ADHD, a neurological disorder that impacts a large number of individuals in the United States. ADHD is associated with impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and difficulties in maintaining focus. While there is no definitive proof supporting the effectiveness of medical marijuana in managing ADHD. But, initial studies and many personal accounts suggest promising indications that medical cannabis could serve as an alternative to the many prescription medications available for ADHD treatment.
Certain constituents found in medical marijuana might prove more effective than others in reducing ADHD symptoms. According to user experiences, some of the top strains recommended for ADHD include:
Despite the supporting evidence and anecdotal reports, ADHD is not included as a qualifying condition in states that have a medical marijuana program. But, individuals with ADHD who have extra health issues such as excessive medication use (stimulants), anxiety, depression, or insomnia may be eligible for medical cannabis in select states.
How Cannabis Affects ADHD
The topic of how cannabis affects mental disorders like ADHD is intricate, with many factors that involve an individual’s symptoms, metabolism, and physiology. What we do understand is that individuals with ADHD have a higher number of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is responsible for reward-seeking behavior and well-being. These receptors remove dopamine too quickly, leading to a stronger drive to seek rewards.
In the case of adults, evidence indicates that marijuana may be a beneficial method to reduce ADHD symptoms. It can decrease reliance on prescription medications by increasing dopamine levels. This is made possible through the interaction of cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
When these substances interact with the ECS receptors, they elevate dopamine levels. In fact, a study discovered that adults who used higher doses of cannabis experienced symptom improvement and reduced dependence on their ADHD medication.
Medical cannabis can also serve as a useful tool for avoiding the side effects associated with ADHD medications. Cannabinoids like CBD and CBN, as well as terpenes like myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, can reduce stress and help manage hyperactivity behavior without these adverse effects.
urthermore, a survey study conducted in 2021 revealed that many individuals reported using cannabis to address acute ADD/ADHD symptoms and mitigate the side effects of their current medication, enabling them to do their daily tasks.
Best Strains for ADHD
The entourage effect refers to the increased therapeutic benefits that can be achieved by using cannabis products containing a complete range of cannabinoids and terpenes. It is crucial to emphasize that prioritizing the cannabinoid or terpene profile of a product is more significant than focusing on a specific strain.
Jack Herer is a highly acclaimed strain known for its dominant sativa properties. It is said to provide a well-balanced high that combines both cerebral and physical effects, making it suitable for daytime use. The strain contains elevated levels of terpinolene, which aids in anxiety reduction, and limonene, known for enhancing focus and mental clarity.
Green Crack is a favored strain renowned for its ability to reduce anxiety. It can also reduce restlessness associated with ADHD while promoting concentration. Its composition of beta-caryophyllene and pinene helps combat depression, while also providing motivation for daily tasks. With a THC content ranging from 13% to 21%, individuals sensitive to THC should exercise caution and consider low dosage or avoidance.
Cinex is reported to be an excellent sativa strain for counteracting the impulsiveness and distractions of ADHD. In smaller doses, it can uplift mood, but excessive consumption may induce anxious thoughts. People with THC sensitivity should approach it with care.
Harlequin is a strain rich in CBD, offering a CBD to THC ratio of approximately 2:1. This balance allows users to enjoy the entourage effect, where CBD, THC, and terpenes like myrcene and limonene work to elevate mood and reduce stress without causing excessive euphoria.
True OG is one of the few indica strains in this selection, known for its ability to calm racing thoughts while maintaining focus. Users claim that True OG helps reduce anxiety while enabling them to concentrate on daily tasks.
Sour Diesel, a blend of Chemdawg and Super Skunk, stands out with its higher-than-average THC levels. Its combination of limonene and myrcene provides a balance between energetic focus and relaxation of racing thoughts and stress. But, caution should be exercised to avoid adverse effects.
Zkittlez is a fragrant strain that contains elevated levels of beta-caryophyllene, which interacts with the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system to alleviate anxiety and uplift moods affected by depression. It is an ideal strain for calming hyperactive symptoms of ADHD without inducing excessive sedation.
Considerations and Potential Risks
Individual Response: The effects of cannabis can vary greatly from person to person. What works well for one individual may not have the same benefits for another. It is essential to understand that finding the right strain, dosage, and mode of consumption may require some trial and error.
THC Sensitivity: THC may produce unwanted side effects such as increased anxiety, paranoia, or impaired cognitive function. Individuals sensitive to THC should opt for strains with higher CBD content or consider products with lower THC concentrations.
Age and Brain Development: The impact of cannabis on the developing brain is a subject of ongoing research. It is crucial to note that the use of cannabis in individuals under the age of 25, whose brains are still maturing, should be approached with caution and under medical supervision.
Legal Considerations: Cannabis laws vary from country to country and even within states or regions. It is important to be aware of the legal status of cannabis and its derivatives in your area and abide by the regulations.
The decision to use cannabis for ADHD should be based on a well-informed understanding of individual needs, potential risks, and local regulations. By approaching cannabis use responsibly and seeking professional guidance, individuals with ADHD can make informed decisions about incorporating it into their treatment plans to potentially enhance their quality of life.