Scatterbrained. Absent-minded. Ditzy. Daydreamer. If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you most likely have heard those words to describe the lack of focus and poor concentration that can be hallmark symptoms of ADHD. You may be taking prescription medication to improve symptom management. Since you are reading thi CBD has a long list of well-documented health benefits — but can it help with ADHD? What are the best CBD oil brands for ADHD symptoms?
CBD for ADHD by Dr. Jess
If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you most likely have heard those words to describe the lack of focus and poor concentration that can be hallmark symptoms of ADHD. You may be taking prescription medication to improve symptom management.
Since you are reading this, you must be considering switching to a natural alternative. You are seeking natural relief from the symptoms that can be so fatiguing and frustrating.
The internet is abuzz about using CBD to effectively manage ADHD symptoms. While research regarding CBD and ADHD is still in the early stages, other studies do show that CBD can help alleviate anxiety. When you consider that many people, perhaps even you, who have ADHD also have anxiety issues, it’s easier to understand the buzz.
A Calm Mind Focuses More Easily
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects an estimated 4.4% of adults in the United States. Its symptoms in adults include an inability to focus, hyperactivity, inattention, and distractibility.
The most common treatments for ADHD include medications like Ritalin, cognitive therapy, and behavior management. However, many people remain wary of medications like Ritalin, which can be addictive and abused.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound in cannabis and hemp plants. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, maintains balance, and plays an important role in mood regulation, inflammation, pain, and digestion.
CBD is non-addictive, non-intoxicating, and associated with certain health benefits. Some people with ADHD have reported that CBD helps alleviate symptoms. The compound does not have the side effects that occur with ADHD medication. For this reason, you may be interested in learning more about using CBD to manage your own symptoms. Read on.
The ADHD Mind
Why are focus and concentration so difficult for those with ADHD? The exact cause has not been conclusively identified. Most researchers point to heredity or genetics as the cause. Others point to brain chemistry. ADHD brains are typically deficient in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which control attention levels and brain arousal. Some researchers are investigating certain genes such as those linked to dopamine and their role in ADHD. Other researchers remain convinced that ADHD is triggered by our modern, high-stress, fast-paced lives.
Most people can focus and concentrate when necessary. For the ADHD mind, this is very difficult, although hyperfocus in ADHD is a real phenomenon. However, the hyperfocus is frequently on an inappropriate issue given the situation. For instance, a person with ADHD may focus intently on a favorite video game to the detriment of his or her personal relationships or job, thereby increasing the anxiety that surrounds these problems.
Can CBD Treat ADHD?
The symptoms of ADHD include an inability to focus, distractibility, and difficulty paying attention. Another symptom is hyperactivity, which can interfere with normal work or school situations. In addition, ADHD may lead to impulsive actions resulting in difficulties in relationships, work, school, and life in general. All of these issues can increase anxiety in the person experiencing them.
Because studies have shown that CBD can help alleviate anxiety, it’s thought that the compound can be helpful in treating ADHD. CBD receptors are on nervous system cells. With their anxiety calmed, some people experience better focus and concentration.
What Does the Research Say About CBD and ADHD?
A few studies indicate that CBD has the potential to treat ADHD. A 2012 research paper reported that mice had “reduced social investigative behavior, hyperactivity, as well as reduced attention span,” and were “normalized” when treated with CBD.
Because cannabis products were prohibited by federal law until 2018, the research on humans investigating CBD and ADHD is in the early stages and includes:
A 2017 study of 30 individuals showed that using CBD nasal spray may reduce hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. The improvement was small, and the researchers could not conclude that the nasal spray was more effective than a placebo. However, they did say the results warranted further investigation.
A 2020 scientific review gave a moderate recommendation supporting CBD for ADHD treatment.
A small 2020 study of 112 adult medical cannabis patients with ADHD found that those who took a higher dose of CBD took fewer ADHD medications.
You will find more research investigating CBD and anxiety, which frequently co-occurs with ADHD. Research shows that those with ADHD are more likely to experience anxiety disorders. And an anxiety disorder may make ADHD symptoms more difficult to manage.
Addressing the anxiety by using CBD may make managing ADHD symptoms easier. In turn, your focus and concentration can improve.
