Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviours interfere with school and home life.

They are as follows:

  • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems at work
  • Trouble controlling anger
  • Impulsiveness
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Unorganized
  • Procrastination
  • Easily frustrated
  • Chronic boredom
  • Trouble concentrating when reading
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems

Can Medical Cannabis Help ADHD Patients?

A recent study showed that an estimated 25% of patients experienced therapeutic benefits with the use of cannabis for treating ADHD symptoms.

Cannabis raises dopamine levels in the brain, but unlike other drugs, the way in which it does this is different. Cannabinoids increase dopamine levels indirectly by blocking the action of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA reduces neuronal excitability in the nervous system and inhibits dopamine release. Unlike stimulants that excite the dopaminergic system directly increasing the risk of dopamine “burn-out” over prolonged periods of use, cannabis instead allow normal dopamine release by blocking GABA.

It seems that it is this interaction between the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems that might provide a mechanism for the reported decrease in ADHD symptoms when using cannabis to self-medicate, but without the side-effects associated with stimulant prescriptions.

Cannabis as Treatment for ADHD Symptoms

For some patients, cannabis is useful as a complimentary therapy to help alleviate the side-effects associated with prescription medications. Cannabis has been shown to be effective for treating insomnia and nausea without the side-effects associated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Others patients, prefer using cannabis as a primary treatment for the alleviation of ADHD symptoms itself such as hyperactivity, behavioural problems, anxiety, and depression.

Although in cannabis and ADHD research is in its infancy, the increasing number of scientific studies being conducted, are starting to increasingly show that cannabis can be a valuable complementary, and even primary treatment for combating the difficulties and symptoms associated with ADHD.

How can medical cannabis help with treating ADHD?

Medical cannabis has been found to provide symptom relief for ADHD including anxiety, fidgeting, and attentiveness. Some individuals state they have been able to reduce their use of pharmaceutical medications prescribed for ADHD. 

What forms of cannabis are available and most commonly used for patients with ADHD?

Ingestible options (Oil and/or gelcaps) are often recommended. This is because their effects can take effect in your body for up to 8 to 12 hours and provides patients with extended relief throughout the day or night. There are also other options available that include dry flower, vaporizers, edibles, beverages, and more. You can work with your Apollo healthcare practitioner to find and decide what is going to work best for you and your personal preferences.

Can I take medical cannabis alongside my other medications?

Individuals looking to use medical cannabis as a treatment option for ADHD may use it either alongside other medications such as pharmaceuticals or as their primary medication. It is usually recommended to be taken consistently to be effective, but there is generally no immediate harm if doses are missed. Please always confirm with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medication. 

How do I dose medical cannabis for ADHD?

Our physicians and patient care specialists work 1-on-1 with you to find your optimal dose. As every person’s body is different, we start slow and create a personalized dosing schedule for you. If at any time you feel like you need to make adjustments, we are here to support you by phone and email 7 days a week.

Find out if medical cannabis is right for you.

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