Scope of ADHD in the United States
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder that is mostly experienced by children, but its symptoms can last long into adulthood. Current estimates in the United States range from 5% - 11% of children exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, with 4% of adults living with the mental disorder. Males are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than females.
Understanding ADHD and Its Treatment
It’s not currently known what causes ADHD, however, there is speculation that ADHD does have a genetic factor as well as a demographic factor. Children who are in English-speaking households are 4 times as likely to receive a diagnosis, while children who live under the poverty level are 2 times as likely to receive a diagnosis than other children.
Characteristics of ADHD include restlessness, impulsivity, distractibility, difficulty focusing or paying attention and racing thoughts that are difficult to get a hold on.
When ADHD manifests in adulthood, it may show up with a difficulty in making decisions (or making rash and quick decisions), inability to focus on various aspects of life like relationships, and may change jobs or other life situations often. It’s common for adults with ADHD to feel that they can’t control their own life and their own thoughts, even though they are perfectly capable and in many cases intelligent. It gets frustrating for people struggling with ADHD and the people closest to them.
To treat ADHD, it’s common to resort to medications which range from stimulants to non-stimulants, depending on the range of symptoms experienced by the individual. Behavior therapies are also common to give the individual tools to cope with the cognitive struggles brought on by ADHD.
While many of the medications are effective for children with ADHD, some have adverse effects. Side effects range from difficulty with sleep and difficulty regulating mood to having tics that appear as a behavioral concern. It will often take a few tries to determine whether a non-stimulant or a stimulant is the right medication to treat ADHD.
Many people simply don’t like the side effects of ADHD medication, so are looking into the emerging possibilities with medical marijuana for ADHD.
Cannabis and ADHD: What’s the Connection?
The science behind cannabis and ADHD, like most areas of research for cannabis, is only slowly emerging. As a result, anecdotal evidence is being relied upon for the medical and cannabis community to understand the ways cannabis and ADHD interact.
Some of the theories around ADHD is that it’s due to a lack of cannabinoids within someone’s internal health system, which is commonly known as an endocannabinoid deficiency. It’s believed that the addition to cannabinoids within the brain allows the neurotransmitters in the brain to slow down so to allow the brain a bit more time to concentrate and focus, rather than having a rapid fire of thoughts.
A 2015 study in Germany looked at the ways that marijuana can control the impulsivity aspect of ADHD with adults who don’t respond to ADHD medications. A majority of subjects reported reduced impulsivity and an increased ability to concentrate and have restful sleep.
Preliminary research is also exploring the role of cannabis in increasing dopamine levels in the brain, which many of the ADHD medications seek to do.
It’s important that more people come out in support of examining the link between ADHD and cannabis, and whether CBD contained in cannabis can be what unlocks some of the complexities of the behavioral aspects of ADHD.
Interested in Exploring the Link Between ADHD and Medical Cannabis?
MyCannX is dedicated to linking people to the information they need to make a decision as to whether medical cannabis is right for their particular medical issue. Those struggling with ADHD should take time to meet with a qualified cannabis doctor and understand both the benefits and risk factors, of treating some of the symptoms of ADHD with cannabis.
Connect with MyCannX to get your cannabis card and begin your journey towards finding out how medical marijuana can possibly help manage some symptoms of both childhood and adult ADHD.