Benefits of Using CBD for ADHD
Many people with ADHD have reported that CBD has a profoundly positive impact on alleviating the symptoms, although it is important to remember that these are personal testimonies rather than double-blind studies. CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which regulates the production of certain brain chemicals and helps maintain a sense of balance in your body. In fact, this system plays a major role in many of the physiological functions that underpin ADHD symptoms like cognition, memory, concentration, focus, mood, and more. According to some ADHD patient reports, using CBD has helped reduce issues like anxiety, pain, hyperactivity, inflammation, and impulsivity.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reported benefits of using CBD to treat symptoms of ADHD.
Remember, those with ADHD are at greater risk for anxiety disorders. Some studies show that CBD has tremendous potential to treat a wide variety of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. It may also have some antidepressant action. These effects can help produce greater feelings of overall well-being and calm, which in turn helps you focus and concentrate.
Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter produced by the brain. Dopamine activates the brain’s pleasure center resulting in feelings of well-being, satisfaction, and reward. Dopamine helps regulate memory, focus, and mood, and it supports planning, learning, and productivity. People with ADHD typically have lower levels of dopamine. CBD can stimulate the production of anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the body that helps regulate dopamine and serotonin. CBD treatment can help increase dopamine levels.
Good sleep is essential for overall well-being and good health. People with ADHD and anxiety can often find it difficult to relax and fall asleep, or they may have difficulty staying asleep. Thus, they fail to get the deep, restorative sleep necessary for optimal health.
Studies show that CBD may produce an overall calming effect on the nervous system. This helps produce feelings of well-being and peace during the day and helps the nervous system transition into the mode of restful sleep at night. Although research is still in the early stages, they suggest that CBD therapy can help people improve sleep issues like insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Being well-rested is crucial to managing ADHD symptoms like poor focus and concentration.
CBD is a Promising Natural Support for Those with ADHD
I teamed up with Soul CBD to produce Alert Capsules with a proprietary blend that I formulated myself. The capsules contain no THC, so you enjoy the benefits of organic CBD isolate combined with natural cognitive supports including:
Vitamin B12 – This brain-boosting vitamin can help improve mental clarity, increase energy, and boost mood.
Ginseng Extract – Works by regulating the effects of stress on the immune system, resulting in improved memory and reduced inflammation.
Bacopa Extract – Ancient herb that enhances brain function and improves focus.
Lion’s Mane – Mushroom with neuroprotective effects; reduces brain fog and improves memory.
If you are ready to try CBD to alleviate ADHD symptoms, consider Alert Capsules, formulated by Dr. Jess and made by Soul CBD. This high-quality CBD product could provide significant relief from ADHD symptoms.
CBD Oil for ADHD: Does Hemp Oil Help as Alternative Treatment?
CBD stands for cannabidiol — an active (and non-intoxicating) compound in the cannabis plant. CBD oil has recently become popular amongst a lot of people in recent years for supporting symptoms such as anxiety, seizures, pain, and inflammation.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can also relieve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the scientific research in this topic still remains in its infancy.
Anyone thinking of using CBD oil for ADHD, or giving CBD to their children, should be aware of the local regulations and never experiment with CBD oil without prior consultation with a doctor.
In this article, I’ll cover the current research on CBD and ADHD and give you my personal recommendations for the best CBD oil brands on the market.
Best CBD Oil for ADHD (Top Brands for 2022)
CBD is everywhere right now and there’s a large degree of difference when it comes to the quality of CBD products. In fact, no two CBD oils are made the same.
The best CBD oils are sourced from organic hemp, extracted with CO2, and backed with lab reports to prove their potency and purity. Here are the top brands I trust and regularly buy CBD from.
1. Royal CBD (Winner)
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
- Made with organic hemp plants grown by US farmers
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Available in 4 potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg
- High dose per serving — up to 83.3 mg CBD/mL
- 4 flavors to choose from: Natural, Mint, Berry, and Vanilla
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Slightly more expensive than other brands (but made with only premium ingredients)
About Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a Nevada-based company founded in 2018 by a group of young cannabis advocates with a mission of elevating the industry’s quality standards.
Royal CBD offers a range of organic solutions for wellness-focused individuals — you can find regular CBD oil drops, as well as softgel capsules and convenient THC-free gummies.
The Royal CBD oil is available in three different concentrations: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg. The strongest version contains 33.3 mg of full-spectrum CBD contained in premium MCT oil for improved absorption. The oil tastes surprisingly neutral, unlike many other full-spectrum products I’ve tried so far.
