Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects around 11% of children ages 4 through 17 in the United States, and in many cases it persists through adulthood. The most common treatment options for these children include prescription stimulants, non-stimulants, and antidepressants.
Researchers Suggest Cannabis Can Help Treat ADHD
Researchers in Germany, specifically Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen in Rüthen and Dr Eva Milz at the Medical Practice for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Berlin, presented data at the International Symposium on Cannabinoid Therapeutics last month. The clinical trial data they presented showed immense promise for treating ADHD with cannabis.
The study was relatively small, examining only 30 individuals with ADHD ranging in age from 21 to 51. The majority of the participants were male and diagnosed during adulthood. All participants had previously tried conventional treatment methods with no success or experienced severe side effects. Only 8 used medication in combination with cannabis flowers.
Of the 30 individuals who used cannabis to help treat their symptoms, 30 reported an improvement. Patients experienced a variety of different benefits due to using cannabis, they included improved concentration and sleep as well as reduced impulsivity.
The Future of Treating Behavioral Disorders with Cannabis
These recent findings are certainly promising for the future of ADHD treatment, steering away from pharmaceuticals is always a positive thing. The study was quite small and needs to be examined further though, we need a better understanding of just how cannabis benefits individuals with ADHD.
The vast majority of people diagnosed with ADHD are school aged children, and treating them with a big fat joint just isn’t realistic. However, if there is a specific cannabinoid responsible for the benefits found in the study, it may be able to be isolated and extracted. Cannabidiol for example has no psychoactive effects, yet it harbors the majority of the health benefits associated with cannabis. Again, it will surely get a fair bit of push-back from uninformed individuals, but it offers others a fantastic potential treatment with little to no side effects.
Marijuana’s impact on mental health has long been studied, with mixed results of course. There are a number of promising studies that show cannabis could have profound benefits for many mental health issues including depression, anxiety and now ADHD.