Can Medical Marijuana Help ADHD?

An often misunderstood, yet nonetheless widespread ailment, ADHD has become tainted by many believing it is an excuse for misbehaving children. In reality, it is a genuine neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder that not only affects children, but adults also. A study titled “The European consensus statement on diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD” discovered that around 2-5% of adults suffer with some form of ADHD.

With no known cause and a seemingly never-ending list of prescribed treatments, ADHD remains a rather controversial and debated topic. However, recent research may have revealed a potential breakthrough in the way that the disorder is treated.

In March 2014, the Psychology department from the University of Albany released a report entitled ‘Subtypes of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Cannabis Use’.

The report observed that people who suffer with ADHD often have a dopamine deficiency. Cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are able to counteract this deficiency, having the same effect as prescribed stimulants like Ritalin and Dexedrine amphetamine, without the unwanted side effects.

The study also suggested that cannabinoid receptors are found in higher densities in areas of the brain that are linked to symptoms of ADHD, specifically the amygdala and hippocampus regions. These regions of the brain are known to play a role in emotional regulation and memory as well as bipolar tendencies. By activating these receptors through ingestion of cannabinoids, the aforementioned regions of the brain are regulated and hyper-active disorders are relieved, even if for a short period.

A paediatrician based in California, Dr. Claudia Jensen believed medical marijuana can be used in the treatment of ADHD;

“They don’t have to get stoned – it’s dose-related. But they do get the benefit of being able to focus, pay attention, not be impulsive, not be angry, be peaceful and relaxed and pay attention in school, which helps them get better grades.”

The video below shows Dr. Jensen in an interview with MSNBC in America, speaking about the benefits of marijuana when dealing with ADHD.