Royal CBD also runs a blog for new CBD consumers, with an FAQ section for addressing common problems its customers may have.
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic Formula)
- Unique product selection
- Gold Bee uses non-GMO, Colorado-grown hemp
- The oil contains full-spectrum CBD
- The company’s products are extracted with CO2
- You’re getting up tp to 1200 mg of CBD per bottle
- The oil is sweetened with organic honey
- Third-party lab tested for potency and purity
- No high-strength oils
- Not available in-store
About Gold Bee:
If you’re looking for all-organic CBD products that combine cannabidiol with other superfoods, Gold Bee is a great choice. The brand offers full-spectrum CBD oil as well as CBD-infused honey sticks, gummies, and high-potency capsules. The Gold Bee CBD oil comes in two flavor options: natural and kiwi, the latter being sweetened with organic honey.
I’ve been taking the oil for 5 weeks now and I can tell a difference in how my body responds to stress. I feel less anxious in the morning and can easily get through my daily duties without that pesky tension at the back of my head. I was surprised by the quality of this CBD oil. Although I generally benefit from lower potencies due to my weight, with this oil, I’ve noticed that I need even less than with some apparently stronger products from other brands.
Considering the quality of Gold Bee’s products, and how they perform in the long-run, this is also one of the most affordable brands that sell organic CBD oils out there.
Gold Bee is a true maverick when it comes to CBD extracts. This Nevada-based brand offers a unique selection of products, including full-spectrum CBD oil that is sweetened with organic honey and CBD-infused honey sticks for the flavor chasers. The entire product line up is sourced from organic hemp, extracted with CO2, and third-party lab tested for potency and purity.
I’ve been taking the 1200 mg kiwi flavor for prevention and to ease the migraine pain once it has kicked in. I’ve noticed similar results to what I’ve been getting with some more potent oils from competitor brands, which already tells much about the oil’s quality. The kiwi flavor also does a great job in masking the earthy aftertaste of full-spectrum CBD, and most importantly, both flavorings and the sweetener are all-natural.
Gold Bee offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for its products, allowing customers to return their products for a full refund if they decide they are not satisfied with the results; it’s a great sign of the brand’s confidence about their quality.
3. CBDPure (Runner Up)
- Made with organic hemp grown in Colorado
- Extracted with CO2
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Third-party tested for potency and safety
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed — full refund within 90 days
- Only two product types available
- Less potent than Royal CBD
CBD is a Colorado-based brand specializing in making premium CBD products from organic hemp. The company’s product selection is very narrow — only oil drops and capsules — but it seems that CBDPure values quality over quantity, which is great in my opinion. There are already enough low-cost, low-quality CBD companies on the market. We don’t need anymore.
The oil is slightly less potent than Royal CBD oil, but if you benefit from low dosages, then this isn’t a problem. Moreover, CBDPure sells their oils in 60 mL bottles, which is more cost-efficient for lightweight users or those using CBD to manage mild symptoms.
4. CBDistillery (Most Affordable)
- Sourced from non-GMO domestic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure oil (zero THC)
- 5 different strengths to choose from
- High potency per serving — 33 mg CBD/mL in the 1000 mg bottle
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Very affordable
- Not certified organic
- No flavored options available
CBDistillery is the best brand for people seeking high-quality CBD oil without breaking the bank. The company is one of the industry’s trailblazers with a well-established reputation among CBD users across the world.
The best part about CBDistillery’s product range is that you can find the same potency options as either full-spectrum CBD or 99% pure isolate. Speaking of which, CBDistillery offers five different potency options, starting from 250 mg up to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle.
The only concern I have about this oil is the source of CBD — CBDistillery doesn’t use organic hemp plants — although they’re non-GMO — so it’s not the best CBD oil out there. It is, however, the best CBD oil in this price range.
Can CBD Oil Help With the Symptoms of ADHD?
The scientific evidence that CBD can help treat ADHD is very sparse. Moreover, a lion’s share of the research regarding ADHD and CBD focuses on marijuana-derived products, which has higher ratios of THC to CBD.
Some anecdotal reports from people using CBD oil for ADHD are indicating that CBD may be effective for ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and restlessness. Many people with ADHD choose CBD oil to support their current treatment because it’s non-psychoactive.
