Is CBD Oil for ADHD a Good Idea?
While CBD oil is not well regulated as of this article, there are several essential things to look for to ensure you are aware of what is included with the product. CBD products come in 4 types .
- Whole Plant Medicine – Nothing is extracted. This contains all the cannabinoids, and other contents found naturally within hemp. This may or may not include a legally allowed percentage of THC.
- Full Spectrum CBD – This CBD extraction contains all the cannabinoids found within cannabis, including THC, but the amount of THC falls within the legal guidelines for the state in which it is sold.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – This CBD extraction contains all the cannabinoids found within cannabis except for THC.
- CBD Isolate – This CBD extraction isolates the cannabinoid from all other cannabinoids found naturally within cannabis.
The leading concern among new consumers is that some products on the market may contain more than trace amounts of THC, making them not only inappropriate for use by children and adolescents but also may cause a “high” feeling which may inhibit someone’s daily routine.
If you pay attention to the label before purchasing the product, you can be confident that you are getting what you want.
If you are ever unsure about a product, you can always ask the vendor or go to the manufacturer’s website and view the manufacturer’s 3rd Party Lab test results, which reveal what is in the product as well as to what degree.
So what about CBD oil for ADHD? Is it a good an alternative approach to managing symptoms?
What is ADD/ADHD?
Everyone may have trouble staying still, paying attention, or controlling impulsive behaviors from time to time. For some people, however, the problems are so intrusive and persistent that they interfere in every aspect of their lives: home, academics, social interactions, and work.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a non-destructive disorder affecting 11% of school-age children, but it doesn’t just affect children. Symptoms of ADHD from childhood last in more than 75% of cases. ADHD is characterized by inappropriate levels of negligence, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.
Adults with ADHD can do very well in their lives, but without proper identification and treatment, this condition may have serious consequences, including academic failure, stress, disruption in the family, depression, substance abuse, crime, accidental injury, and failure at work.
NOTE: Early recognition and treatment are critical.
Medical science first documented children with negligence, impulsivity, and hyperactivity in 1902. Since then, this disorder has received many names, including minimal brain dysfunction, hyperkinetic reaction of childhood. Attention deficit disorder, attention deficit with or without hyperactivity disorder.
With the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) , the disorder has been renamed into Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. The present name reflects the main symptoms of hyperactivity and lack of attention.
What Causes ADHD?
Despite numerous studies, researchers have not yet determined the exact causes of ADHD, but scientists have discovered an active genetic link in 20 different studies linking ADHD to family history. People with ADHD don’t need to look far to see others in their family suffering from this condition, but this isn’t the only cause.
Other environmental factors may increase the risk of developing ADHD:
- Exposure to pesticides or lead in early childhood.
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Brain damage
Early research considered smoking during pregnancy could increase the risk of ADHD, but new evidence is beginning to question this belief.
Scientists are still conducting research to determine the exact relationship between people with ADHD and environmental factors, but point out that no cause can explain all ADHD cases.
The following factors are not known causes of ADHD but may exacerbate symptoms in some children:
- Watching TV too much
- Consuming too much sugar
- Family stress (poverty, family conflict)
- Traumatic experiences
Treatment Options for ADHD
Treatments range from behavioral interventions to prescription drugs. In many cases, the medications themselves are effective enough treatment for ADHD, but the National Institute of Mental Health suggests it is essential to include other options as well.
No matter what you ultimately decide to do, please consult with a physician regarding your health concerns. Your health is not something to take for granted, even your mental health.
While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™
Medications are most often used when treating a child with ADHD. But with the potential risks of side-effects and dependence on drugs, this can be a tough decision to make as a parent.
Before choosing any medication, it is vital that parents work together with their child’s doctor to determine if medications are the best option for their specific situation.
If this is the case for you and your child, be sure to ask your doctor if your child needs treatment during school hours only or if they need therapy beyond periods of study. You and your doctor also need to determine which type of medication may be the best.
The main ADHD-specific medications on the market fall into two categories:
Stimulants: are the most prescribed class of ADHD medications. These drugs act to increase the number of chemicals in the brain called dopamine and norepinephrine. This effect improves your child’s concentration and helps them focus more.
Non Stimulants: Some non-stimulant medicines work by increasing the level of norepinephrine in the child’s brain. Norepinephrine is designed to help with care and memory.
When looking for alternative ADHD treatment options for your child, a combination of choices will likely yield the most significant benefits. This may include
- Behavioral therapies
- Social skills training
- Support groups
- Parenting skills training
A 2015 study investigated the link between ADHD, depression, and marijuana use among students. Although researchers found that some students used marijuana to treat depression symptoms, their overall effect on these symptoms was not clear.
