Medical researchers really don’t know yet what causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder( ADD). It does seem to have a genetic basis and it is known to run in families.
Researchers do know that reported incidences of ADHD and ADD are increasing, and that they tend to be comorbid. This means that patients with ADHD are also likely to have other psychological problems like anxiety or oppositional defiant disorder.
Patients with ADHD have trouble concentrating on a task and finishing it, acting impulsively without thinking of consequences and fidgeting. Other behavioral problems that affect relationship with others are also common like the inability to take turns or interrupting.
In essence, it’s a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood, but often continues into adult life.
Can CBD Oil be an Effective Treatment Option for ADHD?
CBD is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis that improves the ways that the body’s endocannabinoid system works. This system regulates many physical and mental functions, such as memory, sleep, appetite, pain, immune functions, mood, and many other aspects of how the mind and body operate.
CBD connects with the CB1 receptors in the brain and stabilizes functions, like mood, by making the endocannabinoids produced by the body work better.
Historically, there has been very little research into the effectiveness of CBD for ADHD specifically. But there is growing evidence that CBD effectively treats other conditions that are frequently comorbid, like anxiety.
The mood a person feels is a function of the endocannabinoid system in the brain. When CBD oil boosts these functions, there is an improvement in mood. It relaxes the person taking it and relieves symptoms of comorbid conditions, so the patient feels less stress, anxiety, and impulsivity and may be better able to control behaviors of ADHD.
ADHD is a condition of neurochemical imbalances in the brain. The same imbalances are brought on by stress or major changes in habits, like sleep or diet.
Studies are finding that the pharmaceutical drugs given to ADHD patients, like Adderall and Wellbutrin, can cause mood swings. CBD oil can have the opposite effect by stabilizing a person’s mood.
Research Studies on CBD Oil for ADHD
The medical profession is required to follow treatment procedures supported by evidence from scientific studies. But there have been almost no studies done in the U.S. about the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating ADHD.
In many cases, medical researchers are just now learning the role of the endocannabinoid system in treating some common comorbid conditions.
Part of the reason for the lack of research studies to date is the stigma attached to CBD oil. This is because CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant. So even though CBD has no psychotropic effects and won’t get you high, funding for cannabis research studies has been limited.
The good news is that attitudes seem to be changing. The potential health benefits of CBD are becoming more mainstream. In addition, hemp-derived CBD oil products were made legal at the federal level in December 2018. So we hope to see more CBD research studies in the near future.
Studies conducted in the last five years‚ mostly in other countries, have shown that CBD oil can be effective for treating ADHD. One of these, conducted in Germany in 2014, showed CBD oil reduced hyperactivity and showed an improvement in concentration.
Another study published in 2014 determined that patients with ADHD displayed more symptoms when not using cannabis. A randomized control trial done in at King’s College in London, and published in 2016, also showed that CBD oil reduced hyperactivity and improved concentration.
What Other Evidence Shows
User surveys and online forums provide a lot of data about how CBD oil has worked for them. In 2016, four researchers at Duke University examined 268 online forums devoted to ADHD treatment with CBD oil to see what users had to say. They selected 55 of the forums and observed the percentages of varying reactions.
They found that 25 percent of the forum participants reported that CBD oil was therapeutic in treating ADHD. Eight percent said it was harmful. The researchers concluded that the responses were significantly skewed positively.
The researchers noted that this was the first study to investigate online forum responses, which are helpful when there is insufficient research. A question about self-selecting forums of this kind is respondent motivation.
Another online medical source reports that although they can’t advise using CBD oil to treat ADHD because of the lack of actual research, the response from users who have tried it has been overwhelmingly positive. They remind readers that the long-term effects of CBD oil are still unknown.
We’ve also heard many success stories from patients and parents using CBD oil for ADHD in our Facebook groups. Our CBD Oil Users Group and CBD Oil for Kids group are great places to ask questions and learn more from others who are also using CBD products for ADHD.
Summary – CBD Oil for ADHD
In conclusion, there have not been enough research studies on the use of CBD oil for ADHD to definitively say it is effective or not.
Limited research studies to date and anecdotal feedback from online forums indicate that CBD oil can be effective in reducing hyperactivity and increasing concentration. However, the effects can vary by individual and it won’t work for everyone because everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system.
Before starting CBD oil, and especially before combining it with or stopping any prescription medications, we highly recommend that you consult with your medical professional.