The Benefits of Medical Cannabis for ADHD

The benefits of medical cannabis for ADHD are undeniable — as acceptance of this form of medicine continues to increase nationwide, hopefully more patients will one day be able to take advantage of it.
Jun 18, 2017

ADHD is not really a disease. ADHD is people, and whether it be a male or a female, it’s really the way your brain chemistry works — and some of it is personality traits. ADHD and attention deficit disorder (ADD) are neurological and behavior-related conditions that cause difficulty in concentrating, impulsiveness and excessive energy. Individuals with ADHD not only have a challenge in concentrating, but have a challenge sitting still. Those with ADHD are typically more disruptive than individuals with ADD.

Symptoms of ADD/ADHD

The severity of symptoms can vary greatly from individual to individual, depending on environment, diet, and other factors.

Children may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms of ADHD/ADD:

  • Difficulty in concentrating and diminished focus
  • Doesn’t listen
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty in following instructions
  • Easily bored
  • Fidgety behavior, squirming
  • Difficulty organizing or completing tasks
  • Extreme difficulty being still and/or quiet
  • Prone to losing things
  • Impatience

Adults may exhibit
 one or more of the following symptoms of ADD/ADHD:

  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating on a task, project, or conversation
  • Disorganised
  • Overwhelming emotional and physical restlessness
  • Low tolerance of people, situations, and surroundings
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Unstable relationships
  • Prone to anger and a hot temper

The most common treatment of ADD/ADHD today is using medications such as Ritalin and Adderall both of which have been linked to suicidal thoughts and personality changes. Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant, that can cause nervousness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, vomiting, an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and even psychosis.

Adderall is an amphetamine, which is highly addictive with prolonged use. Side effects include tremors, hallucinations, muscle twitches, high blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeats, and extreme mood swings.

The Benefits of Medical Cannabis for ADHD

Researchers believe that one of the leading factors that contribute to ADHD is a shortage of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is very important in regulating attention, memory and other cognitive processes. Ritalin, Adderall and other medications are designed to stimulate the production of dopamine, thereby helping to increase a patient’s ability to concentrate. As mentioned, these drugs, result in a wide range of serious side effects and can also result in potentially severe withdrawal symptoms.

One area in which medical cannabis for ADHD has shown promise is the way cannabinoids interact with the brain’s ability to manage dopamine. Research is still in its early stages, but indicates that cannabis may be able to increase dopamine production. It seems to work in a similar way to Ritalin, in that it binds to dopamine and helps slow the metabolic breakdown of the substance.

Many patients suffering from ADD are children, making smoking medical marijuana problematic. One effective alternative method is micro-dosing using Tinctures containing medical cannabis oil concentrates mixed with a carrier liquid, preferably not alcohol, preferably MCT.

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All information on this page is subject to MCDSA’s disclaimer.


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