ADHD is the most common psychological disorder in Canada and affects 4% of adults worldwide. Meanwhile, opioid use is running rampant and addiction is frequent with commonly prescribed medications for the condition. But, with a wave of legalization for medical marijuana and recreational use, cannabis is seeming to address both issues.
Not only can the natural plant compounds of marijuana help treat symptoms of ADHD, but increasing use is decreasing opioid dependency for many who suffer from the condition. So, how does cannabis work internally to address ADHD? Here we’ll dive deep into the topic of medical marijuana and ADHD, including the latest research and the best strains to use for the disorder.
Medical marijuana for ADHD
What began as many patients self-treating with medical marijuana, is transforming into actual medical aid as research progresses. Over the years, many have realized that the calming and mellowing effects of marijuana can help the common symptoms that ADHD presents.
ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder causes those who have it to suffer from impulses, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, irritability and agitation. They often have a hard time focusing, fidget often, are restless or have a hard time sitting still.
From those side-effects of the condition alone, you can see how medical marijuana can help. The cannabinoids found in cannabis work with your body’s endocannabinoid system for its effects to be felt. These cannabinoids interact and influence internal receptors that are responsible for sending signals throughout the body to maintain ‘homeostasis’. Or, the feeling of ‘well-being’ or feeling balanced.
For ADHD, there’s a few ways that medical marijuana works to tame the symptoms. Including –
- Many believe ADHD stems from low levels of dopamine. Conversely, research is showing that THC is able to stimulate the production of dopamine which may help counteract certain symptoms.
- Early research is also showing that gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity and levels can also lend to the symptoms of ADHD. While other studies show CBD has the ability to bind to GABA receptors, not only strengthening their actions but increasing production of the acid too. With CBD being a natural anticonvulsant and anxiolytic, this also helps symptoms like fidgeting, which is similar to convulsing and anxieties that cause agitations.
- ADHD can also be caused by decreased levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. THC and CBD have the ability to promote directly as well. In fact, this is the action that the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) prescribed for ADHD take, too. Showing that cannabis can mimic the effects of prescription treatments for the disorder.
Which leads us to our next point on medical marijuana and ADHD. Recent studies are going to show that cannabis may be just as effective as some prescribed medications for ADHD. While reducing the use of addictive opioids that have a number of side-effects themselves.
Cannabis vs. prescribed medications
One thing that stands out about medical marijuana vs prescriptions, is there are virtually no side-effects. Beyond, overdoing a dose and maybe elevating a tad too much. Unfortunately, it’s far different for the common medications that are prescribed to ADHD patients. There are two main groups of prescriptions that are recommended for those who suffer from ADHD – stimulants, and amphetamines. They can offset a number of debilitating side effects themselves, that include –
- Loss of appetite
- Problems sleeping
- Increased blood pressure
- Irritability and mood swings
All of which, cannabis can help to relieve in some way, too. Even more important, are recent surveys showing a growing number of patients are able to reduce their prescription use when also treating the disorder with marijuana.
Best cannabis strains to use for ADHD
Due to the complexity of cannabis genetics, and the varying types of ADHD, finding the right ratio of THC to CBD, or the best strain for relief might take some experimenting. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. High CBD strains are most recommended, due to the cannabinoid’s ability to promote focus for ADHD. Of course, there’s many sativa, hybrid and THC rich strains that can do the same. Here’s our top picks for strains and products that can help relieve the condition.
Sour Diesel, in flower or concentrate form, has focus-promoting effects that are ideal for ADHD. It’s a Sativa dominant strain that can provide energy for daytime use, and helps fight depressive symptoms, too.
Green Crack is an energizing Sativa strain that is high in THC, with moderate CBD levels. Its effects are stress-relieving in nature while providing a creative and euphoric focus.
Violator OG is an Indica dominant hybrid that has uniquely high percentages of CBD that help relieve common ADHD symptoms. Its fast-acting high is also helpful for patients, who need a quick dose of relief.
Blueberry is a tasty Indica dominant hybrid that helps calm down a racing mind, making it ideal for ADHD. The strain is also relaxing in effects and can help insomnia or problems sleeping, a common side-effect of ADHD meds.
Zkittlez, or any strain containing the genetics has high levels of CBD for ADHD relief. It has moderate levels of THC to avoid inducing anxiety, and provides a creative and blissful focus.
Sunset Sherbet or a cross of genetics, like Orange Sherbet are beneficial for the symptoms of ADHD. The balanced hybrid is energizing for daytime use, can reduce fidgets with its comforting body buzz and has a fruity sweet flavour to add.
Alternative healing for patients with ADHD
Whether prescribed a medication or not, those with symptoms of ADHD are increasingly turning to the power of pot. The relief that cannabis can provide is effective for many of the disorders’ side-effects, and the prescriptions patients take. If you or someone you know suffers from ADHD, then seeking out high-quality cannabis is now highly advised. Look no further than MMJDirect.co’s expansive collection of top-shelf flower, concentrates, edibles and more.