Marijuana is a natural medicine, which can help in boosting mental wellness. Research says that its chemical compounds are effective in managing mental illnesses, such as ADHD.
Although marijuana is illegal as per federal regulations, its medical use is legal in more than 30 US states. To access medical dispensaries, you require a doctor signed MMJ card. In most states, a card is valid for 12 months and after that, you need to apply for cannabis card renewal.
Before you start using cannabis as an ADHD treatment, you should learn various things, such as ADHD symptoms, how marijuana works, etc. Read on for complete information.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a neurological disorder, which attacks the brain areas associated with planning, focusing, and completing tasks.
According to the CDC, it’s estimated that 6.1 million Americans are diagnosed with ADHD. The number includes 4 million children aged 6-11 years and 388,000 children aged 2-5 years.
In young children with ADHD, limited attention span, restlessness, and trouble remaining still are some of the common symptoms. Additionally, the patients may experience impulsiveness, trouble multitasking, lack of focus, and disorganization.
ADHD can be inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, or combined type. However, diagnosis is based on the symptoms a patient experiences in the past six months.
ADHD Medications & Their Risks
The most common medications for fighting Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. They work by increasing the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to motivation, pleasure, and attention. There are both short-acting and long-acting stimulants.
These are usually considered when stimulants didn’t work or cause unpleasant side-effects. Strattera is an FDA-approved non-stimulant medication for ADHD treatment. It works by boosting the levels of norepinephrine, which helps patients improve focus and attention.
ADHD patients often experience anxiety, depression, and stress. So, along with treating ADHD, antidepressants can help the patients manage other mental health issues. They work by targeting the multiple neurotransmitters in the brain.
Potential Risks of ADHD Medications
ADHD medications are linked to certain health risks. For instance, stimulants can lead to loss of appetite, mood swings, headaches, depression, dizziness, and sleep problems. Since stimulants raise blood pressure levels, many experts don’t recommend these drugs for long-term use.
A non-stimulant medication Strattera can cause headaches, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and sleepiness. Moreover, side-effects of antidepressants are—dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, low blood pressure, and drowsiness.
Marijuana Treatment For ADHD
Marijuana contains cannabinoids, which possess medicinal properties. THC and CBD are the two most common phytocannabinoids, which work by stimulating the body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system). ECS is a cell-signaling system that comprises endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. It’s responsible for controlling various bodily processes, such as sleep, mood, memory, appetite, stress, and metabolism.
Marijuana can help stimulate the dopamine in the brain, as ADHD medications do. Many consumers agree that cannabis is a safe treatment because it doesn’t cause any unpleasant risks as drugs do.
There has been a wide range of studies conducted on marijuana for ADHD treatment. A study of 268 different online discussion threads reported that cannabis can play a crucial role in treating ADHD. Some schools consider dopamine deficiency in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain as a major cause of ADHD. Cannabis can help produce more dopamine, thus helping patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
According to a study published in Nature journal in 2017, THC can help in increasing dopamine levels in the brain, thus managing ADHD symptoms. However, it works for the short-term, and patients using it for the long-term may experience some health issues.
Moreover, marijuana is effective in managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Research says that these mental illnesses are linked to ADHD.
Does CBD Work?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound, which has amazing anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and antipsychotic properties. It can help patients with ADHD boost mental wellness without experiencing high effects.
There are some specific ADHD symptoms CBD can help. There’s evidence that CBD can help ease anxiety. According to a 2016 study, CBD may help children get off anxiety and sleep problems. However, further research is required to evaluate how exactly it works.
Are There Any Risks?
Marijuana’s psychoactive compound THC can slow the signaling process of the brain. Moreover, it affects dendrite architecture, which is responsible for controlling processing, learning, and other important functions of the brain.
Cannabis may impair memory (by affecting the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex) of consumers, especially those under 25. Other health risks associated with marijuana use are COPD, chronic bronchitis, and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
Additionally, some consumers report the development of dependence. So, when using cannabis for ADHD treatment, you should take good care of the dosage.
Medical Marijuana Strains For ADHD Patients
There is a wide range of cannabis strains with different levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Here’s a list of the best cannabis strains for ADHD patients-
- Sour Diesel
- Black Jack
- True OG
- Green Crack
Since everyone has a different condition, a group of strains working for one patient may not work for another. It’s good to do some research, try different strains and select the ones that work well for you.
Accessing Medical Marijuana Legally
Marijuana in any form is illegal at the federal level. However, many states have legalized medical cannabis. With scientific evidence that marijuana can be used as a safe treatment for various conditions, more states are legalizing its medical use.
To access cannabis from licensed dispensaries in a marijuana legalized state, you require a medical marijuana card signed by a licensed doctor. However, in many states, the card is valid for 12 months from the date it’s issued. After that, you need to renew your MMJ card.
Major Benefits of MMJ Card Renewal
Access to High-Potency Cannabis
Get highly potent cannabis products for managing your symptoms. Without an MMJ card, you will be considered as a recreational user and can’t access medical dispensaries.
Patients who are at least 18 years of age can apply for MMJ cards. However, minors can also access medical marijuana under the careful supervision of legal guardians who must be at least 18 years of age. For recreational users, the age requirement is 21 years.
Medical marijuana cardholders can save cannabis sales and use tax, which is around 10 percent depending on the state.
Grow Own Marijuana Plants
Cultivate cannabis plants at home for personal use. It helps you to produce strains based on your requirements.
Medical marijuana can help patients manage ADHD symptoms. Its cannabinoids have medicinal properties, and they bind to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for controlling mood, memory, sleep, etc.
Research says that dopamine deficiency is linked to the development of ADHD. Marijuana use can help elevate the levels of dopamine, thus treating ADHD.
However, medical experts believe that cannabis use can cause harm to cognitive processes. So, for patients under 25 years of age, marijuana may not be a good choice. It’s good to seek professional help from a doctor before giving cannabis treatment to your child who is suffering from ADHD.
Want to access medical marijuana legally? Talk to our licensed doctors for a new card or cannabis card renewal.