How To Talk To Your Teen With Adhd About Using Marijuana
Given how common it is for teens to use or at least try marijuana, itâs a good idea to talk to them about it early. They might hear it called other things like cannabis, pot, or weed. They might see other teens using marijuana in different ways. It can be smoked, vaped, or eaten in baked goods or candies. Your teen should know that it isnât legal for minors to use marijuana, even in states where adults can. If your teen has ADHD, talk to them about whatâs known about the risks that marijuana might have for them.
Experts offer these tips for talking to teens about marijuana:
- Ask them what they know and listen to what they say. Donât interrupt or get angry.
- Give them information about the risks and what could happen if they use marijuana.
- Ask questions and discuss it so that you are sure they understand.
- Itâs OK to be honest about your own experiences if you choose to, but keep in mind that marijuana is stronger now than it used to be and the risks may be greater for your teen with ADHD.
If you suspect or know your teen with ADHD is using marijuana, experts say you shouldnât ignore it. Let your child know what it might mean for their ADHD symptoms on top of the general risks. You canât control what theyâll do, so some experts say it may help more to let them know you care and help them understand the risks for themselves.
How Weed Affects The Brain
The use of marijuana for treating ADHD is not well-known or well-researched. However, there are some studies that suggest that marijuana may help improve symptoms in people with ADHD. One study found that the use of marijuana improved focus and task completion in people with ADHD. Another study found that the use of marijuana reduced impulsivity in people with ADHD.
Consult A Professional Marijuana Doctor:
If using traditional ADHD drugs is causing adverse side effects, then you can always explore marijuana as an alternative treatment option. However, its recommended you consult a qualified marijuana doctor before you introduce medical marijuana to your child. These specialists will assess your childs condition and give you the way forward. If your doctor prescribes medical marijuana, and you decide its the best option, you need to know whether its legal to use it in your state.
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MMJ Doctor can help you determine whether marijuana is legal in your state, and they can also help you get a marijuana card that will allow you to legally purchase marijuana health products within your state. To consult with an experienced marijuana expert, feel free to contact us anytime!
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Why Do People With Adhd Use Cannabis
Doctors who diagnose ADHD generally prescribe behavioral therapy, medicine, or both. Treatment can include stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, or non-stimulants, like Clonidine or Guanfacine. Stimulants are usually prescribed first, and if they dont work, then non-stimulants may be tried.
However, for some parents of children with ADHD , this treatment approach doesnt produce the desired resultsor can cause unwanted side effects.
For example, in one study, 21% of parents ceased giving ADHD medication to their children because of psychological side effects or the perception that the medicine wasnt working. Behavioral therapy can also be limited in its results as it doesnt change the symptoms of ADHD, but teaches skills to manage the condition more easily. Whats more, both treatment approaches can be costly.
Instead of these conventional medications, increasing numbers of individuals choose to self-medicate with cannabis. Unfortunately, research into cannabis as a treatment for ADHD is scarce. Theres currently no robust clinical data that clearly supports the idea that cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD. However, an absence of clinical data doesnt necessarily mean it doesnt help.
Case studies, surveys, and anecdotal reports often suggest that cannabis can help support sleep, focus, anxiety, or slowing thoughts.
The Relationship Between Marijuana & Adhd
One of the main reasons why some people believe marijuana and ADHD could have a beneficial relationship is that in the brain. Dopamine can promote relaxation and mood regulation, which may seem appealing to people who live with ADHD. Marijuana may ease some of the symptoms of hyperactivity, but it may also worsen focus, attention and motivation issues for some people. A person who lives with ADHD may use marijuana and experience temporary relief of ADHD symptoms.
However, the risks of self-medicating with a largely unstudied and unregulated drug may outweigh the short-term benefits.
Ultimately, marijuana affects people in different ways, but limited data exists on how the drug interacts with ADHD. The fact is the relationship between ADHD and marijuana use is probably just too varied and personalized to find clearly definable groups who use and who dont use, says therapist Larry Maucieri Ph.D., a contributing author for Psychology Today.
At least anecdotally, many patients with ADHD mention its positive impact on focus as part of the draw in using it.
Larry Maucieri Ph.D, Psychology Today
Until more research occurs, the question, Does marijuana help with ADHD? does not have a simple answer.
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Does Marijuana Help With Adhd
So, why would someone who lives with ADHD experiment with marijuana use? Most physicians prescribe stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to treat ADHD, but for many people, these medications may prove ineffective, or their side effects may be too uncomfortable. People who live with ADHD may seek out alternatives to stimulants, and may wonder, Does marijuana help ADHD?
