Almost eleven percent of American children have ADHD. But it’s not just a childhood disorder. About four percent of American adults have ADHD as well. It is thought to be genetic, with some environmental factors playing a role as well. ADHD is more prevalent in children living in lower-income households, which suggests that the environment is indeed significant.
There is a long tradition of people with ADHD using CBD and other cannabis products to treat their condition. While it may seem counterintuitive to some, this is mainly because of the psychoactive properties associated with the THC in cannabis. The non-psychoactive CBD, however, has shown results in managing ADHD.
ADHD is typically treated from a number of angles. Medications, such as Ritalin, are used to increase attention. Behavioral therapy interventions are used to condition behaviors conducive to better relationships, learning opportunities, and discipline. And mindfulness is taught to help sufferers of ADHD learn to concentrate for extended periods of time.
Traditional treatment of ADHD is far from perfect. Ritalin can come with significant side effects, and behavioral interventions are hard to implement outside the therapist’s room. For this reason, researchers are still looking for alternatives, and CBD has come under the microscope.
Cannabis vs. CBD
Analysis of discussions on online forums and social media uncovered that teenagers and adults with ADHD often use cannabis to alleviate their symptoms. And, in fact, there is a correlation between ADHD and cannabis addiction. This indicates that sufferers of ADHD become dependent on cannabis as a superior solution to the traditional treatments they’ve been given. The problem lies in that the psychoactive effects of THC and the consequent high make constant cannabis use unsustainable.
CBD, however, does not have psychoactive effects. It has no severe side effects and is not addictive. Therefore, CBD may be the sustainable solution that people with ADHD have been looking for.
Research backs this up
While there is not a ton of research into CBD oil as a treatment for ADHD, the studies done thus far have been promising. Since CBD also has the effects of improving mood and decreasing anxiety, which are often present in sufferers of ADHD, it is likely to have positive results even if it does not affect the underlying disorder.
More research is necessary to determine whether CBD will become a mainstream treatment for ADHD. Controlled studies should be conducted in the near future, due to the medical field’s current interest in CBD, as well as increasing legality making such studies possible.
Conclusion: does it work?
There is some clinical evidence that CBD works as a treatment for ADHD. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that implies as much. Unfortunately, for years researchers did not have carte blanche to investigate that anecdotal evidence further. However, with legal issues out of the way, the necessary research can finally be undertaken. It’s likely they’ll find what users have been saying for years: you can use CBD to treat ADHD. At the very least, it will not harm you.