Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder , or ADHD, is one of many conditions that hinders a person's ability to live their best life and is frustratingly difficult to treat. Traditional methods of treatment are inadequate, often due to the side effects of the medications. If ADHD is a seemingly uncontrollable problem in your life, you might want to try CBD for ADHD.
Should You Try CBD Treatment for ADHD?
First, it's important to understand how ADHD works.
No one is really sure why people have ADHD. Some people have suggested that tv, video games, and other fast-paced methods of entertainment cause or contribute to the development of ADHD, but ADHD is a chemical condition, and the most likely cause is considered to be genetics.
ADHD impacts both children and adults, making it nearly impossible to focus, remain still, and control impulses. They have trouble learning, completing tasks in school, work, or at home, and may have dramatic reactions to even insignificant problems. People may expect the child or adult to reign themselves in, employ self-control, but this condition inhibits that very act. It's like telling a person with a lung problem to breathe right. ADHD can't just be turned off. It can be managed, people can learn healthy ways to cope with it. Or things can be done to decrease the chemical impacts of ADHD.
The Ins and Outs of Treating ADHD
ADHD treatments typically consist of either:
- behavioral therapy
- lifestyle changes
- natural substances like CBD oil
Medications come in two varieties, stimulant and non-stimulant. Both have negative side effects that may be bad enough to make the child or adult unable to take the medication. Some of the side effects can be dangerous.
Side effects of ADHD medications may include:
- disrupted sleep
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- higher blood pressure
- lack of personality or excitement
- tics and hallucinations are rare side effects of ADHD medications
Behavior therapy is typically used for children before starting them on medication as the side effects are greater in smaller children. This therapy teaches children helpful strategies to manage their feelings and energy. It is also important for the parents and the classroom to use these strategies to create a sense of consistency for the child. You don't develop daily habits in therapy sessions when the rest of your life doesn't mesh.
Lifestyle changes might include diet, exercise, and managing sleep.
Proteins, omega-3 fats and micronutrients such as zinc, vitamin D, magnesium, and iron improve focus and impulse control.
People with ADHD are often not huge fans of sleep, but sleep is important for both focus and mood. Developing and sticking to healthy sleep habits is a powerful force in managing ADHD.
Exercise is generally more popular with those with ADHD as they like to be active and engaged. The main problem is structuring enough exercise into the day to suit their needs.
These lifestyle changes don't just manage the symptoms of ADHD, though it's very helpful if something does. They actually make your brain less of what makes you have ADHD, within your DNA. This is called epigenetics, and it means you are actually sculpting your DNA. This is a powerful approach, but it must be adhered to and it can be aided.
Why CBD oil for ADHD?
CBD oil, cannabidiol, may help manage the ADHD itself and it can aid the user in managing the lifestyle changes mentioned above.
CBD oil is gaining massive attention for managing many neurological and mental problems such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, and epilepsy, and it aids neurogenesis, the growth of new neural stem cells.
Studies show some promise for the effectiveness of CBD treatment for ADHD, as do users' personal stories. Results should become more conclusive in the future. So far studies on cannabidiol and ADHD have either been on marijuana or a CBD product with THC, or have some positive response but not enough to be conclusive, such as this study from 2017. Many users online relate an improvement in their ADHD symptoms, commonly feeling more relaxed and less manic.
There is much more science to back up how it can work. Dopamine is a huge factor in ADHD as it impacts our moods, focus, and impulses. Our minds learn to do whatever creates more dopamine, whether that is healthy for us or not. CBD oil can facilitate a healthy balance of dopamine levels, a life saver for someone with ADHD whose dopamine balance is negatively impacting their lives by dragging down their mood and mental functions and enforcing unhelpful mental habits.
CBD treatment for ADHD could also build regular sleep patterns and provide healthy increases in energy and attention. It is commonly used to treat insomnia as it can alleviate stress, manage daytime drowsiness, and have a sedative effect in larger doses. CBD at lower doses provides a subtle energy boost that doesn't cause a crash.
