There are a wide range of mental and behavioral illnesses, affecting millions of people. Though they vary in severity and intensity, one is nearly certain to be the most common in childhood: ADHD.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a complex condition that has been misunderstood and overdiagnosed in recent years. Sufferers experience a variety of awful symptoms and impacts, leaving them unable to operate effectively or comfortably in society.
However, things aren’t looking so good. Researchers have proposed that CBD oil can help with ADHD in recent years. So, what does the science say about CBD and ADHD?
What Is ADHD?
To appreciate how CBD interacts with ADHD, we must first understand what it is. ADHD is a behavioral ailment that makes it difficult for people to focus. The majority of symptoms include chronic inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and an increase in impulsive behaviors.
An individual with ADHD is unable to pay attention or stay in the present moment. They are also unable to control their actions. These can range from brief movements and twitches to a requirement for immediate expression of their desire for physical activity in the most severe cases.
Schools are the most prominent location where this condition is expressed. A youngster with ADHD can’t pay attention in class or stay in his or her seat. It doesn’t, though, end there. They might be unable to correctly consume food, fall asleep, or recall information they’ve been told.
What Causes ADHD?
The cause of ADHD is still poorly understood neurologically. Scientists, on the other hand, agree that most cases of ADHD are caused by a deficiency of adequate dopamine production in the brain.
Unfortunately, many individuals believe that ADHD is a fictitious illness created to excuse poor conduct. This occurs because of the shortage of established classification criteria for ADHD in recent years, which has resulted in a high number of misdiagnoses.
This implies that many doctors and psychologists misdiagnosed people with ADHD when they were simply difficult to manage or were having difficulty in their personal lives.
What Are We Doing Currently to Treat ADHD?
At the present time, psychiatrists employ a combination of both medicines and cognitive behavioral therapy to treat ADHD. They combine medications that aim to change brain activity with psychoanalytic methods.
Ritalin and Adderall are two of the most frequently used ADHD medications. Both focus on the outside manifestations of ADHD in order to make daily life more bearable. These medicines influence dopamine and norepinephrine release by regulating the rate at which the brain releases norepinephrine
One of the advantages of these medicines is that they help people with ADHD concentrate better. This implies that users have a much larger memory capacity and an urge to be working on or finishing something.
This may appear to be a fantastic option. However, keep in mind that these medications interfere with brain functions by changing them and overloading certain regions of the brain in order to make up for inadequacies elsewhere.
Crack and other stimulants often become misused due to their widespread overprescription. As a result, there has been a severe addiction epidemic in which thousands of individuals are addicted to medications that change their mental state without need. They’re commonly used as a study aid or concentration tool. Adderall is notorious for being a popular street drug among selective colleges.
What Does CBD Oil ADHD Research Say?
Unfortunately, there are only a few and far between scientific studies into the potential use of CBD oil for ADHD. What we know thus far is that marijuana has the potential to be harmful to those with ADHD.
According to a research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry by the University of Washington for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute in 2017, this is where things get interesting. Researchers discovered that cannabis may be hazardous to individuals with ADHD. It increases the severity of ADHD symptoms as well as the risk of developing cannabis abuse disorders.
THC Is NOT CBD
The cannabis plant contains two phytocannabinoids, THC and CBD. They are, however, distinct compounds with varied effects. The major distinction between the two is that THC produces a psychoactive high, whereas CBD does not.
Given this, CBD does not appear to have any negative effects on persons with ADHD. The ability of CBD to reduce anxiety is one potential use for ADHD patients. Children with ADHD frequently experience anxiety, which makes their condition worse. CBD enhanced anxiety and sleeplessness in children according to a 2016 study.
The non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) is quite different from the psychoactive ingredient THC. According to some studies, CBD might help reduce anxiety and hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD.
Meanwhile, in a 2018 study of 53 children and young adults with ADHD between the ages of 4 and 22, researchers found that CBD oil was well tolerated. Their parents gave them CBD oil for a median of 66 days. In almost 70% of participants, rage and self-harm decreased, although it increased in nearly 10%. Hyperactivity symptoms decreased in 68% of youngsters/young adults while only increasing by 3%. Almost half of those studied experienced an anxiety reduction, while 24% reported an increase.
CBD’s ability to interact with endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors in the human body is thought to explain its efficacy for ADHD symptoms. These receptors are found throughout the nervous system and brain, controlling a variety of bodily functions. CBD’s impact on these receptors may cause less hyperactivity and better attention.
Those seeking for an alternative therapy for ADHD do so because typical ADHD medication may have severe negative effects. CBD, on the other hand, isn’t risk-free.
CBD Oil & ADHD Side Effects
CBD is generally regarded as being safe; the WHO agreed on that several years ago. Human volunteers consumed up to 1,500mg of CBD per day without suffering any negative effects in a research published in 2017. It might, nevertheless, lead to the following adverse effects if taken in high doses:
- Upset Stomach
- Changes in Appetite
- Mood Changes
There are also concerns about how CBD might harm the liver. CBD worsened the toxicity of mice livers in this 2019 research, according to scientists.
