CBD for ADHD: Can It Help Manage Symptoms
by Rowan Bailey
CBD for ADHD: Can It Help Manage Symptoms?Image Source: Unsplash
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition that affects both children and adults. The symptoms of ADHD, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, can have a significant impact on daily life. As a result, many individuals with ADHD are constantly seeking effective treatment options.
In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant, for managing ADHD symptoms. While CBD has shown promise for certain mental health conditions, such as epilepsy and anxiety, its effects on ADHD are still not well understood. In this article, we will explore the existing research, potential benefits, side effects, and safety considerations of using CBD for ADHD.
Understanding CBD and ADHD
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a "high" or euphoric effect. As such, CBD is often used for its potential therapeutic properties, including its ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
While CBD has gained popularity as a natural remedy for various conditions, there is limited research specifically examining its effects on ADHD. Most of the existing studies have focused on cannabis as a whole, rather than CBD as an isolated compound.
Research on CBD and ADHD
Research on the use of CBD for ADHD is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential benefits. However, here's what we currently know:
Symptom Management: Some studies have explored the relationship between cannabis use and ADHD symptoms. However, the results have been mixed, and there is no conclusive evidence to support or contradict the use of CBD for ADHD symptom management.
Substance Use Disorder: ADHD is considered a risk factor for developing substance use disorder. Research suggests that individuals with ADHD may be more likely to use cannabis and other substances. However, it is unclear whether CBD has a direct impact on substance use disorder in individuals with ADHD.
How CBD Works
When CBD is consumed, it interacts with two receptors in the body known as cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2). These receptors are involved in various bodily functions, including pain perception, inflammation, and immune response.
CBD appears to trigger the body to utilise its naturally occurring cannabinoids more effectively. This interaction may lead to a range of potential benefits, including reduced anxiety and decreased hyperactivity.
Safety and Side Effects
CBD is generally well-tolerated at doses up to 1,500 milligrams per day although the recommended daily dose in the UK is far below this at 75mg. Side effects are typically mild and may include upset stomach, drowsiness, or changes in appetite or weight in rare cases.
One study conducted on mice suggested that CBD-rich cannabis extract may increase the risk of liver toxicity. However, it's important to note that the mice in the study received extremely large doses of CBD beyond what any typical product would provide, and more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of CBD on liver function in humans.
When using CBD, it's essential to consider potential interactions with other medications or supplements. CBD can interfere with enzymes that metabolise certain drugs, similar to grapefruit. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD, especially if you are taking other medications.
Using CBD for ADHD
If you're considering using CBD for ADHD, it's crucial to start with a low dosage and gradually increase as needed. The optimal dosage for ADHD symptoms has not been established, as there is limited research specifically on CBD for ADHD.
CBD oil can be taken orally by placing a few drops under the tongue, swallowing CBD capsules, or consuming CBD-infused treats. Another option is inhaling CBD through vaping, but the safety of vaping is still a subject of concern and further research.
It's important to note that oral CBD products need to be on the FSA's Novel Foods list to be compliant in the UK. To ensure safety and quality, it's recommended to purchase CBD products from reputable sources and to check for third-party lab testing results.
While CBD has shown potential benefits for certain mental health conditions, the research on its effectiveness for ADHD is still limited. More studies are needed to understand the specific effects of CBD on ADHD symptoms and to determine appropriate dosages. It's worth checking out real world reviews for various products, as it is often a topic brought up by customers. So you may well find some first hand experiences that can help you.
If you are considering using CBD for ADHD, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance based on your individual needs and medical history. ADHD is a complex condition, and treatment decisions should be made in collaboration with a licensed medical provider. CBD should not be considered a replacement for FDA-approved medications or other recommended treatments.
As the research on CBD and ADHD continues to evolve, it's important to stay informed and make decisions based on reliable information and professional advice.