Cannabis Oil for ADHD Patients
Can Cannabis Therapy Calm Symptoms of ADHD?
Studies show that Cannabis oil for ADHD patients is on the rise as more and more studies show that Cannabis oil is a miracle therapy that is helping to dramatically manage hyperactive and impulsive behaviours.
While the study was the first to show this in humans, Mallory Loflin, a Ph.D student from the University at Albany’s Department of Psychology and co-author of the study, says research in animals also lends support to the findings.
It’s really the first study out there to say, look, we have evidence from the rodent [models] and it’s now being supported by what we actually see among cannabis users.
Although it’s common for ADHD sufferers to report using cannabis to relieve their symptoms, scientists have been skeptical up until now.
We’ve seen the anecdotal evidence that people were using cannabis to self-medicate and it didn’t really make a lot of sense given what we know the effects of most strains of cannabis can be.
According to Loflin, that’s because most people think of problems with attention when they think of ADHD, forgetting about the other symptoms. But ADHD consists of three different subtypes, two of which include symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Research supports a beneficial role of cannabis therapy in hyperactivity-impulsivity subtypes of ADHD
And while researchers have yet to link cannabis use with improvements in attention, there is support for a role in impulse control.
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids actually work on the area of the brain that’s responsible for self-regulating behaviours.
Based on this hypothesis, Loflin and her colleagues looked at self-reports from 2,800 adult marijuana users and divided them into groups based on ADHD-related symptoms and how often they used cannabis.
What they found was that people who used cannabis on a daily basis – a pattern scientists refer to as self-medicating – were more likely to match the criteria for hyperactive subtypes.
We saw this difference where there was a higher proportion of people with the combined subtype – people with the extra hyperactive symptoms – among the group of users that use in ways consistent of self-medication.
Symptoms were assessed according to the adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS) – an 18-item criteria often used in epidemiological studies as an indicator of the disorder. Participants were asked to complete the ASRS based on symptoms that occurred only when they weren’t using cannabis.
Because of this, Loflin believes the study provides support for a role of marijuana in helping those who suffer from hyperactive forms of ADHD.
They have those symptoms only when they’re not using, so their use seems to help curb that potentially.
Self-medicating behaviour is often a sign of an undiagnosed disorder, which is one reason why the researchers decided not to ask participants about past diagnoses. ADHD is also frequently overlooked among the adult population, which leaves many sufferers unaware of their condition.
While the latest findings are promising, Loflin says more research is needed to confirm whether marijuana is truly effective in these cases.