A small 2017 study investigated a group of adults with ADHD who were using cannabis to relieve their symptoms. The researchers reported a remarkable improvement in brain function and symptom reduction. However, despite the vividly reduced impulsivity and hyperactivity, they also concluded that the evidence is insufficient to consider CBD more effective than placebo.
How Does CBD Work for ADHD?
When you take CBD oil, cannabidiol and other cannabinoids interact with two sets of cannabinoid receptors in your body — CB1 and CB2 receptors. They have a direct effect on specific parts of your body and brain.
CB1 receptors are mostly located in the brain and in the central nervous system and are connected with the psychological effects of cannabinoids. CB2 appears in the cells of the immune system and the peripheral nervous system (the body) — they’re responsible for pain perception and immune response.
The compounds from CBD oil make the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids more available for use by blocking an enzyme that breaks them down. Your body doesn’t directly use any of the CBD found in the oil.
Higher concentrations of endocannabinoids may lead to a number of benefits, including reduced stress, hyperactivity, and improved focus.
How is that connected to ADHD?
While CBD isn’t an acknowledged form of ADHD treatment, it can help with the management of specific symptoms many ADHD patients experience.
Some people with ADHD suffer from recurring anxiety, which can further exacerbate their symptoms. There’s sound evidence that CBD oil may relieve symptoms of different types of anxiety.
According to a 2016 case study, CBD may help with anxiety and sleep deprivation in children. Further research is currently underway that seeks to investigate this effect in a larger study group.
In a 2013 study, researchers explored the link between ADHD symptoms and cannabis use. People suffering from subtypes of ADHD with hyperactivity and impulsivity were more likely to use cannabis on a daily basis to manage their symptoms than subjects with inattentive forms of the disorder.
Last but not least, a 2015 study on ADHD, depression, and marijuana use in undergraduate students found that some students used cannabis to cope with depressive symptoms of ADHD, although the overall effect on these symptoms was inconclusive — similar to the above study from 2013.
Although the results so far are positive, we need more CBD-focused studies to understand the full extent of benefits CBD has to offer conditions like ADHD and ADD.
CBD Oil Dosage for ADHD
It’s difficult to gauge the effective dosage for your symptoms if you’re just getting started with CBD.
Cannabinoids affect everyone differently, and factors like age, weight, gender, metabolism, and the severity of your symptoms can all influence how you react to different doses of CBD oil.
At this time, there aren’t any dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD oil for ADHD symptoms because it’s not an acknowledged form of treatment.
If you’re new to CBD, I recommend starting at the lowest dose possible. Many people start with an initial dosage of 5 mg CBD per day, increasing by 2.5–5 mg every day or every other day until they notice improvements in their symptom management.
Once you find the dose that works for you, you can stick to using it because CBD doesn’t increase substance tolerance.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Children with ADHD?
Because of the stigma associated with cannabis, only a few studies examined the use of CBD in children. The only approved CBD-based drug thus far is Epidiolex — an FDA approved oral solution to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Most reports on CBD in children come from case studies or anecdotal evidence presented by doctors, researchers, and patients.
However, 70 to 80 percent of American children use amphetamine-based medications such as Adderall to manage the symptoms of ADHD. It’s no wonder parents are looking for natural and safer alternatives to conventional treatments.
The Side Effects of Pharmaceutical Stimulants:
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Mood changes
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
The Side Effects of CBD Oil:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
- Mild dizziness
As you can see, the side-effect profile of CBD oil is ridiculously mild compared to commonly prescribed pharmaceutical medications. It’s also worth noting that CBD oil has been shown to be well-tolerated at doses as high as 15,000 mg per day.
However, since CBD tends to interact with certain prescription drugs, I recommend visiting a doctor and consulting your supplementation plans prior to using any CBD product for ADHD symptoms.
CBD Oil for ADHD Treatment: Key Takeaways
It’s too early to consider CBD oil as a conventional treatment option for ADHD. The majority of research surrounding this subject revolves around using cannabis for symptom management, but even those findings are inconclusive.
Before you try CBD oil for ADHD, make sure to ask your GP for advice and treat it like you would any other health supplement. CBD isn’t a cure-all, but it’s a versatile tool for improving one’s mental and physical well-being.
I hope that this article has given you enough insight into using CBD oil for ADHD. If you don’t have the time to research different CBD companies, you can follow my brand recommendations at the top of this article.
Do you use CBD to manage the symptoms of ADHD? Does it help? Let me know in the comment section below!
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.