Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that affects attention span and focus. As well as impulse control. Many patients utilize pharmaceutical treatments to manage ADHD symptoms. Medical cannabis is becoming more common in the treatment of ADHD across Canada.
What is ADHD?
Understanding what ADHD is and how it affects behavior is the first step to understanding how medical cannabis can help patients. The disorder is primarily characterized by hyperactivity and impulsivity. However, there are other symptoms that those with ADHD might also experience.
- Fidgeting and restlessness
- Sleep disturbances
- Feeling scatterbrained and forgetful
- Excessive talking
- Low sense of danger
In addition to the symptoms above, some mental health professionals believe that poor social skills, excessive outbursts, and low self-esteem may also be associated with ADHD.
Studies and statistics on the topic vary. It seems that as many as 13% of Canadians have been diagnosed with ADHD. The disorder is as much as four times more common in males than in females.
How is ADHD treated?
Those who suffer from these negative side effects, as well as those who prefer a natural remedy, can consider the benefit of using medical cannabis to treat ADHD symptoms. When taken according to a medical practitioner’s direction, medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment. It may calm the symptoms of ADHD significantly. That said, the efficacy of medical cannabis is still being studied across Canada.
How does medical cannabis help ADHD?
Medical studies have shown that ADHD is caused by a lack of dopamine production in the brain’s prefrontal cortex region. Dopamine is a hormone that regulates nerve signals that affect attention and memory. It’s also responsible for feelings of happiness and calm.
Cannabis naturally produces a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD). This may promote the production of dopamine and improve alertness, focus, and attention. Furthermore, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including Delta-9 THC, another property of the cannabis plant, is known to release dopanine and feelings of pleasure. This can ease or even eliminate ADHD symptoms according to a 2017 study. While the increase in dopamine is short term, consistent use of THC under professional medical supervision can provide long-term benefits.
Until next time…