Cannabis Oil for ADHD Patients
Can Cannabis Therapy Calm Symptoms of ADHD?
Studies show that the use of Cannabis oil for ADHD patients is on the rise. In fact, more and more studies show that Cannabis oil is a miracle therapy that is dramatically helping to manage hyperactive and impulsive behaviours.
Mallory Loflin, a Ph.D student from the University at Albany’s Department of Psychology, was co-author of a study into the successful use of cannabis oil to assist people with ADHD. This was the first study that showed success in humans but research in animals also supports the findings. This was 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 is 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. But it didn’t really make a lot of sense given what we know about the potential effects of most strains of cannabis.
ADHD is a complex disease
According to Loflin, that is because most people think of problems with attention when they think of ADHD, forgetting about the other symptoms. ADHD happens to consist of three different sub-types, two of which include symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.Research supports the beneficial role of cannabis therapy in hyperactivity-impulsivity sub-types 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 is plenty of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids actually work on the area of the brain that’s responsible for self-regulating behaviour. Based on this hypothesis, Loflin and her colleagues looked at self-reports from 2,800 adult marijuana users. They divided them into groups based on ADHD-related symptoms and how often they used cannabis. They found 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 sub-types.
We saw this difference where there was a higher proportion of people with the combined sub-type (people with the extra hyperactive symptoms) among the group of users that use cannabis oil in ways consistent with 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 were not using cannabis.
Loflin therefore believes the study supports the 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 potentiality.
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.