Marijuana and ADHD| Can Marijuana Help ADHD?
There is currently a great deal of research being conducted into how marijuana can potentially have medicinal uses. There’s also debate in many states about whether or not medical marijuana should be made legal. There is some belief that marijuana can be helpful in situations such as helping cancer patients on chemo have more of an appetite, and marijuana is also being looked at as a potential alternative to opioid pain relievers.
There’s also a question of whether or not marijuana and ADHD might have a beneficial relationship to one another.
Can marijuana help ADHD? Below is more information about marijuana, ADHD, and also the potential for marijuana to help people deal with the symptoms of this condition.
Marijuana is a drug that’s largely illegal in the U.S., although some states have approved it for medicinal and recreational use, including Colorado. It comes from the Cannabis plant, and it has psychoactive effects because of the THC it contains.
When someone smokes marijuana, it quickly goes through their blood and passes the blood-brain barrier, and when someone eats it with food or drink it usually takes a little longer for it to have an effect.
People often feel very relaxed when they’re high on marijuana, and they may also experience altered senses or perception of time. They may have impaired body movement, problems with memory, thinking and judgment, and changes in mood. When marijuana is taken at high doses, it can have scary side effects in some people including psychosis and delusions.
Unlike many other drugs, there aren’t really overdoses resulting from marijuana, but people can have uncomfortable or negative side effects of the drug.
ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood because it leads to symptoms that cause problems in school. Children with ADHD will tend to have problems in functionality when it comes to school, activities, and relationships with others.
For children with ADHD, there may be prescription medicines recommended and/or changes in learning programs and teaching. For adults with ADHD treatment options can include therapy, medication or both. Adults can work with a therapist on strategies to more effectively manage their behavior.
Researchers believe that ADHD may come from a lack of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, and this neurotransmitter is responsible for managing thoughts including attention and memory.
Conventional medicine relies on stimulants like Adderall to treat ADHD, but for many people, the side effects are difficult to deal with. This has led adults to look at marijuana as a potential option. Research on marijuana and ADHD remains limited, but there has been some evidence showing that marijuana may have positive effects on impulse control and cognition. At the same time, there have been other studies that have shown it has no effect on cognitive abilities, or it could make things even worse, particularly when young people start using marijuana.
The reason people believe marijuana and ADHD could have a beneficial relationship with one another is because marijuana affects dopamine levels.
Again, the jury is still out on whether or not marijuana can help ADHD, and currently, if you were to use this drug for symptoms of ADHD, it would be considered self-medicating, which can often lead to other substance use problems.
There can also be negative side effects of marijuana including anxiety and other mood disorders, negative effects on cognitive development in young people, and some researchers believe it may even cause more problems with brain functions including memory and learning.
Marijuana may help with some of the symptoms of hyperactivity that come with an ADHD diagnosis, but it may make the attention deficit problems worse in many people.
There may be a link between marijuana and ADHD because of a shared relationship with dopamine levels in the brain, but research is still in its very early stages.
It’s important to be aware of marijuana risks as well, particularly if you’re an adolescent or young adult and your brain is still developing.
If you have ADHD, it’s important you follow the instructions of your doctor or therapist and don’t try to self-medicate with marijuana or other substances, because it can ultimately cause more harm than good.
Have more questions about Marijuana abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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