CBD is a naturally-occurring compound found in all plants of the cannabis family, and is the second-most prevalent isolate extracted from cannabis; the first being THC.
Where THC is psychoactive, however, CBD is not – this has led to its being made legal in many states and countries across the world, as lawmakers realise that it:
- Offers negligible potential for abuse or dependency
- Has very few immediate adverse side effects
- Has little to no adverse long term effects
- Is not psychoactive in any way
- Can offer a multitude of health benefits, both physical and emotional
CBD can be ingested in a variety of forms, including as CBD oil, pearls, pastes, or even as a topical balm.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – a disorder most prevalent in children, although it can continue well into adulthood. Approximately 6% of children and adolescents worldwide have been diagnosed with ADHD, while the percentage of adults with the disorder is estimated to sit at just under 3.5%
There are three types of ADHD, according to the DSM-V diagnostic criteria. Previously, ADHD was called ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) but is now divided into three clearer subcategories. These are as follows:
- Inattentive type ADHD
Symptoms of inattentive type ADHD include being easily sidetracked, difficulty focusing, and frequent/easy distractibility
- Hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD
Symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD include being disruptive and interruptive, always ‘on the go’, and a lack of inattention
- Combined type ADHD
Symptoms of combined type ADHD involve displaying characteristics of both types of ADHD listed above, as the name suggests
Research has been unable to pinpoint a singular or exact cause of ADHD so far. However, it is widely accepted that ADHD is a ‘multifactorial condition’, relying on a mix of neurobiological, environmental, and genetic factors.
These factors have been shown to play a part in disrupting the normal function of the dopaminergic system in people with ADHD. The dopaminergic system is responsible for regulating levels of dopamine within the body – dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is linked to memory, attention, reward, and motivation.
How is ADHD usually treated?
If you’ve ever looked into ADHD treatment (or even happened to watch Netflix’s controversial documentary ‘Take your Pills’), you’ll know that for many children with ADHD, the medication of choice was Methylphenidate (Ritalin) or an even blend of l-amphetamine and d-amphetamine (Benzedrine).
Although these medications had been used since the early 1900s to treat forms of ADHD, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that prescriptions begin to soar.
Ritalin and Benzedrine became absorbed into pop-culture, and it wasn’t until the so-called ‘Ritalin Generation’ grew up that doctors realised the long-term implications of medicating young children using an amphetamine compound.
A small study recently found that adults who started a medication regime during childhood have different levels of certain neurotransmitters – and therefore a lowered threshold to drugs like Ritalin – than those who began treatment as adults.
Because of this, general treatments tend to centralise around behavioural therapy, with medication only prescribed (especially to children) in cases where it is absolutely essential. So, how could CBD help treat symptoms of this complex disorder?
CBD for ADHD
Traditionally, ADHD treatments fall into two distinct camps: stimulants (like Ritalin) and non-stimulants. Stimulant medication can lead to unpleasant side effects, such as:
- dry mouth
- mood changes
- poor appetite
- weight loss
Similarly, non-stimulant ADHD-specific medication can also cause some negative side effects, such as:
- upset stomach
- poor appetite
- mood changes
- weight loss
CBD, on the other hand, can be well-tolerated by most people in doses of up to 1500 milligrams per day. It’s also been shown to help users focus, feel calmer, and experience a more balanced state of mind.
However, anecdotal evidence prevails, and as of right now, there’s no conclusive medical evidence to support the claim that CBD isolates can help mediate symptoms of ADHD.
CBD does, however, show great promise for treating related disorders such as anxiety and depression – both of which are affected by activity in the dopaminergic system. Feel free to read our blog posts on CBD for Anxiety and CBD for Depression for more information.
CBD oil from SmartCBD
SmartCBD stocks a range of balms, pastes, and oils to help alleviate your anxiolytic symptoms. View our range of CBD-rich products here.