Scatterbrained. Absent-minded. Ditzy. Daydreamer.
If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you most likely have heard those words to describe the lack of focus and poor concentration that can be hallmark symptoms of ADHD. You may be taking prescription medication to improve symptom management.
Since you are reading this, you must be considering switching to a natural alternative. You are seeking natural relief from the symptoms that can be so fatiguing and frustrating.
The internet is abuzz about using CBD to effectively manage ADHD symptoms. While research regarding CBD and ADHD is still in the early stages, other studies do show that CBD can help alleviate anxiety. When you consider that many people, perhaps even you, who have ADHD also have anxiety issues, it’s easier to understand the buzz.
A Calm Mind Focuses More Easily
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects an estimated 4.4% of adults in the United States. Its symptoms in adults include an inability to focus, hyperactivity, inattention, and distractibility.
The most common treatments for ADHD include medications like Ritalin, cognitive therapy, and behavior management. However, many people remain wary of medications like Ritalin, which can be addictive and abused.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound in cannabis and hemp plants. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, maintains balance, and plays an important role in mood regulation, inflammation, pain, and digestion.
CBD is non-addictive, non-intoxicating, and associated with certain health benefits. Some people with ADHD have reported that CBD helps alleviate symptoms. The compound does not have the side effects that occur with ADHD medication. For this reason, you may be interested in learning more about using CBD to manage your own symptoms. Read on.
The ADHD Mind
Why are focus and concentration so difficult for those with ADHD? The exact cause has not been conclusively identified. Most researchers point to heredity or genetics as the cause. Others point to brain chemistry. ADHD brains are typically deficient in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which control attention levels and brain arousal. Some researchers are investigating certain genes such as those linked to dopamine and their role in ADHD. Other researchers remain convinced that ADHD is triggered by our modern, high-stress, fast-paced lives.
Most people can focus and concentrate when necessary. For the ADHD mind, this is very difficult, although hyperfocus in ADHD is a real phenomenon. However, the hyperfocus is frequently on an inappropriate issue given the situation. For instance, a person with ADHD may focus intently on a favorite video game to the detriment of his or her personal relationships or job, thereby increasing the anxiety that surrounds these problems.
Can CBD Treat ADHD?
The symptoms of ADHD include an inability to focus, distractibility, and difficulty paying attention. Another symptom is hyperactivity, which can interfere with normal work or school situations. In addition, ADHD may lead to impulsive actions resulting in difficulties in relationships, work, school, and life in general. All of these issues can increase anxiety in the person experiencing them.
Because studies have shown that CBD can help alleviate anxiety, it’s thought that the compound can be helpful in treating ADHD. CBD receptors are on nervous system cells. With their anxiety calmed, some people experience better focus and concentration.
What Does the Research Say About CBD and ADHD?
A few studies indicate that CBD has the potential to treat ADHD. A 2012 research paper reported that mice had "reduced social investigative behavior, hyperactivity, as well as reduced attention span," and were "normalized" when treated with CBD.
Because cannabis products were prohibited by federal law until 2018, the research on humans investigating CBD and ADHD is in the early stages and includes:
A 2017 study of 30 individuals showed that using CBD nasal spray may reduce hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. The improvement was small, and the researchers could not conclude that the nasal spray was more effective than a placebo. However, they did say the results warranted further investigation.
A 2020 scientific review gave a moderate recommendation supporting CBD for ADHD treatment.
A small 2020 study of 112 adult medical cannabis patients with ADHD found that those who took a higher dose of CBD took fewer ADHD medications.
You will find more research investigating CBD and anxiety, which frequently co-occurs with ADHD. Research shows that those with ADHD are more likely to experience anxiety disorders. And an anxiety disorder may make ADHD symptoms more difficult to manage.
Addressing the anxiety by using CBD may make managing ADHD symptoms easier. In turn, your focus and concentration can improve.
Benefits of Using CBD for ADHD
Many people with ADHD have reported that CBD has a profoundly positive impact on alleviating the symptoms, although it is important to remember that these are personal testimonies rather than double-blind studies. CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which regulates the production of certain brain chemicals and helps maintain a sense of balance in your body. In fact, this system plays a major role in many of the physiological functions that underpin ADHD symptoms like cognition, memory, concentration, focus, mood, and more. According to some ADHD patient reports, using CBD has helped reduce issues like anxiety, pain, hyperactivity, inflammation, and impulsivity.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reported benefits of using CBD to treat symptoms of ADHD.
Remember, those with ADHD are at greater risk for anxiety disorders. Some studies show that CBD has tremendous potential to treat a wide variety of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. It may also have some antidepressant action. These effects can help produce greater feelings of overall well-being and calm, which in turn helps you focus and concentrate.
Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter produced by the brain. Dopamine activates the brain’s pleasure center resulting in feelings of well-being, satisfaction, and reward. Dopamine helps regulate memory, focus, and mood, and it supports planning, learning, and productivity. People with ADHD typically have lower levels of dopamine. CBD can stimulate the production of anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the body that helps regulate dopamine and serotonin. CBD treatment can help increase dopamine levels.
Good sleep is essential for overall well-being and good health. People with ADHD and anxiety can often find it difficult to relax and fall asleep, or they may have difficulty staying asleep. Thus, they fail to get the deep, restorative sleep necessary for optimal health.
Studies show that CBD may produce an overall calming effect on the nervous system. This helps produce feelings of well-being and peace during the day and helps the nervous system transition into the mode of restful sleep at night. Although research is still in the early stages, they suggest that CBD therapy can help people improve sleep issues like insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Being well-rested is crucial to managing ADHD symptoms like poor focus and concentration.
CBD is a Promising Natural Support for Those with ADHD
I teamed up with Soul CBD to produce Alert Capsules with a proprietary blend that I formulated myself. The capsules contain no THC, so you enjoy the benefits of organic CBD isolate combined with natural cognitive supports including:
Vitamin B12 - This brain-boosting vitamin can help improve mental clarity, increase energy, and boost mood.
Ginseng Extract - Works by regulating the effects of stress on the immune system, resulting in improved memory and reduced inflammation.
Bacopa Extract - Ancient herb that enhances brain function and improves focus.
Lion’s Mane - Mushroom with neuroprotective effects; reduces brain fog and improves memory.
If you are ready to try CBD to alleviate ADHD symptoms, consider Alert Capsules, formulated by Dr. Jess and made by Soul CBD. This high-quality CBD product could provide significant relief from ADHD symptoms.