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Updated on January 30, 2024


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Key takeaways

  • ADHD is a common mental disorder affecting over 366.3 million adults globally.
  • There are three types of ADHD; inattentive, hyperactive-impulse and combined ADHD.
  • People who used high dose of CBD needed fewer ADHD medications.
  • CBD offers anxiety reducing, inflammation reducing effects which may assist people with ADHD.
  • CBD regulates the activities of the immune system and brain activity to possibly reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

Is CBD really an effective option for ADHD? Some scientists believe it may hold the key to an effective treatment option. A 2020 scientific review gave a moderate recommendation supporting the use of CBD for ADHD treatment. The research discovered that people who took high dose of CBD had little to no need for ADHD medications. How was CBD able to achieve this? Well let’s find out in this article.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that can affect both children and adults. People with ADHD may find it challenging to pay attention, stay focused, and control impulses. There are three main types: Inattentive (trouble focusing), Hyperactive-Impulsive (being very active and impulsive), and Combined (a mix of both).

According to information from the A.D.D Resource Center, approximately 6.8% (366.3 million) of adults worldwide have symptomatic ADHD, which includes individuals diagnosed with ADHD regardless of the onset age.

It's important to note that having ADHD doesn't mean someone is not intelligent or capable; it simply means their brain works a bit differently. With the right support, including therapy, educational strategies, and sometimes medication, individuals with ADHD can effectively manage their challenges and lead successful lives.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD can manifest with various symptoms. Here are the common symptoms, categorized based on the three main types of ADHD:

  1. Inattentive Type:
  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play.
  • Frequent careless mistakes due to lack of attention to detail.
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities.
  • Easily distracted by unrelated stimuli.
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  1. Hyperactive-Impulsive Type:
  • Excessive fidgeting or squirming.
  • Difficulty remaining seated, especially in situations where it's expected.
  • Talks excessively or interrupts others frequently.
  • Difficulty waiting for one's turn in conversations or games.
  • Impulsive decision-making without considering consequences.
  1. Combined Type:

A combination of symptoms from both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types.

How can CBD help with the symptoms of ADHD?

CBD, unlike THC (another compound in cannabis), doesn't directly affect the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Instead, it interacts with opioid and glycine receptors. These receptors play a role in regulating pain and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our feelings of well-being. Studies have shown that CBD offers several benefits, including:

  1. Reducing Inflammation: CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help with conditions involving inflammation.
  2. Regulating the Immune System: CBD has an impact on the immune system, potentially helping to maintain a balanced and healthy immune response.
  3. Reducing Pain: By interacting with pain-regulating receptors, CBD may help alleviate various types of pain.
  4. Providing Antipsychotic Effects: Some research suggests that CBD might have antipsychotic effects, offering potential benefits for mental health.
  5. Reducing Seizures: CBD has been particularly effective in reducing seizures in certain types of epilepsy, leading to the approval of a CBD-based medication for epilepsy.
  6. Reducing Anxiety: CBD has shown promise in reducing anxiety, making it a topic of interest for those seeking natural ways to manage stress.

How to use CBD for ADHD

Using CBD for ADHD is not different from any other condition. Here is a detailed step on how you can achieve the best effect for your ADHD symptoms.

  1. Choice of product:

CBD products come in various forms, providing users with options such as oils, tinctures, sprays, and balms to cater to individual preferences and needs. The diversity in product forms allows for flexibility in administration methods. Oils and tinctures offer versatile consumption options, as they can be ingested directly or mixed with food and beverages. On the other hand, sprays present a convenient and discreet application method, while balms and topicals allow for direct application to specific areas of the body, offering localized effects.

Scientific research has delved into the potential benefits of CBD oils and sprays, particularly in the context of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies indicate that these products may play a role in reducing hyperactivity and sensitivity in individuals with ADHD. It is crucial to recognize that individual responses to CBD can vary, and the effectiveness of a specific product may depend on factors such as dosage, frequency, and the individual's unique physiology.

  1. Focus on full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products

Full spectrum CBD contains a wide array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant, including a trace amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This combination is believed to create an "entourage effect," where the various components work synergistically to enhance the therapeutic effects of each other.

On the other hand, broad spectrum CBD retains most of the plant's beneficial compounds but eliminates THC entirely. This is particularly appealing for individuals who want to experience the potential benefits of multiple cannabinoids without any psychoactive effects.

Research suggests that full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products may offer advantages over CBD isolates, which contain only pure CBD. The presence of additional cannabinoids and terpenes is thought to contribute to a more comprehensive range of potential therapeutic effects. These effects may include anti-inflammatory properties, pain relief, and anxiety reduction.

  1. Dosage

Individual response to CBD may differ that is why there is no recommended dosage. To get a personalized effect, we recommend you focus on starting small and increasing the dosage gradually. This will allow your body to adapt to the cannabinoids and also provide better effect. You can start with as low as 25mg then increase it gradually until you discover your sweet spot.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any side effects to using CBD oil for ADHD?

While there are no side effects attached to using pure CBD products, using contaminated or fake products may predispose users to some mild side effects like anxiety, depression and vomiting. To overcome this, we recommend you use only verified products.

Can I give CBD oil to children?

Yes, as long as it is 100% organic and contains no additives. Also make sure to pay attention to the dosage.

How can I use CBD for my ADHD?

You can use CBD oils, nasal sprays and any other type of CBD product. The most important thing is that you get enough CBD in your blood that can interact with Endocannabinoid receptors.

Want to Learn More?

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Cooper, R. E., Williams, E., Seegobin, S., Tye, C., Kuntsi, J., & Asherson, P. (2017). Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomised-controlled trial. In European Neuropsychopharmacology (Vol. 27, Issue 8, pp. 795–808). Elsevier BV.

Parrella, N.-F., Hill, A. T., Enticott, P. G., Barhoun, P., Bower, I. S., & Ford, T. C. (2023). A systematic review of cannabidiol trials in neurodevelopmental disorders. In Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (Vol. 230, p. 173607). Elsevier BV.

Mansell H, Quinn D, Kelly LE, Alcorn J. Cannabis for the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Report of 3 Cases. Med Cannabis Cannabinoids. 2022 Jan 13;5(1):1-6. doi: 10.1159/000521370. Erratum in: Med Cannabis Cannabinoids. 2022 Sep 30;5(1):128. PMID: 35224434; PMCID: PMC8832253.

Khan R, Naveed S, Mian N, Fida A, Raafey MA, Aedma KK. The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review. J Cannabis Res. 2020 Jan 2;2(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s42238-019-0012-y. PMID: 33526132; PMCID: PMC7819291.

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