What is ADD/ADHD?
Patients who have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) share two common symptoms: impulsivity and inattentiveness. ADHD patients also suffer from hyperactivity, whereas ADD patients do not. Patients with either ailment find it harder to concentrate and manage daily tasks, and they are less likely to be motivated throughout the day.
How can marijuana help?
Doctors usually prescribe ADD and ADHD patients stimulants that increase dopamine levels, but the side effects, including nausea, increased sweating, and insomnia, sometimes outweigh the benefits. For patients who desire a medicinal alternative, cannabis is a viable solution. A study published in 2009 demonstrates the endocannabinoid system’s role in mitigating symptoms of ADHD. In the study, scientists discovered that ADHD patients had significantly higher levels of anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid which mimics the therapeutic effects of THC, compared those without ADHD. This suggests that the endocannabinoid system is able to react to a patient’s ailment and compensate for the disorder. Scientists have also discovered that particular cannabinoid receptors found near the hippocampus and amygdala regions of the brain — the same areas linked to emotional regulation and memory — can be a direct indicator of whether or not someone has ADHD. One study from the Heidelberg University Medical Centre supplements this research by demonstrating that cannabis can be used as a viable medication for patients who have adult ADHD. The research, titled, Cannabis Improves Symptoms of ADHD, studies how cannabis affected a 28-year-old male with ADHD. The result? They found that cannabis not only improved the patient’s mood, but it also improved his cognition and driving ability. “The present case report suggests that individuals suffering from ADHD, a dysfunction with a symptomatic change in activity levels, may - in some cases - benefit from cannabis treatment in that it appears to regulate activation to a level which may be considered optimum for performance. There was evidence, that the consumption of cannabis had a positive impact on performance, behaviour and mental state of the subject.” In particular, ADHD patients should medicate with a strain containing CBD in order to reign in THC’s psychoactive effects. This will help prevent patients from becoming distracted and will also help negate the short-term memory loss associated with THC.