The Future of ADHD Treatment: Cannabinoids?

One of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental diseases in children, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also affects a sizeable part (1-6%) of the adult population.
Numerous studies have revealed a sizable proportion of patients who assert that taking cannabis or cannabinoids reduces or eliminates their symptoms of ADHD.

A recent 2017 trial in 30 patients found promising outcomes in the usage of Sativex, a whole plant cannabis-based product with a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio, to treat ADHD. Drug misuse is a comorbidity that affects a sizable portion of ADHD patients, but it is also more common in these people.

While doctors typically prescribe stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to treat ADHD, many patients who “self-medicate” with cannabis have claimed a reduction in their symptoms, according to anecdotal testimonies obtained online.

Although the exact mechanism of how cannabinoids contribute to the pathophysiology of ADHD is still not fully understood, it is assumed to be connected to improved dopaminergic transmission. Because of this increased dopamine activity, stimulants are regarded as the “gold standard” for the pharmacotherapy of ADHD. However, doctors occasionally hesitate to give such psychiatric medications to a group of patients who frequently arrive with a comorbidity for substance dependence.

To put it mildly, using cannabis to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition with a multiple, complex pathology that is made worse by the co-occurring disorder of substance misuse, is complicated. However, new information definitely justifies looking into cannabis as a potential therapeutic.


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