CBD for ADD & ADHD

Cannabidiol, or CBD is helpful for people with attention-deficit disorder and attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Studies and anecdotal evidence both support this notion, and perhaps you’ve even heard your family, friends or choice of media mention the positive effects CBD can have. Let’s explore CBD as an option for better focus, calm and concentration instead of traditional pharmaceuticals.

CBD for ADD and ADHDThose who suffer from ADD and ADHD may experience difficulties with focus, attention and concentration. This influences work environments, classrooms and nearly any social setting. Some say the brains of people with attention deficit disorders just work differently. Neurological and/or chemical imbalances overwork the brain, making sensory perceptions accelerate and overwhelm its ability to process external stimuli. It’s very frustrating to feel constant pressure to change behavior when the most popular methods of treatment attempt to control chemical imbalances through prescriptions and counseling. Fortunately there are herbal alternatives that have proven effective and are increasingly being recognized within the medical community.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of at least 80 ‘cannabinoids’ found in marijuana and has been reported by people to help balance the brain’s dopamine levels, creating and sustaining a level of calm. This is the similar biological mechanism that soothes spasms associated with epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.

While CBD’s are non-psychoactive, (they don’t make you ‘stoned’ unless high levels of THC, another cannabinoid, is included) they do have a proven track record of producing a positive effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) - a natural, internal biological system exclusive to mammals that regulates many functions in the brain and body.

CBD helps to regulate and improve the endocannabinoid system, producing a myriad of complex positive effects, perhaps balancing the brain’s dopamine levels to create and sustain a level of calm. As such, CBD is responsible for the ‘body high’ associated with marijuana, and when isolated can provide a lot of the positive benefits of marijuana with much fewer psychoactive and neurotoxic effects from THC.

Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen and Dr. Eva Milz conducted and analyzed a clinical study in Germany between 2012 and 2014 that demonstrated successful therapy and treatment of ADD/ADHD with cannabis. Among 30 patients that were treatment-resistant to conventional pharmaceutical therapies such as methylphenidate, atomoxetine and amphetamines or their derivatives like Ritalin and Adderall, 22 of them ceased all stimulant use and switched to cannabis as their sole treatment. 

In a randomized controlled trial, King’s College in London demonstrated a nominally significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity and a trend for improvement in inattention from the use of cannabis as a way to treat ADD / ADHD symptoms. There were further indications for improvement in activity and cognitive performance as well as emotional lability. The study reports that “…effects across multiple measures showed consistent improvements in cognition and behavior”.

Studies like these and anecdotal evidence has emboldened some doctors to recommend CBD to help with treatment of ADD and ADHD through the calming effect it has on the endocannibinoid system that affects both the brain and the body.

How you choose to ingest CBD should be relative to the treatment goals you have. If you’re looking for on-the-spot calm and concentration, then sublingual application from CBD tinctures and absorption through inhalation via CBD vape oil generate the effect much faster than consumable CBD edibles. You can also choose to treat your symptoms through CBD pill capsules along with your other multi-vitamin supplement regimen.

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