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Marijuana use is higher among individuals who suffer from ADHD. While the exact reason is still debated, researchers believe that some patients may use marijuana to cope with certain symptoms.
A recent study, led by Jean Gehricke, Ph.D of the University of California’s School of Medicine, adds support to this belief, finding that more frequent marijuana users seem to suffer from more severe ADHD symptoms.
Published in the journal Psychiatry Research, the results also suggest a difference between men and women who use marijuana.
“Men and women may be using marijuana for different reasons, which include an attempt to self-medicate ADHD symptoms and decreased sleep quality, respectively.”
The study involved 56 men and 20 women with ADHD. While the difference between genders was not expected, the authors note that previous studies also show a pattern of self-medication among ADHD sufferers who use marijuana.
Recent findings from a group at the University at Albany suggest that marijuana may help with symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity as well.
But researchers have yet to investigate marijuana as a clinical treatment for ADHD, making it unclear whether marijuana is truly helpful and, if so, what dose is required to achieve benefits.
Dr. Gehricke and his colleagues conclude that “greater understanding and further research” on the role of marijuana use in ADHD is needed.
The study received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.