If you've ever had trouble concentrating as a child or an adult, you know how frustrating it is to have someone tell you, “Just buckle down and finish your work!” We've talked about cannabidiol (CBD) and its possibilities for motivation and learning in the past. While attention issues relate to both of these concepts, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a whole different animal compared to the occasional distraction during work or school. That's why we decided to take a look at CBD's possibilities when it comes to ADHD supplementation.
ADHD is a controversial disorder for a few reasons. It includes symptoms such as difficulty concentrating in environments where you have to sit still and be quiet, which is quite simply difficult for some people to do. It has also been suspected of being over-diagnosed at some points in the past; up to 10% of American children received a diagnosis for ADHD in the late 1990s. Finally, highly addictive drugs like Adderall, which contains amphetamine salts, are often the go-to drug for treating ADHD. Not all parents want their children to take amphetamines for years on end, and even many adults avoid Adderall and related drugs because they do not like feeling wired and jittery all day long.
Unfortunately, this set of issues means that people with ADHD too often allow it to go untreated, especially if they are adults. The National Institutes of Mental Health tell us that ADHD can create problems with schoolwork, on the job, and even in social situations. If you have ever dealt with ADHD, you know that these outcomes are not exaggerated. It's possible to sit down for a productive day at work, coffee in hand, only to realize that it's now lunchtime and you spent the last three hours on Facebook instead of putting together than presentation the boss needs this afternoon.
CBD is being investigated to learn about its role in learning, attention, and memory. Eventually, animal studies could be the starting point for researching the ways CBD might modify ADHD processes. For now, it is important to get input from some of the people with ADHD to learn more about the role CBD has in their lives.
We talked to some people diagnosed with ADHD who use CBD products in their daily routine, to get some firsthand accounts about it. Kyli, 22, gave us an overview of her routine: “I keep a sugar-free CBD infused chocolate bar in my bag in case I need a snack during class. Knowing I don't need to wait for class to end if I need a snack actually helps me stay focused like you wouldn't believe. Plus too much sugar on top of what I'm prescribed is like a recipe for being jumpy, so those bars help me avoid another distracting thought. When I used to bring in candy or chips, I'd get caught up counting the sodium, calories, anything I could. I'd kind of zone out during the lectures while I did that, so I think CBD is part of my toolkit for class.”
Jenna, 21, told us, “I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8, and I took all of the pills they prescribe for it at one time or another. I was cutting back on my dose with my doctor's permission, though, because the pills stopped helping me as much. I'd started taking CBD as part of an antioxidant regimen, one capsule of CBD twice a day. I noticed that I was still concentrating just fine in class and work, even though my ADHD drug doses were going down. Now, I only take the ADHD drugs if I really need them, but the CBD capsules have stayed a part of my routine. I've been taking them for a year now, and I've really noticed a change for the better!”
Evan, 27, noticed other changes. He said, “I was getting really anxious from the meds my [psychiatrist] had me on for ADHD. I couldn't sleep some nights, and I was eating junk food because I never felt hungry enough for a full meal. When I started taking CBD, the vape oils, it was for anxiety, at first. I didn't realize that taking care of the anxiety also seemed to be making me less distracted.”
People have many reasons for using CBD, so Evan's statement about anxiety and ADHD was especially interesting. We asked if he thought there was a connection with anxiety and ADHD behavior. He said, “When I used to get off work I'd come home, turn on the TV, put on a movie, get on my phone, maybe eat some candy. A million things at once, you know? But I actually was supposed to be doing some data entry stuff after work, and I take online classes too. I was really procrastinating.”
What changed after Evan started the supplement? He told us, “I started just not feeling like turning on the TV right away. I could put my phone on silent while I entered all the data for work. Before, I would get up and walk over, check the phone every five minutes, just in case someone texted or I had a new message. I just don't get the restlessness I used to. I'm not saying my ADHD got cured, but I'm in a way better place than I was a year ago. I think CBD was a key part of that.”
Everyone's experiences are different, of course. These interviews should not be considered claims of specific effects, and they do not attribute medical benefits to any product. If you have ADHD, or think you show symptoms, we encourage you to talk over supplementation with your doctor or health care provider.
Whether you have been diagnosed with ADHD or simply find your mind wandering during the daytime, there is a possibility that CBD could be the right supplement for your everyday regimen. You can utilize CBD products like capsules at the same time you wake up each morning, to incorporate CBD into your regular routine. Other supplements could be useful if you have specific situations that require faster supplementation, like concentrates. There are also options like CBD lip balms that can deliver extensive absorption over time. You might find that these supplements can help you give 110% while studying for an upcoming test, doing the coding for your killer Android app, or writing the catchiest guitar riff your band's ever heard.
Do you have a question or comment about CBD? Let us know, and we will respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletters and visit our website DiscoverCBD.com regularly for the latest updates on research, legislation, and other news impacting you and cannabidiol.
Written by Seth B