Managing ADHD is a long and difficult journey. The hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention that often come as a result of this condition can be alleviated with the right treatments and the advice of a trusted medical professional. There is some anecdotal evidence that using cannabidiol (CBD) as a supplement to support your current regimen can be quite helpful.
What does science say on the topic, though? Have there been enough studies carried out to actually confirm the anecdotes? Are CBD gummies for ADHD really a beneficial supplement? It is vital to read up on the most recent research before making any dietary change or introducing a new supplement.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. Now, CBD is often lumped together with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive substance present in cannabis. In other words, THC is the chemical that is responsible for people getting high. Since they’re both found in the same plant, many people often think CBD and THC are inseparable. However, that’s a completely wrong assumption. A lot of hard work and dedication has been put into isolating CBD over the years, resulting in the development of a wide myriad of cannabis products that only have CBD in them. This separation allows people to reap the many benefits of using CBD as a supplement without getting the undesired psychoactive effects that are a result of our bodies processing THC.
It’s important to note that marijuana strains that contain THC also have CBD within them, and the THC compound in and of itself has been found to come with certain benefits as well. However, getting high daily for the sake of supplementing is not the most sustainable way to take care of your health, especially if you lead an active lifestyle with plenty of responsibilities and places to go during the day. This is why the isolation of CBD was so revolutionary – it lets individuals reap all the benefits of this compound while retaining their ability to think straight and stay sober throughout the day.
Most Popular Forms of CBD
Just like regular marijuana, the CBD-only form of cannabis comes in many shapes and forms. There are CBD edibles, CBD flowers that you can roll up and smoke in a joint, as well as CBD oils you can rub on your skin. Here are three of the most popular ways to use CBD as a supplement.
Who doesn’t like gummies? They’re tasty, juicy, and in the case of CBD gummies, can help you relieve anxiety and stress. Gummies are one of the most discreet ways of ingesting cannabidiol. The format also helps with easy dosing – pop one gummy per day to feel the difference and achieve improved well-being.
Oils are great for athletes and other active individuals who use CBD to support their pain relief and sore muscles. It has also been shown to help with arthritis pain. Whether it’s massage oils or tinctures, CBD oils are a good way to support a healthy lifestyle or rejuvenate your muscles after a heavy workout.
When it comes to instant pain relief, CBD roll-ons are the way to go. Simply taking the tub and rolling it onto the affected area is all you need to do to release the compound and promote a quick recovery process.
CBD for ADHD: What Does the Research Say?
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence regarding CBD’s effectiveness in managing ADHD patients, and while they’re encouraging, anecdotes on their own are not enough to confirm or deny the efficacy of any supplement or treatment. Research related to cannabis and its effectiveness in managing the symptoms of ADHD is still in its infancy, but there have been a few studies that seem to confirm CBD’s helpfulness in alleviating hyperactivity in individuals with the disorder. Other scientists have found that adult ADHD patients who were taking a higher dosage of CBD than others reported a lower need for taking prescribed ADHD medication.
CBD and Hyperactivity
The study suggesting that CBD may have a positive effect when it comes to managing hyperactivity in ADHD patients was carried out in 2012 in the United States. The researchers took a sample of 2,811 active cannabis users and, via a series of interviews, determined that the hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were occurring with a higher frequency and intensity on the days they were not using cannabis.
While more data needs to be collected on the subject, this study seems to point toward the fact that cannabis usage does, indeed, help alleviate the hyperactivity and impulsiveness subset of ADHD symptoms.
While not a direct characteristic of ADHD, anxiety and depression are often classified as co-occurring conditions in ADHD patients. CBD has been shown to be effective in managing a whole host of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety.
Seeing as anxiety is frequently cited as a condition accompanying ADHD patients, supplementing their treatments with CBD to alleviate it can help individuals with ADHD manage their condition better by not having the added element of anxiety making them feel worse.
Not Enough Hard Data
The studies cited above certainly provide a hopeful outlook for the future of CBD, but as of right now, they are exactly that: a mere glimmer of hope. There simply isn’t enough data to consider CBD an effective ADHD treatment method. More investigation is also needed to determine the exact role of the endocannabinoid system in the disorder as it is, to gain a better understanding of how best to utilize the CBD compound in treatment plans.
As things currently stand, it might be a good idea to use CBD to supplement your current ADHD treatment plan, not replace it altogether. Given the findings presented above, CBD can support ADHD patients’ well-being and reduce some of the co-occurring symptoms, such as anxiety and panic disorders.
CBD for ADHD in Children
If you look it up online, you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence of parents successfully using CBD to alleviate the ADHD symptoms in their children. Unfortunately, no clinical trials back these claims. Furthermore, not enough scientific investigations have been carried out into CBD’s effects on the brain’s development.
Although it isn’t likely to have a harmful effect on them, using CBD to support your children’s ADHD treatment regimen is not currently advised (at least not until more data is gathered to back up its efficiency).
Risks and Potential Side Effects
Just like with any supplement, CBD is also associated with certain side effects. Thankfully, they are not too serious, and with proper dosing and the right dietary and lifestyle choices, you can avoid them altogether. Keep in mind that before starting to supplement with CBD, you should have a chat with your doctor – some people may be more susceptible to developing CBD-related side effects than others. Below you can find a list of the most common negative effects people report after taking CBD:
- Appetite changes,
- Upset stomach,
There is no evidence that CBD can worsen the symptoms of ADHD, but the compound does change the way your body processes certain medications, so keep an eye out for grapefruit warnings on the labels of your prescription drugs.
Using CBD for ADHD is a mixed bag. It can provide some relief for associated disorders, such as anxiety, but there is currently no scientific evidence that cannabidiol effectively manages ADHD. So, can you take CBD oil for ADHD? The short answer is sure, as long as it is a form of supplementing your existing treatment plan, and not a means of replacing it altogether. Aside from alleviating anxiety and hyperactivity, it can also support healthier sleeping habits and promote a better appetite.
All in all, CBD is a worthwhile supplement for all active adults, with or without ADHD. It can help you fortify your habits and alleviate pain. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough scientific data to support the anecdotal claims of its effectiveness in treating ADHD, but it can help you with co-occurring disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD safe and legal?
As we mentioned earlier, there are certain side effects you can experience as a result of ingesting CBD, but none of them are serious enough to deem cannabidiol an “unsafe” substance. As for its legality, CBD is perfectly legal for use in most states, with the exception of Kansas, where no hemp-derived products intended for human consumption are permitted.
What forms of CBD are best for ADHD?
The easiest and most convenient way to supplement your ADHD treatment with cannabidiol is probably CBD gummies. They’re tasty and can be easily incorporated into any meal of the day. However, the truth is that all CBD forms are equally effective and there is no “right” way to take it (as long as you follow the recommended dosage). So if you’re already using CBD massage oils as part of your post-workout routine, that dose will also be effective in supporting your ADHD treatment.
What are some other benefits of using CBD as a supplement?
There are plenty of confirmed benefits that are associated with using CBD as a dietary supplement on a regular basis. The most frequently cited ones include:
- Anxiety and stress relief,
- Anti-inflammatory qualities,
- Pain relief,
- Sleep improvements.
The statements expressed on this website are purely opinion of the author and not factual. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referenced on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s highly suggested to consult with your medical professional prior to any use of the products referenced on this website. This website and author specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the products contained on the website.