Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects more than 3 million individuals in the United States each year.
Of those 3 million, only 20 percent seek treatment for their symptoms.
ADHD is a psychiatric disorder marked by a combination of the following symptoms of Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity:
ADHD is typically treated with CNS stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta. These medications regulate the levels of dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
These medications carry with them side effects such as:
Individuals suffering from ADHD who do not seek professional psychiatric treatment for their symptoms may self medicate or seek alternatives to the medications they have been prescribed.
Marijuana use for the treatment of ADHD is becoming more common, in particular amongst adolescents and young adults. Research regarding the effectiveness of marijuana for the treatment of ADHD is sparse.
Existing studies suggest that marijuana use may alleviate some symptoms of anxiety however, use also lowers cognitive function in individuals with ADHD making it more difficult for these individuals to concentrate.
A 2017 study found that short term THC exposure creates an increase in domaine neurotransmitters and brain activity, however, long term exposure weakens the brain's dopamine system.
This research suggests that occasional marijuana use my provide relief from some ADHD symptoms, however, with long term use it loses its effectiveness and may even worsen symptoms of ADHD.
An interesting aspect is that certain popular strains of medical marijuana seem to mimic the effects of the stimulant medications prescribed to treat ADHD
Medical marijuana strains that have these effects include :
These strains contain different THC and Cannabinoid properties, however physical effects create:
This is very helpful in the management of some symptoms for individuals suffering from ADHD. It is also important to note dosage plays an essential role. Taking into account current studies on the topic, it seems occasional use has more beneficial effects as opposed to chronic long term use, which may instead worsen symptoms.
Research exploring the connection between marijuana and ADHD is minimal so there aren't any definitive conclusions with regards to how marijuana can be used to treat ADHD, but it seems to be an avenue that will be further explored and it is possible that marijuana can be a useful treatment option for certain ADHD symptoms.
Disclaimer: All information, content, and material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
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