When it comes to alternative remedies for a variety of issues, it seems everyone is talking about CBD. Cannabidiol, as it’s also known, is a compound that comes from the cannabis plant. Another commonly known cannabis compound is THC, or tetrohydrocannabinol. Unlike THC, however, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. Therefore, it won’t cause you to feel high.
CBD is sought after for its many health benefits. You probably know someone who has had success using CBD for things like pain management, anxiety reduction and increased focus. The increased focus and concentration that many experience is what might make you wonder about CBD oil for ADHD. There have been some recent studies on the subject that indicate this compound might assist in lessening the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Read on to learn more about what CBD oil is, how it works and the ways in which it could help to treat ADHD symptoms.
CBD oil contains the cannabis compound, cannabidiol. CBD is one of more than 100 active compounds found in the plant. As noted, this compound won’t cause euphoric feelings or make you feel high. That’s because it doesn’t work to cause activity in the brain the way that THC does.
It does, however, work with the endocannabinoid system of the body to produce a number of positive health effects. CBD has been shown to lessen the symptoms of two common forms of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In fact, the FDA approved the first drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy, Epidiolex.
CBD can also be beneficial in treating anxiety, as well as for reducing insomnia. It’s been shown to be useful in various types of pain reduction such as joint pain, nerve pain, inflammation and forms of chronic pain.
How CBD Works
CBD reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Two specific receptors within this system, CB1 and CB2, directly affect certain areas and functions of the body. CB1 is prominent within the brain and controls functions such as memory, mood, motor function and pain reception. When found in other parts of the body, CB1 receptors affect hormone production, digestion and cardiovascular health. It is due to these receptors that CBD assists in the increased concentration, anxiety reduction and epilepsy relief.
CB2 receptors are found in abundance within the cells of the immune system. They’re responsible for immune response and the moderation of inflammation. When CBD is introduced, it helps to address such issues as joint pain, digestive issues, inflammation and allergies.
CBD works within the endocannabinoid system to trigger the body’s own natural cannabinoids. It does this because CBD is known as a phytocannabinoid, which helps to enhance the CB1 and CB2 receptors’ abilities to bind to the natural cannabinoids that are present. The results are improved functions within the system.
CBD and ADHD Management
Much of the scientific research done on cannabinoids and ADHD is centered on THC. However, there are some studies that indicate promise for CBD’s benefits on the condition. Plus, many anecdotal reports praise CBD for its use in helping to manage such symptoms as hyperactivity, focus and restlessness.
One small study in which 30 participants with ADHD were given a medication containing CBD noted some improvement in impulsivity and hyperactivity. Unfortunately, results were inconclusive regarding improvement in cognitive functioning and alleviation of other symptoms. The research methods used in this study were standardized tests in which IQ performance and symptoms levels were measured. The results are promising for the promotion of further study on the endocannabinoid system and ADHD.
A study from 2013 looked at how regular cannabis use affects symptoms of ADHD. The results seemed to indicate more relief for those suffering from hyperactivity and impulsivity, rather than the more inattentive subtype of ADHD. CBD does tend to have a calming effect on its users, which is one reason people take it for sleep issues and anxiety.
It would appear that more research on CBD alone, rather than on cannabis as a whole and including THC, would be beneficial with regard to the treatment and management of ADHD symptoms. However, it does seem that CBD use holds promise with regard to lessening individual symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This may be particularly helpful for those who wish to avoid some of the side effects of traditional pharmaceutical ADHD medications. These medicines are typically divided into the categories of stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants offer the fastest acting results. They also tend to come with a wide variety of side effects.
Side effects of stimulant ADHD medicines include:
- Weight loss
- Mood changes
- Dry mouth
- Poor appetite
Non-stimulants medications for ADHD have been shown to have fewer side effects; however, they can still occur.
Side effects of non-stimulant ADHD medications include:
- Weight loss
- Mood changes
- Poor appetite
- Stomach upset
In addition, both of these types of medicines are given by prescription only. This can be a burden to those without health insurance or the resources to attend physician visits. Therefore, a more natural remedy such as CBD oil might be preferred as a treatment option.
How to Use CBD Oil
You can find various types of CBD products at your local health food store or a shop that specializes in CBD and related supplies. You might also wish to check a CBD oil online shop for the convenience of ordering from home. There are a number of ways you can use CBD to treat ADHD symptoms, depending on your preference.
In order to manage symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity and anxiety, you’ll likely wish to take a product through oral ingestion. A tincture of CBD oil in which drops are placed under the tongue is a fast-acting way to get the cannabidiol into your system.
You can also choose CBD capsules. Just swallow them with liquid like you would any other type of pill. These may take a bit longer to be absorbed into your system. Inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen is yet another consideration. This places the CBD into your bloodstream quite quickly.
CBD can also be delivered through edibles such as candies, gummies or chocolates. This might be a good option for those who are averse to other methods. The taste is usually quite appealing to most people.
While the research on CBD in the treatment of ADHD is still sparse, it is growing. There is also a significant amount of anecdotal evidence that many have gotten relief from their ADHD symptoms through the use of cannabidiol. This route may be worth a try if you’d prefer a method that is natural with few side effects.