Fighting ADD/ADHD with Medical Marijuana

The rate at which Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is
being diagnosed has skyrocketed over the last 25 years. ADHD is a
condition characterized by hyperactivity, distractibility, and poor
impulse control. Children with ADHD may be fidgety and unable to sit
still, have difficulty concentrating, and may speak or act out at
inappropriate times. Sufferers often have high levels of anxiety and
depression.

The Prevalence and Symptoms of ADHD and ADD

As of 2011, the CDC reported that more than one child out of ten
between the ages of 4 and 17

has been diagnosed with ADHD. This is a shocking number, and it is
increasingly concerning when we consider that the standard treatments
for ADHD use powerful stimulants that are chemically similar to
methamphetamine. Conventional
treatment

recommends medications such as Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse as the
first line of treatment for children between the ages of 6 and 18.

The condition also affects adults, although they commonly fail to
exhibit the hyperactive component. Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder
without hyperactivity) most often manifests as an inability to
concentrate
.
Adults with ADD are often disorganized and forgetful, prone to
risk-taking and sometimes even hyper-focused, meaning the person
concentrates with laser-like intensity on a task to the exclusion of
everything else.

The Efficacy of Medical Marijuana

Although not completely understood, ADHD/ADD seems to result from a
dysfunction in dopamine neurotransmitter release and uptake. Dopamine
receptors interact with the endocannabinoid system in many parts of the
brain, which makes medical marijuana a possible treatment option for
those suffering from ADHD/ADD. Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in
the amygdala and hippocampus areas of the brain. Those areas are linked
strongly with attention deficit disorders, high anxiety, depression, and
phobias. These centers also have a high concentration of CB1 receptors,
which cannabis can target to help control these symptoms.

Recent research into marijuana use by those with
ADHD/ADD

supports the theory that cannabis can be an effective treatment for
ADHD, although there is still a scarcity of formal studies on the topic.
Sublingual administration is the fastest route of administration. CBD products, with extremely low levels of THC (the physco-active component in medical marijuana), are most suitable for young patients suffering from ADHD. CBD products, similar to those children take to ease epilepsy symptoms, can help children focus without any possible physco-active side effects.

Photo Credit.

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