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We have heard the different potentials of CBD in proffering solutions to several conditions, including anxiety-related disorders, neurological conditions, and a host of others. It is important to note that CBD possesses an excellent therapeutic potential, which may serve to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors to control cognitive responses like internal balance, pain relief, and sleep. Unlike the activities of THC, which is highly psychoactive and reacts directly with the CB1 receptors, thus making you experience the feelings of high, CBD triggers the activity controlled by CB1 and CB2 receptors without direct contact. At the time of writing this article, the therapeutic potentials of CBD in serving as an antioxidant, anti-cancer, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic agent has been widely discussed. There are also interests in how CBD can serve as a potential treatment for neurological conditions. In this article, we shall focus on the potentials of CBD in treating Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Overview of ADHD
Every aspect of human existence requires the act of paying particular attention to details. As harmless as this activity may sound, the inability to pay attention can be fatal and linked to a disorder identified as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
People who suffer from this disorder may produce three important characteristics, known as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. They tend to wander off-task or experience difficulty in sustaining focus, may lack persistence, and above all, very disorganized. These individuals may also experience extreme restlessness or wear others out with constant activity.
The signs and symptoms of ADHD are determined by the predominant behavior expressed by the individuals. While some people may experience challenges with inattention only, others may tend to produce symptoms caused by inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. While it is normal for humans to experience impulsivity, unfocused motor activity, and inattention, these conditions tend to occur more often in ADHD. They are also more severe and may interfere with or reduce the quality of how people function socially at work or school.
Depending on the underlying cause of the condition, ADHD may produce symptoms including but not limited to the following;
- The tendency to overlook or miss details
- Experience difficulty sustaining attention in play or tasks
- Failing to meet deadlines
- May fidget and squirm in their seats.
- Talk non-stop
Diagnosis of ADHD may require a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, pediatrician, or other clinicians with specific expertise in ADHD. These clinicians look for chronic or severe symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. These symptoms must be long-lasting and causing challenges to the patient’s proper functioning, thus causing them to fail behind typical development for their age. Please note that ADHD is more prevalent in males than females, while females with the condition are most likely to experience problems with inattention.
The treatment procedure for ADHD mostly focuses on the use of psychotherapy, medications, education, or training. Most of the medications used for the treatment and control of ADHD are stimulants that can increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, thus boosting their ability to think and pay attention. There are also reported cases on the use of CBD for ADHD.
CBD for ADHD Studies
Cannabidiol or CBD has been identified to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors to promote brain health, trigger the production of new brain cells via neurogenesis, and may also play critical roles in promoting focus in individuals. Although most of the scientific evidence surrounding CBD and ADHD focuses on the use of whole cannabis plant extract, which contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and other products. There are over 100 different cannabinoids associated with the cannabis plant, including CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDA, THCA, and CBGA, to mention a few.
Information gathered from CBD users shows that it may elicit some beneficial roles in assisting them in dealing with the symptoms of restlessness and hyperactivity without the usual side effects associated with stimulants and other antidepressants.
To determine the possible effects of CBD on ADHD symptoms, a group of researchers studied a group of adults with ADHD who were self-medicating with cannabis. According to the report published in 2017, the adults experienced an insignificant improvement in brain function and symptom reduction. They also reported a slight improvement in markers of impulsivity and hyperactivity even though it was not enough to consider the drug more effective than the placebo.
With this evidence from research, it is pertinent to note that CBD may not directly improve ADHD but can serve important purposes in reducing the effects of symptoms linked with the condition.
People who suffer from ADHD may struggle with a high level of anxiety, which can be remedied with the right dose of CBD. The antidepressant activity of CBD has been reported by a handful of scientists. In one of the reports published in 2016, researchers discovered the activities of CBD in treating anxiety and sleep problems in children. The case study provided clinical data supporting the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).
Research studies have linked the use of CBD oil to neurogenesis (the production of new brain cells). This is achieved through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Apart from boosting the production of new brain cells, CBD has been identified to trigger the release of feel-good hormones. CBD has also been identified to interact with neurotransmitters like serotonin receptors to boost focus.
CBD for ADHD Side Effects
While there is an increasing interest in the use of CBD for several neurological disorders, it is important to take note of its different levels of side effects. Contrary to what may be obtainable in other medications capable of triggering brain activity, CBD does not make you high or tamper with brain activity. It is not addictive and does not produce withdrawal symptoms. Some of the commonly encountered side effects associated with CBD use are linked with nausea, headaches, drowsiness when taking higher doses. It may also cause lung irritation and coughing when inhaled.
The long-term effects of using CBD are quite unknown. The mode of activity is still unclear as to whether it can affect hormonal activity relating to the development of teenagers and children, which is key to treating ADHD. Since most of the use cases focused on the cannabis plant and not only CBD, it is quite impossible to link to therapeutic potential to only CBD since the plant contains more than 100 different cannabinoids that can interact with the ECS receptors.
Information gathered from research has also shown how CBD may inhibit the activities of Cytochrome P450 from metabolizing drugs. This side reaction can lead to overdose and other complications. If you must take CBD for any disease condition is highly recommended that you don’t practice combined therapy except prescribed by your doctor or CBD expert.
Furthermore, it is pertinent to note that CBD is not subject to the same regulations as medicines, thus putting it at a higher risk of contamination. The CBD products sold in stores and other online platforms may contain little to no CBD with a high level of microbial and heavy metal contaminants. This predisposes the user to greater danger.
The Bottom Line
While there is evidence indicating how CBD can elicit several health benefits, it is important to always consult with your physician before trying out any dosage. CBD is great and may provide the answers to how we can treat ADHD or assist people suffering from the condition. To achieve this, more research work in the use of pure CBD should be encouraged.
Don’t forget to contact us if you have questions on the use of CBD and other cannabinoids for ADHD, our team of CBD experts will love to hear from you.