Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a condition commonly associated with an inability to focus while experiencing hyperactive tendencies. It occurs in 11 percent of children, according to the CDC, although a large number of children with the disorder are never diagnosed.
It's also prevalent in adults. About a third of children diagnosed with the disorder will retain it in adulthood while other adults will develop it. About 4.4 percent of adults have ADHD, which can be both a blessing and a curse for them. In some ways, it can enhance focus on a particular talent, driving individuals to success. In other ways, it can challenge social success or make it difficult to thrive in school settings.
There are many treatments for ADHD, including therapies and prescription medications. While the prescriptions are highly effective for some individuals with the disorder, others experience severe side effects — even personality-altering side effects.
So, many parents and adults are turning to alternative medicines to help control their ADHD. Essential oils, changes in diet, regular exercise, and other natural remedies are popular among those trying to control their ADHD.
Many are also turning to CBD oil. You can find CBD hemp oil for sale all over the internet, but the research on its effectiveness is lacking. Countless ADHD patients who have tried CBD say that it has made a big difference for their focus and productivity, but are their claims true? Let's look at the facts.
CBD is the shortened name for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid and terpene-rich derivative from the hemp plant. It's devoid of THC, which is the psychoactive component found in marijuana, so you can take it without getting high.
CBD is associated with many health and wellness benefits beyond helping to regulate ADHD symptoms. Those who take it regularly enjoy relief from the following ailments:
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders
- Skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis
It's also been linked with the treatment and/or prevention of serious health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and even cancer.
Studies on CBD and ADHD
Until recently, the US government was largely uninvolved in the regulation of CBD. The FDA is not involved in regulating the products, and public studies have been prohibited in years past. While the government is working on several research grants in 2020 and beyond, there's not much research to support all the claims on CBD.
Still, we have a few key research findings to pull from that indicate CBD could be a great support for those with ADHD. Although there's not much research to show that CBD is a direct treatment for ADHD, there are many studies to show that it can treat many common symptoms of ADHD, including the following:
- Anxiety: There's ample anecdotal research and some clinical studies to show that CBD can treat anxiety, even the kind associated with ADHD. Patients often experience anxiety in regard to social situations, performances, tests, and more. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system to inhibit the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, that contributes to feelings of anxiety. It also increases production of dopamine and serotonin to help the patient feel calmer and more relaxed, despite hyperactive tendencies.
- Depression: The serotonin and dopamine production also work to boost a person's mood. A 2016 study found that those suffering from ADHD also experienced depression, and CBD and other cannabis products was an effective mood-booster for them.
- Sleep problems: Many individuals with ADHD experience sleep problems, the most common being confusion between night's and days. They may experience high rates of daytime sleepiness while being unable to sleep at night. Unfortunately, lack of sleep also worsens symptoms of ADHD, like inability to focus or enhanced hyperactivity. CBD has been connected with restoring some functions of the circadian rhythm, helping patients with ADHD sleep better and better manage their disorder.
- Substance use disorder: Adolescents and adults with ADHD are at increased risk for substance abuse disorders. While other cannabis products like marijuana could be a gateway to drug addiction, CBD is totally non-addictive and has been found in some studies to help those seeking to overcome a substance abuse disorder to successfully walk away. Those with ADHD that are looking to avoid this problem or who need a way to quit should consider CBD as a useful tool.
CBD for children
ADHD is most commonly found in children. Therefore, it's important to know whether or not CBD is a safe and effective treatment for children.
Although we don't have a lot of studies on CBD, we do have a significant amount of research on the best CBD oil with children. This is because there is a highly effective CBD-based drug called Epidiolex that treats seizures in children with severe epilepsy and Dravet syndromes. It's the only FDA-approved drug on the market, and it has been a lifesaver for many patients with these syndromes.
Based on these studies, CBD with no or trace amounts of THC appears to be safe for children with ADHD. It's always wise to discuss the situation with a doctor first, however, and test in small doses before making it a daily part of your routine.
Taking CBD for your ADHD
You can take CBD in many forms, including sublingual tinctures, sprays, or lozenges. There are also gummies, capsules, creams, vape juices, coffees, specialty foods, and so much more. Each has their benefits, with sublingual CBD being the most potent and fastest-acting and swallowed CBD being the longest-lasting.
Experts warn that those with ADHD should be cautious when trying CBD. They should seek the guidance of a healthcare professional and carefully introduce one dose at a time until you find the right dosage for your symptoms. Effects of CBD on patients with ADHD has largely been untapped, and you don't want to dive too deeply into CBD and find out it won't work for you.
Additionally, only purchase CBD from a reliable source like Penguin CBD. You can find CBD online with a THC content less than 0.3 percent, but it's not an FDA-regulated industry. This means that there's no government agency ensuring that the CBD you're purchasing is safe and effective. Always read reviews about the CBD company and examine test results from a third-party lab before making a purchase from any company.
The risks are low with CBD, but it's always good to be cautious. If you're seeking help for your ADHD beyond conventional treatments, talk to your doctor about CBD.