What Is CBD and What Is Its Relationship with ADHD?
The research on cannabis as a treatment for many medical conditions is still in its infancy. However, some research supports the use of cannabis, especially CBD products, for ADHD treatment. By understanding the potential effects of CBD, you can decide if it is the best choice for you. Consult a doctor when considering smoking cannabis and ADHD treatments.
Understanding the EC System and ADHD
To understand how cannabis and ADHD are related, we must first understand a bit about how the brain works. Your brain cells (neurons) communicate everything from movement to speech with the help of the endocannabinoid (EC) system. Messages travel from one neuron to the other with the help of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. They jump the gap between cells so the message can be passed on at lightning speed through your body.
As messages flow from one neuron to another, cells also naturally produce cannabinoids. These cannabinoids travel backward to control the flow of the messages. Think of them as traffic cops controlling a busy intersection. It’s a delicate balance, and imbalances can cause several mental health conditions.
In a person with ADHD, the body isn’t producing neurotransmitters correctly. So, the flow of “traffic” is unbalanced. In some cases, the neurons do not have enough neurotransmitters. In other cases, the neurons release neurotransmitters too quickly. Severity and manifestation vary from person to person, making the diagnosis of ADHD and its treatment difficult.
How does CBD Affect the Body (And What it Means for ADHD Patients)
CBD is one of several chemicals produced from the cannabis plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which means it does not give you a “high” feeling. The World Health Organization says that CBD is not a public health risk, nor is it addictive.
When introduced to the body, CBD works with natural cannabinoids in the EC system. Yes, this is the same system responsible for ADHD symptoms. Naturally, some patients and parents are asking: could CBD treat ADHD symptoms effectively?
Studies on the treatment of ADHD with CBD are still very new. Anecdotally, many ADHD patients use CDB to control symptoms. A 2017 study of 30 ADHD-diagnosed adults self-medicating with cannabis found possible improvements. As the researchers noted, we need more studies on mental health disorders and CBD. However, this is a promising first step.
Additionally, some studies suggest that CBD can help with mental health issues often found alongside ADHD, such as anxiety. A 2016 case study also showed that CBD might help with symptoms such as sleep issues.
Smoking Cannabis and ADHD Treatments
If you have ADHD, you may want to try CDB to see if it helps alleviate the symptoms of this disorder. The relationship between smoking cannabis and ADHD undoubtedly needs more research. However, under the supervision of a doctor, this might be a part of a treatment plan you want to consider.
The National Institute of Health has published several studies about how CBD could help treat several other disorders. So, in the coming years, we’ll likely see more CBD research on everything from high blood pressure to diabetes.
If smoking is not right for you, CBD also comes in edible forms. Learn more about CBD to see if it is right for you.