Talk To Your Doctor About Medical Cannabis
The legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is on the rise across the country and the globe. Although research remains in its infancy, there are many programs in the United States and abroad that list ADHD as a qualifying condition. With medical cannabis potential to improve the quality of life of ADHD patients it is worth discussing this treatment with your doctor.
Talk to a licensed healthcare professional in your state who can recommend medical cannabis to determine if this treatment could be beneficial or a supplemental aspect to your current treatment plan.
Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.
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Cannabis And Adhd: An Overview
Before we get into how weed affects Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder , lets define what we are discussing.
ADHD is a neurological condition that makes it difficult to focus and can lead to impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD is the official medical diagnosis, whereas Attention Deficit Disorder is a now-outdated term that describes people with primarily inattentive symptoms. At present, one in nine children are diagnosed with ADHD and an estimated 6.76% of adults display ADHD symptoms.
People with ADHD may encounter trouble in school or work. However, many successful individuals with ADHD such as business mogul Richard Branson or the award-winning journalist Lisa Ling view their ADHD as an advantage, so this condition affects everyone differently.
While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can help manage symptoms. Common treatments include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. The most common medications prescribed to treat ADHD are stimulants, specifically methylphenidate and amphetamines .
However, some people do not respond well to medication or cannot tolerate the side effects. As a result, many people turn to natural treatments like cannabis and CBD to treat their ADHD symptoms.
Researchers have noted that the complexity created with whole plant productseludes simplistic conclusions about the effect of on ADHD symptoms. So, what does the science say? Does weed help with ADHD?
What Are The Positive Effects Of Cannabis
Tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabis active compound that inhibits the neuronal connections, which effectively derails your brains signaling process if used in excess.
The right amount of marijuana positively affects the dendrite architecture for people with ADHD. This has a great responsibility to control learning, processing, and the overall health of your brain. Unfortunately, science hasnt entirely determined if you can reverse this compounds effect however, youll find that some brain parts will show healthy neuronal growth when one regulates the amount of cannabis.
Studies support that marijuana breastfeeding ADHD should use it in small amounts. The best step a mother is supposed to take is to protect the young ones. This drug, if used in excess, can have a long-term effect on your baby. The breastfeeding mother should smoke the pot on the low. If its hard to quit, they are advised not to lactate.
ADHD Symptoms Treated by Marijuana
Note that it sticks around inside your body longer than other drugs. The doctors recommend such mothers to express and trash the milk if they want to breastfeed once they get clean.
There is an uptick in consuming the natural cannabinoids that lead to decreased hyperactivity and reduced anxiety.
Researchers have studied several doses for symptoms such as anxiety. They have recommended that a single 300-mg amount is adequate to help tone down anxiety.
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Consuming Medical Marijuana For Adhd
In addition to its effectiveness, proponents of cannabis for ADHD highlight its wide variety of consumption methods and dosing options. While smoking is a popular method of consuming cannabis, studies warn against the lung damage that could be caused from regularly smoking it even for medical purposes. However, with medical cannabis becoming legally available in a growing number of places, patients now have other options.
Those who wish to take cannabis to get relief from their ADHD symptoms can take a dose in the form of oral sprays or convenient drops. Patches can help deliver medication through the skin. Vaporizers can deliver cannabis extract in a smoke-free form that is easy to dose and kicks in immediately. Children who consume cannabis for ADHD often do well with cannabis-infused treats that make taking their medication a pleasant experience.
Is Weed Bad For Adhd
Many people wonder if cannabis is bad for ADHD. Cannabis can reduce attention, cause sleepiness, and excessive use may affect motivation. Additionally, some literature suggests that ADHD symptoms are associated with increased cannabis craving, dependence, and earlier initiation of use. However, the only controlled trial of cannabinoids and ADHD found that no ADHD symptoms worsened.
It is worth noting that purposeful cannabis consumption has a greater benefit for ADHD than using cannabis to get high. Jointly is an app designed to help you discover purposeful cannabis consumption. With the Jointly app, you can track how precise doses and cannabinoids affect you. You can choose your experience , get matched with products that Jointly users rate highly for that experience, and learn how the 15 Factors impact you.
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Tell Us About Thc As A Treatment For Adhd
There is also very limited information on THC for ADHD treatment.
There is some initial research that looks at the impact of THC on neurotransmitters. A study published in 2017 indicated that THC boosted short term dopamine levels. This is important in ADHD because some individuals with ADHD have reduced dopamine levels. As mentioned, this is the target of stimulant medication traditionally used to treat ADHD.
But, there is also some evidence that THC might dull that neurotransmitter in the long term which is not good.
Its really important that we get more information about cannabis as a potential intervention both in the short and longer-term.
