Everyone probably knows someone with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). This neurological disorder is estimated to occur in 30,000 to 100,000 Dutch children and ultimately remains present in about 2% of adults. Regular drugs against the disease are the stimulators Ritalin or Concerta. A drug that works well against ADHD without these unpleasant side effects is cannabis.
Cannabis and ADHD is a successful combination for many patients struggling with this disease. In fact, it works so well that people with ADHD who consume cannabis, use much less prescribed, addictive medication. That is proven by anecdotal evidence, but also increasingly by clinical studies.
ADHD and the subtype of the disorder, ADD, are common concentration disorders. The symptoms can severely hinder personal development and social interaction. Ritalin or Concerta is often used to treat ADHD. But these drugs have many unpleasant side effects. Cannabis also works in ADHD and ADD, without these side effects.
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ADHD disorder and medical cannabis consumption
According to a new study, if people with ADHD consume more medical cannabis, they often use less prescribed medication. As a result, they suffer less from the side effects of these powerful, addictive psychostimulants.
“In this study, we have shown that patients treated with medical cannabis stop their ADHD medication, especially at high doses and in the subgroups with low ADHD symptoms,” the Israeli researchers wrote. These and other conclusions were published in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal at the end of January.
CBN gives the best results in ADHD
The team collected data from 53 Israeli medical patients, who are eligible for the use of medical cannabis in Israel. They have an ADHD diagnosis and previously agreed to participate in such studies.
Participants were asked to report their monthly doses of cannabis in ADHD between October 2019 and January 2020, as well as how they use it, the manufacturer or grower of the product and the type of cannabis.
In particular, the study shows that the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol) had good results in people with ADHD. But the researchers also admitted that more studies are needed to fully understand how it works.
According to the researchers, “these results, although not causal, may shed light on the potentially beneficial effects of medical cannabis on the severity of ADHD symptoms and motivate future studies to validate our results.”
Fast cannabis in ADHD
The participants were divided into two subgroups: high dose and low dose. They were administered various combinations with THC, THCV, and CBD in addition to CBN.
“Exactly how different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes modulate the circuit involved in both ADHD and comorbid psychiatric disorders is still unclear,” said the researchers. But the study does suggest that it takes patients a long time to find the right dose and combination of active ingredients.
The research team hopes that ADHD in Israel (and beyond) will be included on the list of approved indications for medical cannabis use. Hopefully, there will be a follow-up study soon, so that more will become clear about the influence of cannabis on ADHD. For now, the research team hopes that their research will ensure that ADHD in Israel (and beyond) will be on the list of approved indications for medical cannabis use.
The participating patients obtain their medical cannabis on the basis of chronic pain symptoms or treatment of cancer instead of neurological disorders ADHD because this is not yet on the list.
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First published in Mediwietsite, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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