CBD Oil and ADHD: What Does the Research Say?

December 5, 2019

ADHD is a commonly misunderstood illness that is easily dismissed by those who don?t fully understand how intense the accompanying symptoms can be. A teenager who is suffering from ADHD and is displaying negative behaviors is often just labeled as a ?troubled child? and adults who find it impossible to concentrate at work are coined as lazy.

The reality is that ADHD can have a hugely negative impact on the lives of not only the patient but also their friends, family members, and significant others; therefore, simply ignoring the symptoms is not really an option.

Currently, ADHD is most commonly treated with medications like Adderall and Ritalin. Because these types of medications are highly addictive, many people who are presently suffering from ADHD prefer to avoid seeing a doctor and battle through daily life the best they can.

The problem is that the overwhelming symptoms of ADHD present themselves in the form of angry outbursts, tantrums, and extreme mood swings. Before too long it becomes very clear to everyone involved in an individual?s case that something has to be done.

CBD to Treat ADHD

CBD oil has risen to fame thanks to its ability to naturally help ease a variety of symptoms of several illnesses. Because it has only recently taken center stage in the public eye, there is currently a limited amount of research on how effective it is as a medicine. While there have been some studies performed that demonstrate CBD can be effective at reducing and even eliminating epileptic seizures, it is yet to be classified as an actual medicine.

However, this hasn?t stopped people exploring the benefits of CBD oil to help ease the symptoms of the disorder they are experiencing, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Alzheimer?s

And while there is no concrete evidence that CBD can be used to effectively treat ADHD, many people who have been searching for a natural approach to manage their symptoms have had incredibly positive results and continue to take it regularly.

What Does the Research Say?

Anecdotal evidence and the limited amount of preclinical research that has been performed on the efficacy of CBD to treat ADHD have produced results that suggest it could be helpful. It has already been proven to be able to reduce anxiety by instilling a sense of calm and clarity, and this is especially poignant, as the majority of people who have ADHD have major anxiety issues as a result of the inner turmoil they experience day in day out.

There are currently no studies that have specifically looked at the impact CBD has on ADHD without other components present, but in 2017 a study was published indicating that CBD can help alleviate symptoms like lack of focus and concentration.

Adult participants suffering from ADHD were given Sativex, which is a synthetic pharmaceutical composed of THC and CBD in equal parts. While the results were far from mind-blowing, the researchers revealed that some of the test subjects experienced a reduction in hyperactive behavior as well as enhanced focus.

Many of the better quality CBD oils also contain a small percentage of THC, which in most states has to be below the legal limit of 0.3 percent, but in states or countries where marijuana has been completely legalized, you can find oils that contain a higher percentage of THC.

Theoretically, based on the results of this study, if you take CBD oil with THC present, you could expect to experience relief from at least some of your symptoms. The problem with the aforementioned study is that it only looked at the effects of Sativex on adults suffering from ADHD, not children. And in the United States, it is twice as common in kids than it is in teenagers or adults.

The FDA recently approved the synthetic CBD drug Epidiolex, and this gives hope to CBD advocates that more in-depth research on the effects of CBD on ADHD is imminent.

Is CBD Safe to Use with Children Suffering from ADHD?? ? ? ? ??

It?s no secret that the stigma associated with marijuana and THC (the component of the plant that produces psychoactive effects also known as a high) has meant that there have been few studies or clinical trials performed on the effects of CBD in kids.

As things currently stand, the majority of reports that have come to light have been individual case studies combined with anecdotes provided by researchers and professionals in the medical field.

To give you an example, this report published in 2013 focuses on the results of a Facebook poll where parents in California were asked to complete a survey about administering CBD oil to their children in an attempt to help treat their epilepsy. A total of 19 parents said that the only side effects they witnessed were fatigue and drowsiness.

Is CBD Safe to Use with Children Suffering from ADHD

Similarly, in 2015 another Facebook poll demonstrated that 117 parents whose children suffered from epilepsy safely administered CBD oil to their child and they all noticed improvements in concentration, sleep pattern and enhanced moods with regular CBD use.

There are also a plethora of individual testimonials praising the safe use of CBD oil in kids. Even though many of these testimonials are specific to the symptoms and treatment of epilepsy, there is no reason that the same effects won?t take place when used to treat ADHD. For this reason, many parents are now giving hyperactive children a small daily dose of organic CBD oil to help induce feelings of calmness and improve focus at school.

The Advantages of Using CBD over Traditional Medication

Earlier in this article, we mentioned that one of the biggest risks of taking prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin to treat ADHD is the risk of addiction. People who suffer from ADHD are thought to have more addictive personalities than those who do not;therefore, the risk of substance dependency is much greater. Aside from that, the side effects of traditional ADHD treatments can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Headache
  • Fluctuations in mood

And what is especially interesting to take note of is that all of the symptoms above are common reasons that people use CBD oil in the first place. So, in theory not only could CBD reduce the actual symptoms of ADHD, but it also would not provoke any negative side effects.