Is It Legal To Treat Adhd With Weed
No. According to Insider, ADHD is not a qualifying medical condition in any state. Therefore, even in states that have legalized medical marijuana, its not legal to treat people with weed for ADHD.
However, sometimes, people with ADHD have other conditions such as depression and anxiety which may be qualifying factors.
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What Do Research Studies Show
Does marijuana help ADHD, or are the reports of relief merely due to the placebo effect? Researchers insist that further study is needed to understand more about the effectiveness of using marijuana for ADHD. The initial research has revealed promising results, however. A 2008 study by researchers at the Heidelberg University Medical Center found that in some people with ADHD, the consumption of cannabis had a positive impact on performance, behavior and mental state of the subject.
If there are few studies on ADHD and marijuana, there are even fewer on the effectiveness of a CBD treatment for ADHD. The little research that has been conducted has been favorable for CBD proponents, however. One study showed that CBD inhibited hyperactivity in rats.
Those who suffer from ADHD also tend to experience anxiety and depression as secondary symptoms to their ADHD. This exacerbates an already frustrating situation. Multiple studies into the effects of cannabis have shown that it is effective at treating both anxiety and depression. This makes cannabis a dual-impact treatment, as it addresses the primary condition as well as the secondary conditions that are frequently caused by it.
Indeed, medical providers have begun to look at cannabis as a potential treatment for ADHD in both their adult and juvenile patients. Some physicians have started opting for cannabis as a safer, more natural option for children who suffer from ADHD and other neuropsychiatric conditions.
Get Started On Your Cannabis Wellness Journey
Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.
Sam Anderson is the content Director at Jointly, a cannabis wellness company powered by a proprietary data platform to help people reach their full potential. The company was created on the premise that purposeful cannabis consumption is the key to unlocking a better you. This article originally appeared on Jointly and has been reposted with permission.
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How Does Cannabis Affect The Adhd Brain
Cannabis use impairs areas and functions of the brain that are also uniquely impaired by ADHD.
The substances negative effects are most harmful to developing brains. Many studies show that usage earlier in life, particularly before the age of 25, predicts worse outcomes. One study found that heavy marijuana use in adolescence was associated with a loss of 8 IQ points, on average, in adulthood 10. Another study found that people under age 18 are four to seven more times at risk for CUD compared to adults.11
People with ADHD, whose brain development is delayed by slowly maturing frontal lobes, are thus more vulnerable to cannabis effects on neuronal connections. Some of these impairments may be irreversible.
Cannabis can also interact significantly with some ADHD medications. Research studies have shown that methylphenidate reacts significantly with the substance, and can cause increased strain on the heart.12
Other studies show that the use of cannabis can decrease the effect of a stimulant medication13. An individual trying to treat their ADHD with stimulants is actually placing themselves at a disadvantage, since the cannabis is impacting them negatively and making the medication less effective.
The increased risk of suicide associated with cannabis use further complicates marijuana among individuals with ADHD, who already face an elevated risk for suicide compared to neurotypical individuals 14.
Weed And Adhd: Pros And Cons
There is not much rigorous research into cannabis and ADHD due to federal restrictions that limit cannabis research. However, there is some evidence to suggest that marijuana helps with ADHD in some individuals.
A small case report out of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada described how cannabis self-medication affected three males with ADHD. Each of the males were in their late teens and early twenties, taking standard ADHD medications, and had successfully incorporated cannabis into their treatment regime.
The subjects were provided with cannabidiol , a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in some strains of cannabis, and tetrahydrocannabinol , an intoxicating cannabinoid found in some strains of cannabis, at a ratio of 20:1 CBD:THC. The participants ingested the cannabinoids orally, but were permitted to self-direct their use.
Two of the three patients reported taking cannabis once daily, whereas the other patient preferred a twice-daily regimen. Two patients preferred smoking cannabis rather than taking it orally. One patient opted to change the cannabis product he was given to one with high THC and no CBD.
The researchers found that each person exhibited positive benefits regardless of the ingestion method, dosage, and cannabinoid ratio. Each participant found he was able to keep his emotions in check and that his quality of life increased.
Pros of using weed for ADHD:
Cons of using weed for ADHD:
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Potential Benefits Of Use Of Cannabis
In 2016, a study covered the relationship between depression, ADHD, and marijuana consumption by individuals. The researchers discovered that some people use marijuana to deal with depressive symptoms. However, its full effect on these symptoms was unclear.
Another study explored the cannabis consumption and ADHD subtypes and delivered very outstanding results. After the researchers collected data from a given number of pot lovers, they realized that the people who use it daily reported hyperactivity-impulsivity signs if not using cannabis.
Therefore, more research should be done to honestly know more benefits of marijuana to pose in ADHD management.