January 17, 2020 5 min read

CBD oil has been praised for a wide variety of health benefits, like its impact on pain and inflammation, some refractory symptoms linked to chronic illnesses, anxiety and depression, sleep, and more. One new angle that researchers are taking is CBD as a treatment for ADHD.

Although research is limited at the time, ongoing studies hope to uncover even more about using CBD for patients who suffer from both ADHD and ADD. There are some existing studies that suggest CBD may effectively treat symptoms of ADHD, and plenty of people who have tried it for themselves have reported great results.

One advocate of CBD for ADHD said he was skeptical of all cannabis-based products due to the “anti-marijuana hysteria” in the ’80s. Aftertrying CBD gummies for the first time, he was astonished at the immediate impact they had on his anxiety and ADHD. He reported that a well-known medication, Adderall, produced terrible side effects, but CBD had no cognitive detriment at all. This instance isn’t isolated, either, and some research even lines up to show how CBD may be useful for ADHD.

Why Are People Using CBD for ADHD?

If you dig, you'll find quite a lot of people that have tried CBD for managing symptoms of ADHD. Though reports are mixed, many people report favorably on the effects. People also have a myriad of reasons that they chose to try CBD or prefer it to other prescription options. One reason that people are particularly interested in CBD as an alternative for common prescriptions is because of itslow-risk profile. CBD generally carries a smaller potential risk of side effects, and many of the side effects that have been linked to the cannabinoid are mild.

Further, CBD is accessible for most people and produces no psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD products sourced from industrial hemp contain less than 0.3% THC and are legal in all 50 states, according to the2018 Farm Bill. Due to its legal status, availability, and ease of use, many people are turning to cannabidiol to help manage symptoms of ADHD.

CBD for ADHD Studies

Using CBD for ADHD is still a considerably new concept, though the use of therapeutic use of cannabis has been thought to have mental-boosting effects for centuries. It’s important to note that there are no large, controlled clinical trials evaluating the effects of CBD on patients with ADHD. Most of the evidence we have in favor of cannabinoid treatment comes from anecdotal evidence. While existing cannabinoid research is limited, a few studies do take a look at the effects of cannabinoids on patients with ADHD in smaller or isolated situations.

Onestudy from 2008 shows a positive impact on one adult with ADHD, whose condition was noted in court as a possible cause of recurring traffic violations. Cannabinoid treatment (this study focused on THC) was said to improve the symptoms and result in better driving behaviors.

Anotherstudy shows that cannabidiol reduced hyperactive behaviors and social activity deficits. The study, which was done on mice, shows that cannabidiol may improve social investigative behaviors, which can be a struggle for people with ADHD, especially children.

Further research looks at theeffects of Sativex, a cannabinoid-based medicine (with a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio), on patients with ADHD. The study compared the medicine-based approach to a placebo group, and found that adults with ADHD may “experience a reduction of symptoms and no cognitive impairments following cannabinoid use.”

Risks of CBD vs ADHD Medications

As noted earlier, many people prefer CBD or are willing to try cannabinoid-based supplements based on their risk profile. There are quite a few prescription medications that May be prescribed for managing symptoms of ADHD, but many of them have a list of potential side effects. As many people have experienced first hand, these medications can make you feel like your mind is racing, diminish your appetite, and result in a sudden crash when they wear off. As you saw earlier, many people experience adverse effects when using these medications, like Adderall.

According to WebMD, theside effects of Adderall can range from mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting, weight loss, or diarrhea to severe reactions like uncontrolled movements, continuous chewing movements or teeth grinding, blood flow problems, mood changes (agitation, aggression, depression, thoughts of suicide), change in libido, and more. Some of these medications prescribed for ADHD have been linked toSerotonin toxicity and other side effects that may result in a need for more medication.

Compared to the risk profile of many of these prescription medications, the potential risks of CBD are low. More evidence is needed to understand the full safety profile of cannabidiol, but one study confirms it's safety profile, listing the most common reactions as tiredness, diarrhea, weight changes, and appetite changes. Some people experience headaches, nausea, and other mild or temporary effects, though adverse reactions are usually caused by improper dosing. Often, people use CBD for ADHD with no adverse reaction at all.

Is CBD Safe for Kids?

ADHD is often diagnosed during childhood, as it’s disruptive symptoms are often most challenging during primary years and adolescence. With knowledge of cannabidiol’s safety profile, the most obvious question is “Is CBD safe for pediatric ADHD?” This question cannot be answered in entirety due to lack of research, but researchers all over the world have shown interest in CBD for pediatric use.

The World Health Organization recently released areport that states that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Further, researchers in Israel recently found compelling evidence thatCBD is useful for children with autism. Studies have also shown that cannabidiol was well tolerated when sued to managepediatric anxiety and insomnia. Some cannabinoid-based medicines arebacked by the FDA for the treatment of childhood seizures.

All in all, many children tolerate cannabinoid-based medicines well when needed. However, CBD for kids should be used only under the guidance of a doctor. CBD canreact with some medications, and low-quality CBD products or improper dosing can result in adverse reactions. Talk to your child’s pediatrician before using CBD for ADHD.

Should I Try CBD for ADHD?

If you are interested in using CBD for your ADHD, you are not alone. In fact, many people have tried CBD for one reason or another and loved it, noting its absence of the adverse effects often related to ADHD medication. However, cannabis-based supplements will affect everyone differently, and CBD can react with certain medications, so you should only use CBD for ADHD with your doctor's guidance. After talking to your doctor, you can buy CBD online to access a variety of high-quality CBD products that may help you manage your symptoms. If you’re still a little skeptical, or worried about any cognitive effects from CBD, you may also want to read “Will CBD Make Me Fail a Drug Test for Work?

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