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Can Medical Marijuana Help with ADHD Symptoms?

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July 11, 2018 9:00 AM

Can_Medical_Marijuana_Help_with_ADHD_SymptomsMany people are familiar with the benefits of medical marijuana for a number of different ailments. Its ability to treat conditions such as PTSD, eating disorders, insomnia, and chronic pain is well-known.

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Did you know that this treatment is becoming more popular with those who have ADHD? Medical marijuana can help reduce its symptoms. Keep reading to find out how.


How It Helps

ADHD causes people to become hyperactive and makes it hard to focus on tasks in front of them. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that regulates attention, memory, and other cognitive processes, is off balance in those suffering from this condition.

Medical cannabis helps lower the impulsivity ADHD patients experience. It reduces symptoms by bringing them under control, so patients can feel like their best selves again.

While limited research is available as to just how medical marijuana assists in reducing ADHD symptoms, current studies have shown positive results. In 2015, a German research study monitored 30 patients using medical marijuana for ADHD. They concluded that patients saw an improvement in sleep and concentration, and a decrease in impulsivity. In 2016, subjects of a King’s College study in London showed reduced ADHD symptoms, such as inattention and hyperactivity, while scoring higher on emotional stability and cognitive performance. There was an improved focus in paying attention and staying on task.

Like any prescription, medical cannabis authorized for ADHD has to be in the correct dose for the patient. The correct use can make routine tasks manageable and relieve mood swings. Medical marijuana is showing promise in this area, but more research is still needed. The link between dopamine and marijuana may be relatively new, but doctors believe the right dosage and treatment plan can assist with ADHD.


Comparing it to Other Medications

The cannabinoids in medical marijuana interact to manage dopamine levels, in a method similar to current prescriptions. Prescriptions and cannabis both bind to dopamine to slow the metabolic breakdown of the substance.

Methylphenidate and amphetamine help combat these dopamine issues, in the forms of Ritalin and Adderall, but they may be harmful at the beginning, as patients become accustomed to the medication, or later on as dosages increase. Despite their ability to increase dopamine production, both prescriptions include uncomfortable side effects and the effects of withdrawal can be severe.

Patients are left feeling excessively nervous, amped up, and agitated. Marijuana helps relieve these side effects while providing added benefits, such as increasing appetite, improving sleep, and evoking feelings of calmness. The ability to relax is an advantage lacking in current medications prescribed for this condition. It soothes the mind and body, making it easier to “turn off,” unlike the use of stimulant medications. For more advantages, discover seven surprising health benefits of medical cannabis.

Medical marijuana works for ADHD as other conventional medications do, but without the adverse side effects. For patients uncomfortable with the impact associated with current prescriptions, medical cannabis is an alternative worth investigating.


Finding a Suitable Intake Method

If intake is a concern, alternative measures to inhalation exist that still provide patients with the outcomes they seek. There are sprays and cannabis oil, which can be sprayed or placed under the tongue. These methods make it easy to control the dose while ensuring the patient feels relief. Prescription cannabinoids, which can come in pill form, also contain similar benefits in an easy-to-measure dose. If you’re unsure how those work, here are seven things to know about prescription cannabinoids.

For more advice on how medical marijuana can improve ADHD symptoms, speak to the licensed professionals at Aleafia Health.


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Topics: medical conditions

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