Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as simply ADHD, is a condition that affects millions of people across the world. Symptoms are normally characterized by excessive hyperactive behavior, impulsivity, distractibility, and difficulty focusing and controlling emotions. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing symptoms, many have been turning to alternative treatments such as cannabis and its cannabinoids in order to manage their ADHD.
Cannabinoids are compounds found in marijuana plants and can be broadly categorized into two groups: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces a high, while CBD does not produce any psychotropic effects. Both of these compounds have been investigated for their potential therapeutic benefits and it has been suggested that they could offer relief from some of the symptoms associated with ADHD.
In the past few years, research has shown promise for the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids in the treatment of ADHD. For example, a 2019 study found that taking medical marijuana was associated with improved cognitive functioning, including improvements in executive functioning, working memory, and processing speed. The same study also found that taking medical marijuana was associated with reduced levels of anxiety and depression, both of which are common symptoms in individuals with ADHD.
How Cannabinoids Work to Help Manage ADHD Symptoms
The exact mechanism through which cannabinoids may help to reduce symptoms of ADHD is still being researched. However, there are several theories about how this might work. One theory suggests that cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, sleep, and other homeostatic functions. By interacting with this system, the cannabinoids may help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
It is also possible that cannabinoids may act on certain neurotransmitters in the brain involved in controlling attention and focus. This includes dopamine, which plays an important role in executive functioning and is believed to be dysregulated in individuals with ADHD. It is possible that using cannabis or its cannabinoids may help to restore balance to this system, leading to improved cognitive functioning and focus.
Side Effects and Safety Considerations
Despite the potential benefits, there are also risks associated with using cannabis and its cannabinoids to manage ADHD symptoms. The most significant risk is the potential for addiction and dependence. People who take cannabis products regularly may experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit, as well as psychological side effects such as paranoia and hallucinations.
There is also the potential for physical side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, dizziness, and nausea. As with any medication, it is important to speak to your doctor before starting a new treatment plan. You will find an individual treatment plan at Elios Clinics. Just fill in our new patient form or contact us, and our doctors will do their best to help you.
While there is currently limited evidence on the efficacy of using cannabis and its cannabinoids to manage ADHD symptoms, there is promising research that suggests these products may provide some benefit. However, it is important to remember that using cannabis comes with potential risks. Before trying any new treatment, it is important to speak with your doctor to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you.
What Other Disorders Can be Treated by Cannabis?
Cannabinoids have also been investigated for their potential use in treating a wide range of other conditions, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, and cancer. However, research into the efficacy of these treatments is limited and further studies are needed to better understand the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its cannabinoids.
How to Get a Prescription for ADHD Legally in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, cannabis-based medicines are legal, although they are tightly regulated. In order to obtain a prescription for a cannabis-based medicine, you must first visit a doctor and they will conduct a full assessment. They may then diagnose you with a medical condition that meets the criteria for the use of a cannabis-based medicine, such as ADHD. Once the doctor has diagnosed you and determined that it is appropriate for you to use cannabis-based medicine, they will send a prescription to a specialized pharmacy.