CBD for ADD and ADHD: What Is ADHD?
ADHD is now diagnosed as predominantly hyperactive type ADHD by doctors. The signs and symptoms of predominantly inattentive type ADHD are in line with what is commonly known about ADHD.
Children with ADHD tend to be:
- Impulsive and squirmy
- Highly energetic
- Highly impatient when waiting their turn
Adults who have predominantly inattentive type ADHD tend to be:
- Very talkative
- Filled with nervous energy
What Is ADD?
The condition that was previously described as ADD is now referred to as predominantly inattentive type ADHD by clinicians.
As it does not have the symptom of hyperactivity, ADD or predominantly inattentive type ADHD is often considered to be a quieter version of attention deficit disorder.
The condition is believed to be more prevalent among females.
Symptoms and signs of ADD may include:
- Lack of attention
- Poor working memory
- Poor executive function
- Being easily distracted
What’s the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is considered to be a psychological or neurological issue that can be diagnosed.
However, a medical diagnosis of ADD is no longer given by clinicians. Medical professionals have been using the term ADHD to refer to both the inattentive and hyperactive forms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since 1994.
Even so, many adults, parents, and teachers still use the term ADD when they refer to predominantly inattentive type ADHD.
There are three known types of ADHD:
- Inattentive ADHD (or predominantly inattentive type ADHD) – this type of ADHD is sometimes called ADD. Children with the condition are easily distracted, spacey, and have poor mental focus but are not impulsive or hyperactive. They make careless mistakes when doing schoolwork or skip entire sections of an exam because they are trying to work too quickly. They may start projects and fail to finish them. Adults with the condition may be forgetful, inattentive to details, and have poor organization skills. Inattentive ADHD may resemble a mood disorder. It is most often seen in girls and women.
- Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD (or predominantly hyperactive type ADHD) – Children with this condition have symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity but not inattention. They may interrupt class frequently, climb or run about in situations where it is inappropriate, blurt out answers rather than raising their hands, leave their seats unexpectedly when they should remain seated, squirm in their seats constantly, or fidget excessively with their hands or feet. They have difficulty playing or participating in recreational activities quietly. Only a small percentage of children and adults show symptoms associated with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. The condition is more common among males than females.
- Combined ADHD – The child shows symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
How CBD can help with ADD and ADHD
Traditional treatment for ADHD involves taking pharmaceutical medications that are stimulant and amphetamine-based.
However, these types of medications are often linked with several negative side effects.
While the use of pharmaceutical medication is popular, it is important to remember that other effective treatment options are available.
For example, many people have reported positive results after taking CBD for ADHD.
Cannabidiol or CBD is an all natural substance that is found in cannabis sativa plants like hemp and marijuana.
CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the substance in marijuana that can make you feel confused or intoxicated. CBD is non-toxic, non-addictive, and will not make you feel high.
Several scientific studies with humans and animals have linked CBD with reduced symptoms of ADHD without any negative side-effects. A few of these studies are listed below:
- In a 2012 animal study, rats were given MK-801—a chemical that makes the rats more hyperactive and less attentive. When the rats were pre-treated with CBD, they showed reduced hyperactivity and normalized social investigative behavior.
- In a 2016 study, 30 men and women with ADHD were given either a cannabinoid spray or a placebo. The adults who received the cannabinoid spray showed significantly less hyperactivity and impulsivity as well as improvements in attention, emotional liability and cognitive performance. The study offers evidence for “the self-medication theory of cannabis use in ADHD.”
- A 2016 qualitative analysis of online forum discussions on the use of cannabis for ADHD showed 25% of posts claim cannabis is therapeutic for ADHD, 8% claim it is harmful, 5% claim it is both therapeutic and harmful, and 2% claim it has no impact on ADHD.
Why Use CBD Oil for Children with ADD and ADHD?
Children with ADD and ADHD are typically given pharmaceutical medications to help manage their symptoms.
However, these drugs may not be suitable, tolerable, or effective for all children who take them. Ritalin and Adderall are two pharmaceutical medications that are usually prescribed for children with ADHD.
Unfortunately, these medications contain stimulants and amphetamines and may cause a range of adverse side effects such as sleeplessness and anxiety. Ironically, sleeplessness and anxiety are known to make the symptoms of ADHD worse.
Other common side effects of Ritalin include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Changes in mood
Other common side effects of Adderall include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Changes in mood
Unlike Ritalin, Adderall, and other pharmaceutical medications, CBD does not have any major side effects. Instead, CBD may help children to:
- Sleep better
- Feel less anxious
- Have less headaches
- Feel less nauseous
- Regain their appetite
- Improve their mood
- Feel more relaxed
As shown, CBD may help to reduce the symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD, and avoid the negative side effects that are commonly linked with pharmaceutical medications.
How Does CBD Oil Impact ADHD?
Given the high prevalence of ADHD and the adverse side effects of traditional medications, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of parents are looking at alternative, natural treatments like CBD.
CBD works on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and providing the best conditions for the body’s cells to function optimally.
CBD can interact with cannabinoid receptors that regulate pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and other physiological processes.
CBD may also have an indirect impact on dopamine and serotonin receptors.
Although CBD does not cause increased production of dopamine and serotonin, it can work to prevent their re-uptake and mitigate neurotransmitter imbalances.
This can help to reduce insomnia and anxiety. A number of studies show that the symptoms of ADHD and ADD can be lessened by increasing sleep and reducing anxious feelings.