventional drugs and the side effects are much less.”
Dr no la agrees about many patients preferring cannabis treatment. She continues an and says “ADHD patients don’t seem to use any medication without being low on price. Cannabis seems to be the cheapest.”
Risks for Using Marijuana for ADHD
Eventhough There’s still some debate, marijuana use down not make ADHD symptoms worse, but cannabis may still be negatively affected in other ways.
Substance Abuse Disorder
People with ADHD are more likely to develop substance abuse disorders and addictions. A 2016 study estimates that 34-46% of adults seeking treatment for cannabis use also have ADHD.
A 2014 study followed people ages 18-22 and found that those people with ADHD are more likely to depend on cannabis, alcohol and nicotine than their peers without ADHD.
Heavy cannabis use can be risky for teens who’s brains are still developing. The studies aren’t yet conclusive, but heavy cannabis use in teenagers appears to alter brain development and cognition.
A 2017 study found that people who were diagnosed with ADHD who used cannabis have a thinner cortex areas that control memory, inhibition and movement. Patients with more severe ADHD, and patients using cannabis early in life, had the thinnest cortex in the areas.
Correlation vs Causation
Most studies on cannabis and ADHD are correlational in nature. This means it is hard to determine I’m the true cause of the outcomes. For example, scientists aren’t sure whether people with severe ADHD are more likely to use cannabis, or If using cannabis causes more severe ADHD. Only future studies will be able to confirm the nature of relationships.