How to Use CBD for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
Both adults and children seek out CBD to help deal with the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders are extremely common, affecting between 6% and 11% of U.S. children in America.
The most common medical treatments for anxiety in the U.S. are the use of pharmaceutical drugs like stimulants (amphetamines), antihypertensive drugs, and cognition enhancing medications. However, it’s important to realize that these pharmaceutical drugs often have severe side effects and are not your only option for treatment. In addition to self-care and therapy, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based ADD/ADHD relief.
While we could always benefit from more research on CBD and ADHD, we turn the few medical studies that have been conducted over the past six years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from ADD and ADHD. We will address the results below.
A 2012 study looked at the effect of cannabidiol on rats treated with MK-801, a custom formula designed to mimic the effects of ADHD. “Results showed that the MK-801- (0.3 mg/kg) treated rats displayed reduced social investigative behavior, hyperactivity as well as reduced attention span. Pretreatment with the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (3 mg/kg) not only normalized social investigative behavior but increased it beyond control levels. Both cannabidiol and clozapine inhibited MK-801-induced hyperactivity.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22495620
A 2016 study randomly gave 30 adults with ADHD either a “placebo or Sativex Oromucosal Spray, a cannabinoid medication containing a 1:1 ratio of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD). In the intention to treat analysis, Sativex treatment was associated with a nominally significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity and a trend for improvement in inattention. There were further indications for improvement in activity and cognitive performance, and emotional liability.
Now we turn to another 2016 study: “…Clinical and anecdotal evidence suggest an increasingly popular perception that cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD, including via online resources. Given that the Internet is increasingly utilized as a source of healthcare information and may influence perceptions, [a 2016 study] conducted a qualitative analysis of online forum discussions, also referred to as threads, on the effects of cannabis on ADHD to systematically characterize the content patients and caregivers may encounter about ADHD and cannabis.”
The study found that, “Twenty-five (25%) percent of individual posts indicated that cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD, as opposed to 8% that it is harmful, 5% that it is both therapeutic and harmful, and 2% that it has no effect on ADHD. This pattern was generally consistent when the year of each post was considered. The greater endorsement of therapeutic versus harmful effects of cannabis did not generalize to mood, other (non-ADHD) psychiatric conditions, or overall domains of daily life. Additional themes emerged (e.g., cannabis being considered sanctioned by healthcare providers).”
The study went on to conclude, “Despite that there are no clinical recommendations or systematic research supporting the beneficial effects of cannabis use for ADHD, online discussions indicate that cannabis is considered therapeutic for ADHD-this is the first study to identify such a trend.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27227537
As indicated by the studies above, CBD helps reduce hyperactivity and improve mental cognition in patients suffering from ADD/ADHD.
Recommended CBD Regimen for ADD/ADHD
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness like ADD/ADHD, it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute symptom flare ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement or medication, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.
In order to manage the symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures.
We suggest those suffering from ADD/ADHD start with 15mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain either 15mg or 25mg of CBD per pill.
There is no harm in starting above the 15mg CBD threshold as you cannot overdose on CBD, nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained symptom relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
Managing Acute Symptom Flare Ups
In addition to the daily ADD/ADHD management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare ups. Whether it’s triggered by environmental conditions or something else – we recommend vaporizing CBD to combat these acute ADD/ADHD flare ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. We suggest either the 99% pure CBD isolate or the pre-filled CBD vaporizer cartridges because they provide a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing
If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn't an unfounded concern -- however, there isn't exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.
Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception. There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, and the ones available paint a rather murky picture: avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely. A single study (as yet unconfirmed) suggests that even isolate-based products may not be completely risk-free under certain circumstances.
If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you’ll need to consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.