Does Weed Help With ADHD? Relief, Benefits & More
This post is part of our Best Dispensary in Los Angeles series, sponsored by Project Cannabis.
ADHD–otherwise known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder–is nothing short of a wild ride. Those with ADHD know how challenging it can be to get work done, stay focused, and keep organized. It can be even more frustrating to experience life and attempt to complete everyday tasks with undiagnosed ADHD, especially without proper therapy and medication to help.
Thankfully there are many medications on the market designed to support those with ADHD, but not all medications are created equal. In fact, many prescription drugs come with their own set of side effects that can at times make matters worse, but pharmaceuticals aren’t the only remedy. Luckily, with more advanced research and trials in our modern times, there are ADHD medication alternatives that offer a more holistic approach, including none other than the infamous Mary Jane.
Whether you’re here because you act on impulse, have trouble concentrating, get easily distracted, or have anxious thoughts, we know you’re dying to know–does weed help with ADHD?
Before we get to that, let’s cover the basics…shall we?
Table of Contents
What is ADHD?
Do you daydream or fantasize frequently? Ever misplace your keys, phone, or important belongings when you swore you put them in a place you’d remember? Are your legs and body restless, especially when attempting to sit or lay down for an extended period of time? Are you a speed talker? Do you forget about the food in your fridge or the products on your shelves if they aren’t directly in your line of view?
If you resonate with any of this, there is a possibility you might have ADHD. Well, don’t take our word for it–we aren’t doctors–but if you tend to fidget, overthink, space out, and forget or lose things frequently, then you might want to consult a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist to get some answers. Discovering whether you have ADHD can be an enlightening experience, and it is worth getting diagnosed if you are experiencing any of the above indicators.
ADHD is one of the most widespread neurodevelopmental disorders that affect children, and affects up to 5-6% of Americans alone. There are three different types of ADHD–inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive, and a combination of the two. Those who are the inattentive type often disregard when they are spoken to, have difficulty concentrating and trouble listening, and managing tasks and can be chaotic. This type also tends to lose things, get distracted easily, and can be forgetful, like forgetting to turn the stove off forgetful.
For those that are hyperactive and impulsive, symptoms range from impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and restlessness, fidgeting, and the constant need to be on the go–a chatty Kathy, if you will. This type is often loud and impatient, with words buzzing in their brain at lightning speed.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to it–does weed help with ADHD?
Benefits of Weed and ADHD
The benefits of weed and ADHD are plenty! If you’re a hyperactive monkey and need some mild sedation to get through your day and carry out activities and projects, specific weed strains such as indicas or hybrids contain sedative properties that can chill you out and bring you down to earth. Other strains are better known to improve focus and counteract ADHD’s scatterbrained nature.
Controlled studies indicate that cannabis treatment for ADHD may help diminish ADHD-influenced inattention, as it can deliver short-term bursts of dopamine–a neurotransmitter that folks with ADHD tend to have low levels of. Other studies infer that inattention symptoms can decrease anywhere from 7-30% in ADHD patients who use marijuana for their symptoms, and anxiety symptoms reduced by up to 33%. As such, those who experience anxiety and feelings of worthlessness as side effects of ADHD might benefit from using weed as a supplemental medicine for ADHD.
But what if you already use ADHD medication to help alleviate symptoms? How does weed affect people with ADHD, and is it safe?
Using Cannabis with ADHD Medication
ADHD medications are designed to create harmony within your brain through balancing your dopamine levels. You can use cannabis in conjunction with ADHD medication, however federal research on cannabis is currently restricted as it is currently a schedule
Simply put, there is limited research out there on how cannabis interacts with ADHD medications, though there are several smaller studies that demonstrate cannabis users have experienced positive effects when combining the two for ADHD symptom relief.
Using ADHD medication may have possible effects, of course. That being said, a lot of the negative side effects associated with ADHD medication are relieved with the use of cannabis. Cannabis is known to be a mood booster, nausea and headache reliever, and certain strains can assist with increasing appetite as well as sleep deprivation.
