Study Summary: Cannabis for ADHD

Updated: Jul 10

Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a chronic condition that affects millions of children and adults. A 2016 survey estimated that more than six million children have been diagnosed with ADHD to date. Boys are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed as girls, with 12.9 percent of boys and 5.6 percent of girls diagnosed with ADHD.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood. Diagnosis typically first occurs in childhood, but the condition may exist in adulthood. Patients suffering ADHD are challenged to maintain their attention on a single idea or project and the condition sometimes results in impulsive behavior.


Children and adults with ADHD find it challenging to pay attention or to control impulsive behaviors and may be overly active.


"The cause of ADHD remains unclear, but factors that may contribute to development of ADHD include genetics, the environment, and problems related to the central nervous system."

The cause of ADHD remains unclear, but factors that may contribute to development of this condition include genetics, the environment, and problems related to the central nervous system that may emerge at key developmental milestones.


The Study

A 2008 study conducted in Germany entitled "Cannabis Improves Symptoms of ADHD" that was published in the journal Cannabinoids was conducted in the form of a case study that examined a single ADHD patient, a 28-year-old male.

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The report noted that those who suffer ADHD "characteristically have an increased drive to move around and are unable to calm down. They are lacking in directed planning of their actions and the ability to assess the impact of their decisions."


The study determined that cannabis consumption improved the patient's ADHD symptoms. "A subsequent certificate by a specialist for general medicine suggests that ADHD symptoms were much improved under cannabis."

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The Results

The study's authors observed that the test subject achieved average and sometimes above average scores." The present case report suggests that individuals suffering from ADHD...may, in some cases, benefit from cannabis treatment," reported the study. It noted that cannabis "appears to regulate activation to a level which may be considered optimum for performance."


"The present case report suggests that individuals suffering from ADHD may, in some cases, benefit from cannabis treatment."

The researchers concluded that "the consumption of cannabis had a positive impact on [the] performance, behavior, and mental state of the subject." They suggested that the effects of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD "may be different from those in healthy users" and that this means the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be involved in the underlying mechanisms of ADHD.


View the original study.


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