Study Summary: Cannabinoids for ADHD

Updated: Oct 9

An August 2022 study entitled "The Use of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—A Review of the Latest Literature" that was published in the Journal of Education, Health and Sport investigated the efficacy of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The study noted that ADHD "is a common problem in adolescents and adults around the world" and that it manifests in particular behavioral characteristics, including "inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity."


The Study

The researchers reported that "increasing numbers of ADHD patients are self-medicating with cannabis," but noted a "lack of specific evidence" regarding its effects and safety. The declared purpose of this study was to "review the most recent available literature on the use of cannabidiol in the treatment of ADHD."


The researchers reported that "increasing numbers of ADHD patients are self-medicating with cannabis," but noted a "lack of specific evidence" regarding its effects and safety.

The design of this research was that of a literature review that utilized the PubMed and Scopus databases. Searches of these resources for the query term "cannabidiol and ADHD" resulted in detailed analysis of 15 articles.


Results

The research reported that their literature review indicates that cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) "are reported to have pharmacological anxiolytic, neuroprotective, antidepressant, [and] antipsychotic, and hypnotic effects."

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The data gathered indicate that ADHD patients treated with cannabinoids displayed "reduced hyperactivity, improved focus, and control of impulsive behavior." However, patients who used cannabis to treat ADHD also reported a number of side effects, including "mild short-term memory problems, dry mouth, sleepiness, and occasional experiences of constant thirst and greater forgetfulness."


ADHD patients treated with cannabinoids displayed "reduced hyperactivity, improved focus, and control of impulsive behavior."

The scientists concluded that the data they collected is "evidence for the effects of cannabinoids on ADHD symptoms, as well as the influence of the cannabinoid system on involvement in neurological and psychiatric disorders."


Like most studies of its kind, this one recommended "more controlled clinical trials" to determine the effect of cannabis use on ADHD symptoms and issues such as dosing and how cannabinoids might interact with other drugs or biochemical predispositions.


View the original study.


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