CBD for ADHD: General Info and FAQs
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of Americans and it disrupts the quality of life with an inability to focus on even the most mundane daily tasks. Anyone diagnosed with ADHD knows how much it can be a struggle at school, at work, and in relationships with family and friends. Prescription medications intended to treat ADHD can have unwanted side effects and can also be cost-prohibitive for many.
But, CBD for ADHD? Does it work?
CBD oil and similar CBD products present a safe and all-natural alternative that may provide much-needed relief and a better quality of life for those with ADHD.
There’s so much information out there and a lot of this information can be inaccurate. It’s so easy to be misinformed, especially when talking about the real benefits that CBD cannabidiol can bring to those who are diagnosed with ADHD. We’re here to keep things simple for you. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about the correlation between ADHD and CBD, as well as some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding this topic.
What is CBD?
CBD, a cannabidiol, is just one of the 113 chemical compounds that are cannabinoids and found in cannabis. You’ve probably heard of THC, the compound that brings psychedelic effects and brings a high to those who smoke, ingest, or consume it in whatever way. CBD is not this. In fact, CBD is nowhere associated with THC and doesn’t get you high or “stoned” in any way. You can use something like CBD oil and be clear-headed 100% of the time.
Because CBD and CBD oil does not get you high, you won’t have to worry about feeling the “couch lock” feeling or any of the other negative effects that THC can bring you. Once more with feeling: CBD is not THC.
In fact, CBD is legal and can be bought anywhere. Have you seen those hemp ingredient skincare lines or supplements at your local health foods store? More than likely, those have CBD in them in some capacity. Because it doesn’t get you high, it’s legal!
What Is CBD Oil?
Derived from cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound touted as a “miracle cure” for its many healing and therapeutic effects. CBD products offer a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, and it has been used effectively to treat everything from arthritis to depression and even epileptic seizures. While we still don’t have long-term studies supporting CBD treatment evidence, early and anecdotal evidence shows it to be an incredible natural healer. Researchers and scientists continue to devote studies to CBD to better understand how it works within our bodies and to discover new and innovative ways to use it in health care.
Our body produces its own cannabinoids (we have an “endocannabinoid system”) and CBD interacts with those in a way to lessen pain and address many other concerns. CBD acts on our bodies’ own receptors to create changes in bodily functions, which can ease the symptoms of many illnesses. CBD regulates our homeostasis and can enhance the quality of sleep, reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and contribute to overall health and well being. It is important to note that CBD differs from another cannabis compound, THC, in that is has no psychoactive effects: it does not produce a high when ingested, inhaled, or applied topically.
What Is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is most often associated with children, though many adults have undiagnosed ADHD. In the brain of someone with ADHD, chemical differences affect the way signals are sent, especially when it comes to attention and focus. These differences are likely linked to genetics and research is ongoing to understand this syndrome that affects millions of people.
The brain functions that regulate everything from memory to concentration are disrupted by ADHD and typical treatment usually involves both therapy and medication. While significant advancements have been made in
prescription medications intended to address ADHD, they are still associated with some troubling side effects. Users may experience decreased appetites and weight loss, difficulty sleeping, irritability, headaches, and stomachaches. Problems can occur when the medicine wears off or is used in incorrect dosages and the use of these medications can lead to stunted growth and circulatory issues as well. And as is often the case with prescription medications, addiction can be a danger for users. Plus, the cost of these medications can be prohibitive for some, along with the costs of therapy.
ADHD is a complex diagnosis and is, in fact, often misdiagnosed. Researchers have found differences in the way ADHD presents in males and females, adding to the complexity and challenges associated with addressing it. Before considering any medication—be it prescription or natural—it is best to seek out a clear and thorough diagnosis, which may require second or even third medical opinions.
How can CBD help with ADHD?
Those who have ADHD have a hard time of both dealing with anxiety and staying focused or concentrated on a certain task. Simply put, CBD oil can help with both of these common issues. Not only does it decrease some of those negative symptoms that those diagnosed with ADHD experience, but it also helps increase one’s ability to focus and concentrate on a specific task at hand.
