Cannabidiol, shortened as CBD, is widely taking the lead globally. Research in 2019 demonstrated that about 14% of individuals in the US use cannabidiol for pain relief, sleep, and anxiety control. Even though the product has shown benefits on mental wellbeing in people, more research is still in progress to establish its influence on neurological and behavioral conditions. Many wonder whether CBD oil in a medical prescription can help treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) condition or not. That’s why we’re here to talk about how it works. Please stay on the page to learn more.

Information from research

Generally, there’s limited research on the relationship between CBD and ADHD.More data bases on cannabis entirely and not cannabidiol as a part of its component. Theory from researchers says that using cannabis worsens the current ADHD symptoms. But the information lacks evidence to contradict or support it.

A study in 2016 looked at the link between marijuana, depression, and ADHD among university students. It was concluded that most students consumed marijuana for managing depressive symptoms. Still, the general influence on the symptoms wasn’t determined clearly. Another study relating cannabis and ADHD subtypes were also interesting. Data collected showed that current cannabis users that used it daily reported hyperactivity when they didn’t use cannabis. That said, more research is vital to bring out CBD’s benefits and how it manages ADHD.

CBD’s working

The body contains two receptors responsible for the working of CBD when ingested. The receptors are such as cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2, which directly affect particular body parts. Type 1 is dominated in the brain and has a direct impact relating to epilepsy disease. On the other hand, type 2 is majorly in the immune system and affects inflammation and pain. CBD compounds stimulate the body to naturally produce more cannabinoids. As a result, the body acquires benefits, including decreased hyperactivity and reduced anxiety.

How CBD manages ADHD

Does CBD really help manage ADHD? Unfortunately, there’s very limited research talking about the help CBD has on ADHD. Most conclusions are drawn from the few studies available, mainly eye on cannabis as a whole, which also carries THC. An illustration is drawn from a study in 2017, which stated that adults administered with Sativex medicine (contains THC and CBD) reported lower ADD symptoms without mental impairment.

In 2020, another study on adults taking medical cannabis that had less ADHD medicines thus recorded lower scores in ADHD. For children, no safety has scientifically been proven in using CBD. Medicines such as Adderall will continue serving as a treatment for ADD until CBD is proved safe. In 2018, research was carried on 60 kids having autism condition, whereby they used CBD oil, and their anxiety improved by 39%. This is evident that CBD oil can manage anxiety.

CBD side effects

The body tolerates CBD well in quantities up to 1.5 g daily. Its absorption takes between 20 minutes and 2 hours before the effects are experienced. CBD side effects can include a change in weight, appetite, drowsiness, and stomach upset. First-timers in using CBD may experience drowsiness or severe stomach upset. It’s advisable, to begin with limited doses to reduce the effects.

How CBD oil is used may also cause other side effects. An example is vaping, which could lead to lung damage. Consequently, one can develop chronic coughing, breathing difficulties, wheezing, and other cases that could lead to death. The centers for disease control and prevention recently found out the dangers relating to inhalation and vaping of the substance.  They discouraged consuming the substance via inhalation, saying it’s unsafe. The people at a bigger risk are ones with lung diseases and asthma conditions.

Additionally, its interaction with medication, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs can cause varied effects. Take an example of the CBD in grapefruit, which tempers with body enzymes responsible for drug breakdown and uptake. That’s why for safety reasons, it’s imperative to check for any grapefruit warning messages on supplements and medications. In case you’ve got doubts about any prescribed medication, please talk to a medical personnel.

Are children safe with CBD oil?

The few studies carried out to investigate CBD oil haven’t confirmed any safe products for children on the markets. Only a single product got approval by the FDA, Epidiolex. It’s a medical prescription drug known for treating seizures, which associate with some epilepsy types. While Epidiolex has been clinically tried and tested effective against seizures, it comes with significant side effects and risks. Examples include:

  • Tiredness
  • Sleepiness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Malaise
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Increased suicidal plans
  • Interferes with the functioning of drugs such as morphine, propofol, lorazepam, clobazam, and phenytoin.

More information about safety concerns linked to CBD is the unreliable amounts added to products sold in shops and stores. There’s no proper way to establish how much has been used in the delivered product. Additionally, the various consumption methods don’t tell how much has been absorbed in the body. Oral ingestion, vaping, and smoking, among others, provide different absorption rates. These CBD products also compose other ingredients that may be unsafe for human consumption. Last but not least, there’s no known amount to administer to children. This information, plus the fact that no evidence by researchers clearly states how CBD treats ADHD in both children and adults, then it’s advisable to consult a pediatrician before engaging your child with the product.

The bottom line

Extended research should be done before considering CBD oil a convectional option for treating ADHD condition. However, those wishing to use it need a doctor’s approval and prescription. They could give proper guidance on the dosage or legal requirements to keep you safe. Again, it’d be best if you treat CBD oil like any other instrument or drug for managing symptoms. It may not be instant, therefore, you should give it time to function. Adjusting your dosage may again be a requirement for suiting your needs better.

Crystal Kadir

MS, Durham University

The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

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