Robert Bergman

May 9, 2019

ADHD in adults is not that unheard of. Experts believe, 4% of American adults suffer from the condition.

While the condition is not fatal, it often leads to difficulty maintaining a normal life. Adults with ADHD typically rely on stimulant pharmaceuticals or psychotherapy. These drugs are often abused.

Marijuana and CBD oil are natural treatment options for ADHD. With CBD oil, adults can soothe their symptoms without the ‘ high’ effects that typically comes from marijuana. This article discusses how CBD (and medical marijuana) can safely treat ADHD.


What is ADHD

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a brain disorder. It refers to a pattern of inattention and hyperactivity and is usually diagnosed in young children but persists through adolescence and into adulthood.

Inattention refers to difficulty focusing and staying on task, being easily distracted, and lacking persistence. Hyperactivity means constant fidgeting, restlessness, and may also include impulsivity (or making snap decisions without considering the consequences).

What is ADHD?
What is ADHD?

Usually, ADHD is diagnosed in preschool-aged children. However, since it was rarely diagnosed in past decades, there are also many adults who have undiagnosed ADHD that may have led to difficulty succeeding in life without a clear explanation for the challenges.

What causes ADHD

The causes of ADHD are unclear, but since it shows up so early in life, it’ s almost certainly either genetic or something that occurs in pregnancy. There are a number of risk factors that could lead to a fetus developing ADHD, such as smoking or drinking during pregnancy, or exposure to environmental toxins.

Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information about ADHD

We do know that the disorder is more common in boys than in girls and that having ADHD can also lead to other problems, like learning disabilities, depression, and substance abuse.

Current treatments for ADHD

There are many current treatments for ADHD, but they can be boiled down into two basic categories – medication and psychotherapy. While none cure the disease, they can all help improve daily functioning.

For many people with ADHD, both children, and adults, ADHD medications help improve focus. Perhaps surprisingly, the most commonly prescribed medication is actually a stimulant, which increases the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. These drugs can be dangerous if too much is taken because they can raise blood pressure and heart rate. Potential side effects include seizures, glaucoma, and liver or kidney disease.

There are also non-stimulant drugs available which avoid most of those potential side effects but take longer to be effective.

adhd medication
Medication for ADHD

Therapy can be helpful for teaching both the person with ADHD and their family to cope with the symptoms of the disease on a daily basis. In individual therapy, the person can learn how to monitor their own behavior, control their actions, and be more organized so that they can succeed at school or work.

Some therapists also teach meditation and other mindfulness techniques to help the person with ADHD calm down and think more carefully about their actions. Family therapy can also be helpful for teaching all members of a family to work together and improve interactions with someone with ADHD.

CBD as a treatment for ADHD

One common side effect of ADHD is substance abuse disorders because that impulsivity can lead to a difficulty making good decisions. However, with care and attention, marijuana can actually be very helpful to people with ADHD, as a few studies have suggested.

CBD as a Treatment for ADHD
CBD as a Treatment for ADHD

Treating Adult ADHD with Cannabis
This study looked at adults who have self-medicated with marijuana to treat the symptoms of their ADHD. The drug has shown to be helpful in improving impulse control. The researchers had the study participants report symptoms that they experienced only when they were not using cannabis.

They study found that most of the participants had more difficulty controlling their impulses when they were not using. This suggested that they actually had undiagnosed ADHD (common in adults) and were self-medicating to treat a disorder that they didn’t even know they had, with significant success.

Cannabis treats adults with ADHD when other treatments failed

cannabis effects adhd
Cannabis effects on ADHDImage powered by MedicalCannabisClinic Australia

This revealing study looked at 30 patients with ADHD who had been resistant to treatment with standard pharmaceuticals. Most of these patients had stopped taking medication since it was ineffective and often had negative side effects.

Over the course of the study, all 30 participants took cannabis and found an improvement in sleep, concentration, and less impulsivity. An interesting tidbit about the study was that many of the participants had been diagnosed with an addiction to marijuana previously. They reported that their physicians would not listen to them when they described the positive effect that their marijuana use had on their quality of life. However, this study shows that they and the many other people with ADHD worldwide may have stumbled upon a safe and effective form of self-medication.


When a person consumes marijuana recreationally, they are usually looking to experience the “high” that the drug is known for, which comes from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. However, many of the beneficial and therapeutic effects of the plant actually come from a different compound, called cannabidiol, or CBD.

TIP: Looking to buy medical seeds? Check out this marijuana seed shop

CBD is actually non-psychotic and leads to feelings of wakefulness and even lessens pain. For many people who self-medicate with marijuana, the high makes it difficult to do day-to-day tasks. CBD oil and CBD-heavy strains of marijuana are a solution to this problem.


THC in low levels, however, is still useful for adults with ADHD. It works with CBD to increase focus and reduce stress. By consuming CBD oil or a strain of marijuana that is high in CBD and low in THC, you can enjoy all the beneficial effects of the CBD while still being focused and clear-eyed enough to live your daily life.

How to take medical marijuana

When you take medical marijuana, you may do so in a myriad of different ways, just as there are many ways to take the drug recreationally. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the one that works best for you will depend on your own personal preferences and goals. You might want to try out a few different ways, just to determine which works best for you.

Obviously, smoking is the most common way of ingesting marijuana. It’s quite simple; you just roll the plant into a joint and then light it so that you can smoke it just as you would tobacco. This gets the drug into your system quickly and has almost immediate effects, but it can also leave a smell on your clothing, in your hair, and in the air around you, which some people do not enjoy. Especially if you want to keep your marijuana use private, this may not be the best option for you. Plus, inhaling smoke is not good for your lungs, and that includes marijuana smoke.

vaping medical marijuana
Vaping your medical marijuana

Vaping is another option that has gained popularity recently. For the best results, use a non-portable vaporizer. For these, you simply place the marijuana into a small machine and heat it until it releases vapors, which you then inhale. This is easier on your lungs and also doesn’t leave the smell of smoking, but has the same quick effect as smoking does.

Vaporizers do not heat the marijuana as hot as smoking does, and may increase the medicinal benefits. A vaping machine is the best option for treating ADHD, but it can be expensive, which prevents some people from choosing this method. Vape pens are also available at a variety of prices.

Edibles are also very popular, since the process of digesting the food means that the effects of the marijuana last much longer than they do when the drug is inhaled. Edibles can come in almost any form and can be bought prepared or can be prepared in your own kitchen if you prefer to keep control of your consumption. It’s important to note that you won’t feel the effects of the marijuana immediately, so make sure to wait and give your edible time to kick in before eating more.

Edibles medical marijuana
Edibles medical marijuana

If none of these methods work for you, you can try topicals, sprays, or even just eating the plant raw. There are countless different ways to consume cannabis, and each will have a slightly different effect. If you don’t enjoy smoking, or whatever other method you have tried so far, give these a shot and see if one of them works better for you.

Grow your own to treat ADHD

While many states have made it easy to purchase medical marijuana in dispensaries, many people still choose to grow their own. It is a healthy option for patients because it saves money and makes it easier to know exactly what you are consuming.

TIP: Looking to buy medical seeds? Check out this marijuana seed shop

If you’d like to grow your own marijuana, it’s a very simple process. Start by purchasing some seeds (make sure to pick a strain that is recommended for ADHD – it’ll be high in CBD and low in THC) and grow them like you would any other plant, making sure they get the recommended water and sunlight every day. For tips on how to grow the most potent plants, read this growing guide.

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The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


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