However, for those who are dreaming of big things, CBD cannot cure ADHD. Can it relieve negative symptoms associated with those who are diagnosed with ADHD? Yep. It just can’t cure it.
Because this “cure” factor is nonexistent, that means the oil or CBD will eventually wear off and you’ll begin to feel those negative symptoms again. Much like a medication (like aspirin when you have a headache), you’re going to need to use that CBD oil again if you’re experiencing horrible anxiety or need more focus.
The primary role of CBD when it enters our bloodstream is to restore homeostasis—basically getting our body back into normal order. This effect is certainly promising as it relates to ADHD, as well as a variety of other syndromes and disorders.
However, because it helps to level out your brain, you’ll soon be wishing you discovered CBD a long time ago.
Q: Are there other benefits to CBD or using CBD oil? Any others related to those who are diagnosed with ADHD?
A: There are literally a ton of benefits associated with CBD. Obviously, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, the ones you’re probably concerned with are concentration and anxiety (and CBD, as we discussed above, helps with both). However, that doesn’t mean that is all the benefits associated with CBD. In fact, just by using CBD oil, you can experience pain relief and a reduction of inflammation. CBD is also used for those who have a hard time sleeping and it can also help with reducing nausea!
CBD has also been known to help with acne, ADHD (as we discussed), bipolar disorder, stress, anxiety, depression, OCD, severe pain, chronic pain, cancer symptoms, and arthritis.
There are a ton of benefits that CBD can bring to your lifestyle; these are only a few. It can also treat many other symptoms and situations!
Q: What’s the best way to administer or ingest the CBD oil for my ADHD?
A: The best way to get the oil and CBD into your system is to use the dropper to place a few drops on your tongue—but don’t swallow! Instead, let the drops settle into your tongue, where it will very quickly reach your brain. This happens quite fast and you may feel the effects almost immediately. If you’re a first-time user, we highly recommend only using about one or two drops to find out what you need. The worst thing you can do is to use too many drops and then have horrible symptoms. Start small and see what your body needs! Everyone is different!
Q: Are there other ways and methods to use CBD without using the oil?
A: Yes! If you live in a state where smoking marijuana is legal, you can find certain strains that are high in CBD and smoke them in that format. And smoking in this capacity also brings about new methods, such as smoking a joint or using a bong (among others).
You can also use CBD in its pure (or isolate) form and put it in food. Because you can use CBD in this format that also means you can DIY your own little recipes if you’re feeling creative and more comfortable with CBD down the line. Whether it’s making your own tea, your own bath bomb, your own lotion, or your own skincare, CBD can be put in many different recipes to some really great results.
You can also find CBD patches, which are great for those who want that constant stream of pain relief flowing through their systems at all times. This is a great method for those who do have that chronic pain yet live quite busy lifestyles. It’s also great to use patches if you find yourself constantly forgetting to take your supplements or using your oil until the pain is back. Patches mean longer dosages (sometimes up to 96 hours), meaning it can be easier to function for some.
Q: What Kind of CBD Product Should I Try to Treat ADHD?
Again let’s emphasize the most important point: you should discuss the use of CBD oil with a physician first, especially if it will be used by children or adolescents.
CBD oil derived from the hemp plant has minimal amounts of THC, though users may still test positive for THC without getting any kind of “high” from a product.
CBD oil can come in a variety of forms, from tinctures to capsules to edibles and “gummies.” CBD oil can be added to foods or beverages you consume daily. It can also be smoked using a vaporizer, or even applied as a topical cream.
Some of the CBD hemp oils reviewed for the use of ADHD treatment can be found here.
- ADHD is a complex diagnosis that requires the consultation of a physician. There is no one-size-fits-all cure and some may benefit from prescription medication despite its side effects.
- Before taking any medication, whether a prescription or a natural alternative, discuss with a doctor first!
- Therapy may also play a significant role in retraining our brains to function with anyone diagnosed with ADHD.
- CBD oil is a safe and natural treatment some may wish to consider for ADHD and other conditions. It has minimal side effects and may be cheaper than other treatment plans.
- The benefits of CBD oil will extend beyond the treatment of ADHD as it functions in many other positive ways to promote overall health.