CBD oil is not addictive, and you can start or stop taking it whenever you like. There is no need to gradually decrease the dose if it doesn?t agree with you; you simply just don?t take it again, and furthermore, you will not experience any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

To date, there have been no reported cases of fatalities or harmful side effects as a result of using CBD oil, and you will not need a prescription to purchase it, providing it has been legalized in the state where you live.

Would a Physician Recommend Using CBD to Treat the Symptoms of ADHD?

CBD is not yet considered to be a medicine, so whether or not a physician would advocate its use to treat ADHD comes down to how open-minded they are toward alternative healing remedies. Many doctors are now coming around to the fact that a natural supplement is a much safer alternative to toxic pharmaceuticals, especially when children are involved, and they have seen positive results amongst their patients who take it. It is unlikely that a physician would prescribe CBD oil as the sole treatment for ADHD based on the fact that there is no concrete evidence that it will actually work.

Are There Any Potential Risks or Side Effects When Taking CBD Oil?

The side effects that some people experience when using CBD oil for the first time are minor and can include feeling drowsy or having an upset stomach, which is why it is always advisable to start with a low dose and increase gradually. Because everyone is different, there is no set dose that you should take, you simply increase the amount of CBD you consume each day until you feel the relief you desire.

Always be aware that it might take a few days or a couple of weeks for you to really notice a positive improvement as unlike traditional medicine, CBD works in a gentle and subtle way. In simple terms, CBD triggers your body to heal itself from the inside out- it isn?t just a quick fix.

What Can You Expect to Feel When Taking CBD Oil for ADHD?

Many existing users of CBD oil report that healing takes place when you notice the lack of symptoms rather than actually feeling better.Although, the majority of people also report that their outlook on life is much more positive.

Here are just a few of the positive benefits you can look forward to when you start using CBD oil:

  • Reduction in anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved appetite
  • The ability to think clearly
  • Enhanced focus
  • Balanced moods
  • Concentration
  • A rational mindset

Of course, not everyone will experience all of the above right away as it can take some time to tweak your dosage to get it just right.

Are There Any Downsides to Taking CBD Oil?

The only real downside that exists when taking this natural supplement is the fact that there is no guarantee it will work for everyone because there has not been enough funding put into developing CBD specifically for use with ADHD patients.

Some of the premium quality CBD oils can be more costly than traditional medicines, mainly because your insurance company will not subsidize treatment costs. But, when you compare the cost of CBD oil to the long term benefits it can provide you with and consider the fact that it works out at just a couple of dollars per day, it is well worth trying it at least once to see if it helps you.

Another factor to consider is that while the majority of states have gone ahead and legalized CBD oil, some haven?t, so you will need to check that you can legally obtain it and avoid any complications with the law. Drug tests are another hot topic in the world of CBD, as some oils contain traces of THC that could show up in a full spectrum test.

If in doubt, you should discuss your desire to start using CBD oil with your employer and explain your reasons why you want to take it and then you will be able to move forward with your decision.

Will CBD Oil Get You High If It Contains THC?

CBD oil will not get you high, providing it contains only the legal amount of THC. This is because when the two compounds of the marijuana plant synergistically work together, the CBD cancels out any of the psychoactive effects that you might experience when consuming higher doses of THC or smoking marijuana. This is an advantage as you won?t risk becoming addicted to any euphoric sensations that THC provides.You can take CBD oil when driving or at work and you can also stop and start using CBD at will, although regular dosing is recommended to experience the full benefits that a tincture can provide.

Final Thoughts

It is no secret that the majority of the population would prefer to treat illness naturally, instead of taking medication for the rest of their lives; this is not only because amphetamine-based medications can be highly addictive and have severe implications for long-term health.

Many people don?t consider the fact that going to the doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan takes time and also costs money. When you run out of an ADHD medication, you can?t simply walk into a pharmacy and ask for a new packet; you need to have a prescription, which doesn?t bode well if you are traveling, or it?s the weekend, and your physician?s office is closed.

CBD oil doesn?t have any of the restrictions or limitations that traditional medication has, and while it hasn?t been proven to cure or help ADHD, word of mouth testimonials are powerful enough to indicate that it is definitely worth giving it a try.

Another important point to consider is that certain people can have exceptionally adverse reactions to medications such as Ritalin and in some cases, they can warrant a trip to the emergency room. CBD does not have any of these harmful risks, yet it can provide many of the same benefits.

If you are keen to try CBD oil but you are still a little apprehensive about the fact that there is no evidence it will actually work to treat your symptoms on its own, then you can start by adding it into your daily diet alongside your existing medication before making any decisions to stop taking traditional medicine to help your ADHD.

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