What is clear is that the cannabis plant offers many cannabinoids, including CBD oil, which may help with these conditions.
A 2013 study on ADHD and cannabis use also gave impressive results. After collecting data on 2,811 cannabis users, researchers found that daily cannabis users reported symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity when they did not use cannabis products.
Because the THC found in the marijuana cannabis plant may exacerbate symptoms of ADHD, removing this psychoactive compound from the cannabis products being consumed may result in an effective non-psychoactive treatment for a child suffering from ADHD.
Adult users may find that vaping cannabis products, specifically CBD may increase his or her focus for a short duration. This is not the case with all cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.
Due to the nature of American cannabis laws , there are risks involved with vaping, as illicit black market THC oil and vitamin E cartridges are linked to several recent deaths.
There are other ways to consume CBD oil, including:
- CBD Edibles
- CBD Oil Tinctures
- CBD Flowers
- CBD Topicals
- CBD Transdermal Patches etc.
Some brands like Mana Artisan Botanics™ offer CBD tinctures that are actually palatable.
It’s hard to actively treat your symptoms when your CBD tastes bad.
That’s why we are proud to endorse a product designed specifically with that in mind.
What’s more, Mana Artisan Botanics™ has offered 10% off your first order!
So be sure to check them out.
coupon code: naturalvibe10
How CBD can Oil Treat ADD/ADHD Symptoms
Typically, ADHD symptoms occur in early childhood. According to DSM-5 , there are several symptoms before age 12.
Predominantly Inattentive ADHD
- Not paying attention to details or making improper mistakes
- Having trouble maintaining focus
- Struggling to follow through with instructions
- Avoiding or disliking tasks that require constant mental effort
- Losing things
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD
- Shaking hands or feet or turning on a chair.
- Having sitting problems
- Difficulties in doing things quietly.
- The child behaves as if they drive their own engine. Adults often feel inside as if the engine is running without them needing to focus on it.
- Speaking excessively
ADHD combined shares characteristics from both inattentiveness and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD presentations simultaneously. As these symptoms can change over time, children can adapt to different conditions while growing up.
Understanding the behaviors of children with this condition can offer context when we discuss how CBD oil works within our bodies.
When humans consume CBD products, the CBD oil reacts with two receptors in your body. These receptors, called CB1 and CB2, directly affect specific parts of your body.
CB1 is most abundant in the brain and is directly linked to epilepsy.
CB2 is most abundant in the immune system. It is related to pain and inflammation.
CBD oil’s ingredients, when consumed, assist your body’s endocannabinoid system by supplying it with cannabinoids it didn’t have to make itself.
Increasing the use of these natural cannabinoids like CBD can have many benefits, including reducing anxiety and hyperactivity symptoms in children who suffer from ADHD.
What’s the CBD Dosage for ADHD?
Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.
We’ve built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below:
The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.
Additional research is needed before considering CBD oil as a standard ADHD treatment option, and like any treatment you find for yourself or your child, it is imperative that you discuss using a CBD product for your child with their doctor before treatment.
If you find this content helpful for you or a loved one, please share it.
If you’d like to learn know more about CBD products and how they can be used for treating symptoms of many conditions, please check out the resources on our website where we aim to equip you with the best study-sourced information so you can make the best decisions for your health.
About the Author Jessica Jones
Jesse has spent most of her adult life struggling with anxiety. After studying neuroscience at University, she has since dedicated her life into researching the effects of CBD on the human body. The content on this website reflects her research.
Is CBD Safe to use Daily?
CBD Tinctures – Your complete Guide to taking Sublingual CBD
Natural Vibe CBD is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE
Experts weigh in: Marijuana and ADHD
Marijuana and ADHD — it’s a topic that can be both controversial and confusing for parents. Can marijuana help kids with ADHD (also known as ADD), or does it make symptoms worse? What about cannabis-related products like CBD oil?
Read what three experts have to say about marijuana and ADHD.
Can marijuana help with ADHD?
Elizabeth Harstad, MD, MPH, pediatrician: There’s no evidence that using marijuana can help with ADHD symptoms . In fact, studies show it can worsen executive function and working memory . These are areas where kids with ADHD struggle. Neither medical marijuana, nor street marijuana, which is usually stronger and may contain other chemicals, should be used to treat ADHD .
It’s also important to know that marijuana may counter the benefits of ADHD medication . And kids using marijuana are less likely to keep up with their medication.
Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, licensed and board-certified mental health counselor: Studies have found marijuana decreases executive function when you have ADHD. It can cause you to have a harder time focusing. It can impact your ability to get started on tasks or manage time. Even short-term use has this effect.
What I do see is that more of my teen and adult patients with ADHD and anxiety use marijuana. They report it helps reduce their anxiety. However, based on assessments, their executive function performance has also decreased.
The effect on anxiety is mixed, as well. Using marijuana seems to reduce anxiety for some. But it can result in more anxiety, including paranoia, for others.
Thomas Brown, PhD, clinical psychologist: There is no scientific evidence that ADHD symptoms can be relieved by using marijuana. And there is evidence that it can make symptoms worse. That’s particularly true for younger teens and if marijuana use is frequent. Frequent use also can lead to not caring enough about things that are important to care about, like schoolwork, for example.
What is cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and can it help with ADHD?
Thomas Brown: Cannabis is the plant that marijuana comes from. One product from the same plant is cannabidiol (CBD) oil. It doesn’t have THC, which is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that makes you feel “high.” Using CBD oil is different than smoking marijuana.
There’s no evidence that CBD oil can help with ADHD. Ongoing research is testing whether CBD may help to improve some other disorders. However, right now there isn’t enough evidence to show that it’s safe or effective.
It is important to be clear that CBD oil is not the same as hashish oil. The latter has very high THC content. It is usually heated and smoked in a process called “dabbing.” Hashish oil is extremely addictive and harmful to health.
Elizabeth Harstad: There is no good medical evidence showing that CBD oil should be used to treat ADHD, and it may be harmful.
Stephanie Sarkis: Some people report that CBD seems to help with their ADHD. However, this appears to be caused, in part, by the placebo effect. The mind has a lot of power over the body. If you think something might work well for you, there is a pretty good chance that it will.
It’s kind of like when your mom put a menthol rub like Vicks on your chest when you had a cold. There are no inherent healing properties to it, but it sure made you feel better. That’s the placebo effect at work.
What should I do if I suspect my child is smoking marijuana?
Thomas Brown: Parents should be aware that marijuana is used by significant numbers of middle and high school students. So it can be helpful to have a conversation about it with your child — even a young teen.
Talk about what your child is hearing about “weed” from other kids and how to respond to any opportunities to use it. Help your child understand that having or consuming marijuana by smoking or in “edibles” is against the law for minors, even in states where it may be legal for adults.
If you know your child is using marijuana, don’t ignore it. Approach your child and explain that it can worsen ADHD symptoms. Talk about how it can cancel out the benefits of ADHD medication. And discuss how frequent use can lower motivation and the ability to do well in school. If the problem persists, consult your pediatrician or a mental health professional to get some help.
Stephanie Sarkis: If you suspect that your child is smoking marijuana, it’s important to be up-front and ask. Honest, open communication works wonders. Find a time to talk to your kid when you both are not rushed and are really able to talk.
It’s also important to be compassionate. When kids and adults have brain-based issues like ADHD, depression, and anxiety, they may look for a way to self-medicate. Kids may be smoking marijuana to try to fix what they know isn’t working well.
In my practice, I give my teen and adult patients executive function tests . When they see how much marijuana decreases their executive function performance compared to before use, they’re often surprised. It helps them understand the impact.
Elizabeth Harstad: One thing to know is that the marijuana people used 10 or 20 years ago is very different from what’s available now. It’s much more potent today.
The risks here are very real. People with ADHD are 2.5 times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem. That may be with alcohol, marijuana, or another drug. If kids start using marijuana at a young age, it’s even more likely. If you know or suspect your child is using marijuana, it’s important to intervene.
More things you can do
Learn about the connection between ADHD and risky behavior .
Consider joining one of our secure, online community groups, where you can connect with other parents of kids with ADHD.
About the Author
About the Author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.
Did you find this helpful?
Discover what’s possible when you’re understood.
We’ll email you our most helpful stories and resources.
Thank you for subscribing!
Did you know we have a community app for parents?
Copyright © 2014–2022 Understood for All Inc.
Understood is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) private operating foundation (tax identification number 83-2365235). Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Understood does not provide medical or other professional advice. The health and medical related resources on this website are provided solely for informational and educational purposes and are not a substitute for a professional diagnosis or for medical or professional advice.
One of the brain’s executive functions. Allows you to work briefly with new information without losing track of what you’re doing. Used for short-term tasks, like adding numbers in your head. Also helps organize new information for long-term storage.