ADD and ADHD affect more than 3 million people annually. The chronic conditions are more common in children, but can be present in adults as well. Chronic forms of ADD and ADHD aren’t curable, but are treatable.
Pharmaceutical treatments aren’t working for everyone, Salon reports. Research in the last few years has concluded that marijuana may help. In 2013, a study was published in the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse which showed that people with ADD and ADHD are self-medicating. Self-medicating is done to try to manage impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity.
The 2013 study included about 280 marijuana users that reported symptoms/diagnosis of ADD or ADHD that were not self-medicating. The results from a simple survey sparked the interest of researchers to dig a little deeper to find the links between cannabinoids and endocannabinoid symptoms.
German researchers conducted a study in 2015 involving 30 patients. The researchers studied the results from traditional treatment resistant patients spanning from 2012 through 2014. They wanted to establish a relationship between marijuana and ADD. Twenty-eight male and two female patients participated. Their ages ranged from 21 to 51. All 30 patients reported improvements of their ADD/ADHD symptoms. Some patients also experienced improved sleep. Some patients used marijuana flower and others used dronabinol.
The small study was successful. Researchers concluded that marijuana is an effective, well-tolerated treatment option for those with ADD/ADHD when traditional treatment options are not effective.
A decade-old study linked ADD/ADHD with lower dopamine levels. The neurotransmitters in the brain regulating mood and motivation were lacking. THC, a main compound in marijuana, helps improve dopamine levels and promotes dopamine transmission.
Some of the popular ADD/ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall have numerous negative effects; whereas, marijuana does not.