Cannabidiol or CBD is a popular choice for those seeking a natural and plant-based way of relieving day-to-day stress. However, CBD users have indicated that CBD oil may reduce symptoms of another, more severe condition – ADHD.
Despite what some users may posit, there is scant medical evidence that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for people living with ADHD. The few studies that address this topic have not definitively proven that there is a causal link between CBD use and reduction in ADHD symptoms.
However, as CBD grows in popularity, advocates hope that a larger body of study can speak to CBD’s efficacy. In the meantime, many who use CBD for ADHD attest to its effectiveness. In this article, the ways that CBD may help symptoms of ADHD, what ADHD is, and how it affects individuals will be examined and discussed.
What Is ADHD?
In the United States, nearly 8.4 percent of children live with ADHD. Although many may associate ADHD with childhood, up to 2.5 percent of adults in the US also have ADHD. The term ADHD stands for “attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Those with ADHD often display a pattern of distracted or impulsive behaviors. A patient must exhibit six behaviors within two categories for a diagnosis:
- Makes careless mistakes at work or school
- Has problems maintaining focus on tasks and during events
- May seem “out of it,” during conversations or seem to have trouble listening
- Has trouble following instructions
- Misses deadlines and displays time management problems
- Stays away from tasks that may require attention to detail
- Often forgets to pay bills, run errands, or turn in homework
- Gets distracted easily
- May lose track of essential items, including purses, keys, wallets or electronics
- Has trouble standing or sitting still, may fidget or squirm in place
- May move around when sitting still is appropriate (such as during classes or meetings)
- You may be unable to complete tasks or assignments quietly
- May continuously be “on the move”
- Displays a lack of patience or inability to wait their turn
- May interrupt others during a conversation
- Described as “talking too much”
People living with this hyperactivity disorder experience significant problems in their home and work lives. They may not complete tasks, may have bouts of forgetfulness and distraction, and have trouble with focus and concentration.
What Are the First Signs of ADHD?
While it may seem easy to match any of the above-listed behaviors with a diagnosis of ADHD, it is a bit more complicated. Key features and actions must repeatedly occur. These features can help determine a pattern rather than a personality quirk, a temporary phase of life, or other causes.
ADHD in Children
These elements are especially critical when it comes to diagnosing children. Children are known to be boisterous and full of energy. However, how this shapes their behavior over time is an essential clue. For example, children who have ADHD may display an inability to sit still or focus for an extended period. While this is true of most children, as children age, they tend to become better at allocating their attention and focus.
Many children become adept at navigating their desire to play with assigned tasks. They may complete assignments in class, and they may help teachers, other students, and parents, both in the home and outside of it. Most importantly, they can follow prompts and instructions.
Children with ADHD are unable to remain seated for long periods. As they get older, parents and teachers may notice that they may fidget or squirm, get out of their seats unprompted and speak out of turn. Parents of children with ADHD may also have concerns regarding problems with sleeping and napping.
Children and adolescents report that their minds “race” at night. They may have difficulty tuning out outside noises and stimuli and settling down. Younger children with ADHD are especially susceptible to other symptoms, such as night terrors, nightmares, and bedwetting. Children may also have difficulty transitioning between activities.
For instance, a caregiver may indicate that playtime is over and that it is time to clean up and get ready for another, different activity. While children often learn how to cope with change and transition, a child with ADHD may feel overwhelmed and angry. Their feelings may manifest in crying, yelling, refusal to comply, and tantrums.
What Causes ADHD?
Researchers are unsure about what causes ADHD. Instead, current research suggests that there may be a culmination of factors and risks. Many of these include a patient’s genetic disposition, environmental pressures, trauma to the brain, smoking, and diet.
One of the most prevalent myths regarding hyperactivity disorder is that it is the result of poor parenting choices. The National Institutes of Health lists ADHD as a medical condition that parents and adults must treat to ensure a better quality of life.
ADHD in adults may manifest in several ways. Patients may first notice small things at first, such as an inability to regulate their impulsivity. Expensive buying and impulsive shopping may be the first hint. However, other early behaviors may prompt an ADHD diagnosis.
This includes restlessness and an inability to remain still for long periods. Meetings and work events may slowly become problematic for adults with ADHD. They may find that their performance at work or school also suffers.
Disorganization and the inability to juggle time management constraints may lead to incomplete projects and other issues. Personal relationships may also become increasingly difficult to maintain. They may also exhibit signs of hyperactivity such as wandering or walking when such activities are unexpected or unsuitable.
Many of these signs and symptoms in and of themselves can occur across a spectrum of individuals. However, those with ADHD experience them regularly and in a variety of situations. Many adults may have had this condition in their childhood but were undiagnosed.
Medical experts suggest a variety of treatments for hyperactivity disorder. There is no known cure for ADHD. It is a condition that, through proper care and treatment, is manageable. Traditional therapies include psychotherapy, behavioral modification techniques, and prescription medications.
Many parents and others may opt for a home remedy for ADHD. Some of these holistic remedies include herbs such as gotu kola, pine bark, ginseng, melatonin, bacopa, and nindong. Other methods include increased exercise and biofeedback procedures.
Treatment for adult ADHD includes a combination of methods, including prescription medication, focus training, time management education, and psychological intervention. Prescription medications may consist of clonidine, guanfacine, and focalin.
Adults with ADHD seeking a plant-based way to manage symptoms may utilize a CBD treatment. CBD derived from hemp lacks the psychotropic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC directly binds to the brain’s receptors and can cause hallucinations.
Instead, CBD impacts the body and receptors indirectly, thus causing no change to perception or cognition. Those that use CBD cite its calming effects. Users consume cannabidiol as a way to address insomnia and relieve stress – issues that those with ADHD may contend with daily.
CBD Oil for ADHD
CBD use for ADHD may include tinctures, capsules, or edibles. And CBD dosage for ADHD may depend on the severity of symptoms and individual dispositions. Some suggest that CBD for children should include no more than 30-40 mg per day.
Although CBD is a naturally occurring compound, it is generally not recommended as a treatment for children. Adults may start dosing at 70mg a day and alter the dosage according to individual preferences.
What Are Studies Saying About the Use of CBD to Treat ADHD?
Though there has been very little medical evidence as to CBD’s effect on ADHD, this is beginning to change. As CBD has boomed and it has spread throughout the market, researchers have started to study it and its purported effects.
A clinical trial that took place between August 2014 and December 2015 yielded positive results. Adult participants took either a placebo or a form of CBD (Sativex) each day for six weeks. Those who received the CBD treatment reported a reduction in ADHD symptoms. CBD oil for ADHD may soon become a prevalent form of treatment. But we still need many more studies conducted on the issue before we can make any grand claims about their relationship.
Final Thoughts on CBD oil for ADHD
Many people use CBD for an array of issues. People use hemp-derived CBD for a variety of reasons, including to encourage sleep and decrease. However, users with ADHD have utilized this compound to address issues stemming from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Although there have been few scientific studies that CBD oil for ADHD may help individuals with ADHD, researchers are currently looking into CBD for ADHD. As studies of this element progress, users may be able to explore CBD further.
CBD derived from hemp is not only available in a variety of areas, but it also lacks the psychoactive effects of its counterpart, the chemical THC. CBD may induce feelings of calm and reduce stress for those with ADHD. It also may encourage sleep, aid in focus, and improve concentration. As CBD continues to rise in popularity, there may be more that can inform the public about its efficacy and use for ADHD.