It’s also conceivable that cannabidiol interacts with other prescription or over-the-counter medicines. CBD works in the same manner as grapefruit, inhibiting a family of enzymes involved in drug metabolism. As a result, if you’re taking a medication that includes a ‘grapefruit warning,’ it’s best to avoid using CBD.
One final issue to consider is the THC content in some CBD products. Because I’ve previously stated, cannabis’ THC might exacerbate certain ADHD symptoms, it’s worth noting again. CBD items sold in the United States are supposed to contain a maximum of 0.3 percent THC. However, because it is an uncontrolled industry with many goods containing significantly more THC than permitted by law, this is sometimes not the case. Only buy CBD products from a reliable vendor that provides third-party lab results for each batch.
CBD Oil’s Collaborative Effects – What Else Can It Do?
When it comes to the advantages of CBD in assisting with ADHD symptoms, many individuals overlook one essential thing. That is its broad physiological effects. CBD is well-known for its ability to boost mood and alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. It has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of addictive behaviors.
In their landmark research, Gonzalez Cuevas et al. studied the anti-relapse efficacy of a transdermal CBD preparation in animal models for drug-seeking behavior, anxiety, and impulsivity.
CBD reduced both context-induced and stress-induced drug seeking, according to the studies. Furthermore, without causing sedative effects or disrupting normal motivated behavior, CBD was found to reduce both context-induced and stress-induced drug seeking. There was no indication of CBD “tolerance” developing in the animals.
Another important finding from Gonzalez Cuevas et al.’s research was that, despite only being measurable for three days in plasma and brain, CBD reactivation persisted for five months after the therapy was stopped.
CBD and Hyperactivity Symptoms
We’ve already discussed a research that showed CBD to be helpful in reducing ADHD hyperactivity. Another study by Barchel and colleagues revealed that CBD may dramatically reduce the signs of hyperactivity in kids with autism spectrum disorder.
There is no scientific evidence that cannabis or CBD works as a treatment for ADHD. However, in 30 adults who took a cannabinoid-based medicine (1:1 THC: CBD), Cooper et al. found a marginally significant improvement in symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity (1:1 THC:CBD).
Most research on ADHD and cannabis to date has concentrated on the co-occurrence of ADHD and cannabis use problems. To determine whether CBD is beneficial in reducing ADHD symptoms, more study is required.
Should You Try CBD for ADHD?
CBD’s effectiveness in treating ADHD symptoms has yet to be proved, but preliminary studies suggest that it may help. As a result, more people with ADHD are considering CBD treatment. This is especially the case given to prescription drug side effects and the failure of other therapy choices.
CBD users must be aware, though, that the term “natural” does not always imply “safe.” As a result, individuals using CBD for ADHD should be prepared for potential problems. The cannabinoid can interact with a variety of medicines. It’s also possible that due to the unregulated nature of the CBD market, it might include high amounts of THC. For this reason, broad-spectrum formulations containing 0% THC are recommended for persons with ADHD.
There’s a lot of uncertainty regarding CBD and ADHD. Some people have benefited from it, but there are drawbacks to doing so.
Please keep in mind that CBD is not meant to be used as a ‘substitute’ for any ADHD treatment you may currently be taking. If you choose to utilize it, take the ‘low and slow’ approach. Begin with a tiny quantity to determine how it affects you before increasing the amount. You could discover that while a small amount of CBD produces no obvious effects, a large dose is required to feel any impact, and it might be costly.
There is currently no data from randomized trials on the efficacy of CBD for ADHD symptoms. As a result, you should temper your expectations. Don’t fall for any exaggerated claims that it’s a “miracle” cure. Such assertions don’t appear to be supported by current scientific evidence.
Finally, ADHD specialists advocate non-medication treatment choices such as lifestyle modifications and parent education. It’s worth trying these first before looking at the rest of the options.
Final Thoughts on CBD for ADHD
ADHD is a condition that many people misunderstand. Because it appears to be so common in today’s world, many individuals underestimate how devastating it may be. Worse yet, doctors prescribe far too many medications in an effort to cure it. This drug has the potential to cause serious side effects and is extremely addictive.
CBD oil is currently experiencing a lot of study, and its effects on ADHD are still in their early stages. Researchers all over the world are beginning to consider cannabinoid medicines seriously, especially CBD oil.
CBD has been shown in studies to assist ADHD patients by assisting them with dealing with their symptoms. CBD can help kids deal with negative emotions and relieve tension and anxiety, according to a research published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Until a broader scientific consensus is reached, at least one thing is certain. CBD oil may help individuals with ADHD live better lives, even if only enough to make their symptoms more manageable. However, further study is needed; therefore, it’s recommended that you contact a doctor before giving your child CBD for ADHD.