For those struggling with ADHD medications, CBD could make an effective supplemental or replacement treatment.
CBD has some important edges on ADHD medications, it:
- has virtually no side effects
- improves mood and focus without making the person flat or emotionless
- doesn't cause crash or rebound like stimulant ADHD medications do
- is natural
- doesn't require a prescription
- also facilitates the lifestyle changes that help with ADHD
Some things to know about CBD Oil
CBD oil is not marijuana and doesn't cause a high. It does share similar benefits to marijuana, and it does come from the hemp plant, which is a relative of marijuana. The key difference is that marijuana is largely THC and a little CBD while hemp is largely CBD with virtually no THC. This means it is not possible for you to get a high from it and it is legal in all 50 states.
CBD Oil and Different Subtypes of ADHD
ADHD is broken up into many subtypes, as you probably know if you've been diagnosed with one of them. Depending on its symptoms, CBD may be more or less effective.
Since both ADD, or inattentive ADHD, and ADHD involve low levels of dopamine, you should see the benefits that come from dopamine balance, such as improved memory, attention, and mood.
ADHD patients with hyperactivity experience additional benefits from CBD because it impacts the adenosine receptors involved in hyperactivity and anxiety.
Both ADD and ADHD sufferers may feel that their lack of enthusiasm or excessive personality is too extreme and gets in their way of living a normal life. Medications can make one feel different, but not necessarily better, because they create too great a difference. It still feels unnatural. Because CBD is does not act on the body as an external substance, but rather facilitates the body's own natural processes, it just makes you feel better and healthier, more even.
CBD subtly increases energy, which may help those with ADD find a happy balance of interest and enthusiasm.
Marijuana and ADHD
Most research on cannabinoids and ADHD used marijuana-derived CBD with THC. This produced good and bad results.
Marijuana has shown to provide some noticeable benefits to ADHD suffers, which has generated some excitement.
Unfortunately, there is also evidence that it could eventually make ADHD worse. THC is a high-inducing drug much like any other. You can become dependent on it. This means the drug you were using becomes less effective. It can also exacerbate symptoms, whether you're dependent on it or not. On one hand, you may experience a better mood or increased focus, but you are actually less able to keep up with tasks and maintain habits that are good for your ADHD. People have seen enough evidence of an increase of ADHD symptoms with marijuana and ADHD to be discourage people from using it.
You should not assume that CBD oil is the same as marijuana. Because CBD oil does not contain THC, you get the benefits of cannabidiol, such as improved mood and a subtle energy increase without the factors for dependence or a crash. Marijuana is a, "look at me and how I fix things fast" substance that can often disappoint in the long run while cannabidiol is a "slow and steady wins the race" sort of substance.
Using CBD Treatment for ADHD
CBD oil ADHD Dosage
CBD oil can be taken as needed, meaning you could take it once in a while or regularly, but most people want to use it regularly for ADHD. Users typically end up taking CBD oil twice a day to maintain the results they are looking for, but you can try once a day and see how that works for you.
There isn't a specific dose designated for CBD oil for ADHD, because the science on how it works is still so new. It is always recommended to start with a low dose of CBD and work up. Sometimes a lower dose actually works better than a higher one. Most people find a moderate dose is what ultimately works best, but you have to find that right moderate dose. It is easier and wiser to find the moderate dose from a lower amount than a higher one.
Bear in mind that doses are impacted by weight. If you're planning to start an adult at 10 mg, you would want to give a considerably smaller child a fraction of that, like 1-2 mg for a 45lb child.
Give your dose at least 2 to 4 days to see how it works before changing. Wait several weeks, if you can. This will depend on what you're trying to manage and how willing you are to wait and see what happens.
The wait time gives your body time for the full effects of CBD to work before you tweak the dose. You won't be able to get an accurate assessment of whether a dose is right for you if you change too often.
Like most ADHD medications, you can start or stop taking CBD oil on a whim. There are no withdrawal symptoms and no certain length of time it has to be taken or anything, just what works or doesn't.