Is Weed a Safer Alternative to Traditional ADHD Medications?
Unfortunately, medications can have unwanted side effects, such as trouble sleeping, appetite loss, increased heart rate, nausea, mood swings, irritability, high blood pressure, headaches, and even tics. Other potential harmful side effects of ADHD meds include delayed growth and medication rebound once the medication wears off–where withdrawal symptoms can occur.
So, is weed a safer alternative to traditional ADHD medications? Frankly, we think so. With any medication, there are both benefits and risks. Other medications prescribed for those with ADHD have the potential to be addictive and have certain properties that can be harmful long-term to the body.
Of course, weed has its own influences on the cannabis user, so understanding what type of ADHD you have, getting clear on your specific symptoms, and discussing with both a medical professional and a budtender will help guide you in the right direction on which–if any–medical marijuana products are suitable for you. It is important to know that using cannabis in place of prescribed ADHD meds could heighten reliance on cannabis and lead to cannabis use disorder (CUD).
Cannabis Effects by Strain Type
Is sativa or indica better for ADHD? Well, that all depends on what you’re looking to accomplish!
Want to become more attentive as you carry out daily tasks and to-dos? There are specific strains that promote narrowed your focus, allowing you to circle in one what needs to be done. Evenly balanced sativa and indica strains such as Cereal Milk offer the perfect balance of revitalization and relaxation–great for improving concentration.
Want to calm your nervous system and chill out hyperactive behavior? Indica is known to reduce stress and provide calming effects. If you find yourself getting impatient or irritable frequently, often interrupting conversations in order to spit out ideas and thoughts, or being in constant motion, indica strains can help relax and soothe, easing the mind and helping slow the dopamine. Hybrid strains can provide a happy medium, and many contain anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. Sativa is known to energize and enliven, giving you that mood boost to power through the day.
Using CBD for ADHD, especially CBD and THC specific products can offer more balancing effects for ADHD candidates. There are few studies shown on how CBD helps with ADHD, aside from mild anxiety relief, buying cannabis infused CBD oils and gummies have proven to be effective.
How To Purchase Marijuana
You know the drill–it’s time to cop some killer kush and let it do its thing! Los Angeles Cannabis Dispensary offers an incredibly wide selection of weed products with varying levels of THC, CBD, or both! They’ve got infused pre-rolls from Evidence, tasty cannabis-infused flavored gummies from brands like Froot, Luchador, and Kanha, and tons of fresh pot for every occasion or mood. Project Cannabis cares about their customers and wants to ensure they provide the best experience possible for you to get the relief you need and the high you’re looking for!
Key Takeaways On Weed And ADHD
We hope that we’ve answered “does weed help with ADHD” in a way that you can understand! To reiterate our learnings…
- ADHD is a common mental disorder, estimated to affect up to 6% of adults in the U.S.
- Evidence demonstrates that weed can alleviate certain short-term effects of ADHD, including lack of concentration, irritability, mood swings, and anxiety
- Cannabis can provide temporary relief for those with low dopamine levels
- Cannabis can help combat negative side effects of ADHD medications
- If you are using cannabis to treat ADHD, you’ll want to understand how each strain type can affect you
- Consult with a medical professional to ensure that supplementing cannabis with ADHD meds is a suitable option
So there you have it, weed can be an excellent supplementary method–when used in conjunction with ADHD medication–to alleviate symptoms in ADHD patients. Smoking or consuming cannabis can help you become cool, calm, and collected and keep your hyperactivity or inattentive tendencies in check. No more forgotten appointments, missed deadlines, mood swings, or impulsive behavior that might get you into trouble! As always, consult with your doctor to determine whether cannabis to cope with ADHD is right for you, and don’t hesitate to ask 21 questions to your budtender to ensure the supply you purchase is fit for your specific symptoms.
Media credits: Images of weed use for ADHD in this article copyright LaJolla.com.