What does ADD/ADHD look like? Signs include problems with self-regulation and self-motivation; a tendency to get distracted, or procrastinate; a lack of organizational skills or the ability to prioritize. They say that women with ADD are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and obesity. Men are more likely to get in to car accidents, experience anger and behavioural issues, and have trouble with substance abuse. In general those with ADD/ADHD are 50% more likely to cope through cannabis or alcohol. Cannabis is a popular choice among those with ADHD because of its ability to calm, reduce stress, and pay attention.
That’s not the full story, of course…
ADD/ADHD also seems to be a part of many bright, creative minds. People like Justin Timberlake, Jamie Oliver, Will Smith, Michael Phelps, Jim Carrey, Sir Richard Branson (who says that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own company), Howie Mandel, and Terry Bradshaw to name just a few. Accompanying ADD/ADHD comes curiosity, creativity and the ability to think outside the box.
One main physiological irregularity of ADD/ADHD is the brain’s shortage of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter involved in the cognitive processes like memory and attention. Adderall and Ritalin stimulate dopamine, promoting concentration, but are not without side effects, and withdrawal symptoms. Studies have shown that Cannabis also increases the availability of dopamine. Cannabinoids could potentially correct dopamine deficiency.
Dr. David Bearman, M.D. has studied the relationship between Cannabis and ADD/ADHD. He has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs in California. Here is a segment from an interview with Dr. Bearman:
There is never a one-sized fits all with Cannabis, which is why any of the following have been reported to be helpful for focus and ADD/ADHD:
SATIVA with THC (do not overdo this category as that can have the opposite effect): Sour Diesel, Green Crack
INDICA with THC: True OG
HYBRID: Blueberry Headband
THC/CBD SATIVA – Harlequin, Midnight
CBD is typically recommended for those under 18. Non-psychoactive CBD has no effect on the developing brain. It has been demonstrated in medical studies to reduce cortisol levels in the brain, which then naturally causes an increase in dopamine levels.
Never forget the value of good nutrition in brain regulation. Adding hemp seeds, hearts or protein to the diet – with its balanced Omega 3 and 6 and its complete protein profile will also help calm children and adults alike.