Choosing CBD Oil for ADHD
There are many types of CBD oil products you can choose from. This gives you the means to choose what works best for any needs or wants you have.
Types of CBD oil products:
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
- skin care products
- vape juices
- CBD for pets
Oil tinctures and extract concentrates are the most versatile products, giving you more control over the dose. This is a wise choice to start with when you'll probably be doing some tweaking to find your dose. Tinctures and concentrates should be held under the tongue for about 20 seconds before swallowing to maximize their effectiveness.
Tinctures and concentrates are also the purest forms of CBD oil, meaning there are the fewest numbers of ingredients. This is good for those who are particularly concerned with ingredients in products they buy and for limiting cost.
Capsules are the next best thing. They are mainly CBD oil and contain only the extra ingredients it takes to turn a medication into a capsule. These are great for people who don't want to mess with droppers and/or want to avoid the taste of hemp. Most tinctures are flavored, but some palates still don't like them. Capsules were made for these people.
Gummies, candies, and vape juices are the most fun methods of taking CBD oil. If you don't think you can get yourself to use it by any of the other methods, one of these might be for you.
Skin care products are usually great for localized issues, but there are also lip balms that offer broader benefits. There are many cb receptors in the lips, making this is another option for delivering CBD oil for ADHD symptoms whichever way is best for you.
Full-spectrum VS Isolate
CBD oil is offered in two forms, full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Both of these forms have merit, but for ADHD, you probably want to prioritize full-spectrum.
When CBD oil manufacturers extract CBD, they can isolate just the cannabidiol or they can use what they call the whole plant method to retain the many cannabinoids, phytonutrients, and terpenes in the hemp plant. Some of these offer the nutrients recommended in the ADHD diet, so again, CBD can attack the ADHD in multiple ways.
Should full-spectrum CBD oil not work for you, you could try CBD isolate. Some people swear it is more effective for them and you could knock off the benefits of the nutrients to try just CBD if full-spectrum lets you down.
Absolutely NO THC!
When giving CBD oil to kids, it is not exactly uncommon for people to be wary about the THC. It is important to know that even full-spectrum CBD products have so little THC in them that they don't even register it as being present in a lab tests. It reads 0.0_, depending on the exact product. The law also doesn't consider this as containing THC, and it is completely legal in all 50 states.
If you are still nervous about even that much, you could purchase a CBD isolate product. With lab testing to prove that it is indeed CBD isolate, you can be 100% sure your child is getting absolutely no THC.
Side Effects and Concerns
CBD oil may have slight side effects at high doses: loss of appetite, weight loss, and diarrhea. That's it. A far cry from most medicines.
CBD oil should be avoided when taking other medications that impact serotonin or can have a sedative effect. If you really need both medications, your doctor may be able to guide you toward a safe dose for both.
Always tell your doctor you are using CBD oil or giving it to your child as it impacts how much of a medication they can prescribe. CBD impacts the way the liver absorbs substances, which is exactly how many medications are processed. This means a prescribed medication may not work as intended if the doctor doesn't know to take it into consideration when choosing a dosage.
Some things to look out for when choosing CBD oil for ADHD
Third party testing
All CBD products are not made equal. Some don't even contain CBD! What they do contain may be poor quality and therefore less effective. Ensure that the product you are buying is what it promises to be by checking for third party lab test results. They should be available on the manufacturer's website.
Look for the mention of the C02 extraction method as it is the safest and purest one.
Where It's Grown
Check the website for mention of where they acquired their hemp, whether they grew it themselves, where they grew it, or where they sourced it from. Hemp from certain countries, like China, may not be safe or satisfactory quality.
Do check the ingredients of a product you're going to buy. Most are natural, but some are organic. Aim for fewer ingredients and ones you know or can readily discover what they are.
If you're going to use the vape method, research the ingredients particularly carefully as some are controversial. Avoid synthetic flavorings and be suspicious of ingredients used for creating the vapor.