ADHD AND MARIJUANA

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a condition in which the brain cannot ignore minor stimuli. Its symptoms begin at childhood and may continue to adulthood. Research shows that a mother who uses cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk for ADHD. Also, exposure to lead may cause symptoms linked with ADHD. A large number of ADHD patients in most cases suffer from other neurological disorders, including bipolar, obsessive-compulsive and sleep disorders. Its symptoms include:

  • Hyperactivity- Acting before thinking
  • impulsiveness and inattentiveness
  • One can cause problems at home, school, work, or in relationships.
  • Depression or anxiety

The above attributes are most common in children and to prescribe diagnosis referred to as ADD. In adults it is hard to be noticed. Adults with attention deficit disorder may exhibit problems with self-regulation and self-motivation because they get distracted, lack organizational skills or the ability to prioritize and most times postpone work.

adhd and marijuana / cannabis

The side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals are very common, which may result in the patients avoiding medication. The resultant side effects may impact, impair or result in short term and long term outcome to a patient.

In a research carried out on published articles, the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs in ADHD treatment was done. Evidence on the comparative success of drugs to treat ADHD was insufficient. Evidence on the comparative efficacy in children and adolescents was moderate to low strength and indicated very few differences among the drugs in improving symptoms or in adverse event rates.

Also, Atomoxetine resulted in higher rates of vomiting and somnolence. Similar rates of nausea and anorexia, and lower rates of insomnia than stimulants. It also caused also inhibition of weight gain. These had adverse effects on the patients and the key contributor to them avoiding medication.
Evidence on the danger of serious harm was found and indicated atomoxetine has increased risk of suicidal behavior. Differences in risk for tendency to commit suicide was common, cardiac adverse events were not different between drug stimulants. In adults the effects did not differ between stimulants and atomoxetine.

Medical marijuana, from various research is safer, less side effects and less addictive than traditional stimulant medications. While stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Vyvanse act to directly boost levels of dopamine within the brain. Research has shown that marijuana can increase dopamine levels as well. On the other hand, marijuana has a relatively slight effect on dopamine, which is a probable explanation for its low potential for addiction studies show that only 1 in 10 marijuana users will eventually develop a dependency.

Doctors who have prescribed cannabis as a non-conventional treatment, such as California paediatrician Dr. Claudia Jensen, have found that it can indeed help patients with managing symptoms of ADHD. Certain strains of medical marijuana can allow the patient to focus on their project. Marijuana was used as a replacement for other medications Ritalin or Methylphenidate. Chronic symptoms of ADHD are improved with the use of medical marijuana.

References sourced for ADHD and Marijuana

McDonagh et al. Drug Class Review on Pharmacologic Treatments for ADHD: Final Report. Portland Oregon Health & Science University, December 2011. http://derp.ohsu.edu/about/final-document-display.cfm.
Jan Chaboya, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Medical Marijuana. January 2012. http://medicalmarijuana.com/medical-uses/condition.cfm?conID=44.