Millions of people are diagnosed with ADHD every year, and while most people associate it with children and teens, adults are just as likely to face this condition.
Treatment for this disorder ranges from proscribing stimulants and non-stimulants along with a range of counseling sessions and behavior modification.
But is there another way to deal with the symptoms that are so common with this disorder?
Medical marijuana is not currently proscribed for treating ADHD. It’s not an auto-cure for the symptoms of ADHD, but it does appear to alleviatemany of those symptoms and make it easier for adults to live a more balanced life.
So, let’s take a closer look at what this disorder actually is, and what it is about cannabis that could help people manage their symptoms.
What Is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can affect anyone. While it is most common in children and teens, it can and does continue on into adulthood, leading to some problematic outcomes.
Children with ADHD are often inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive. This means they are easily distracted, don’t follow through with tasks, tend to daydream, squirm and fidget, talk excessively, and have trouble waiting on others.
ADHD presents itself a little differently in adulthood, though. Adults who are dealing with this disorder tend to have trouble concentrating and they face chronic boredom or mood swings. They’re often unorganized and impulsive, and have trouble controlling their anger while feeling low self-esteem or anxiety.
As you may have guessed from reading that, this does tend to lead to difficulties at work and in personal relationships.
Finding a Cure Means Understanding the Cause
Unfortunately, no one knows the actual cause of ADHD. So far, researchers have been able to link it to a person’s genes… more or less. There could still be a number of other variables that play a part in this disorder beyond your heredity, though. While it does tend to run in families, it could also be due to poor nutrition or infections during pregnancy. It might even be because of a brain injury or other environmental factors.
It’s NOT caused by too much TV or too much sugar, so if that was a concern your parents expressed, they might have been worrying about nothing.
What we’re getting at here is that at this point in time, since we don’t know what causes it, we can’t prevent or cure it.
So, We Treat the Symptoms
Since it can’t be predicted or prevented, the medical world has to rely on managing the symptoms with various medications and therapies.
Currently, the types of medication prescribed by healthcare professionals usually includes stimulants that are supposed to help control hyperactivity. This is the category the famous Ritalin falls into.
Of course, “stimulating” someone who already has trouble focusing and sitting still might seem a little counter-intuitive, so doctors may recommend non-stimulants for patients who aren’t responding to the Ritalin.
Medication may not be necessary at all, though, and kids and adults may be able to deal with their symptoms through specialized education or counseling designed to help them work through their situation.
How Do These Medications Help?
These stimulants and non-stimulants are both believed to help manage ADHD by controlling the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps transmit signals through the brain, and is believed to affect the thinking processes, too. This means that it could also be related to your memory and ability to pay attention. So, naturally, it would seem that controlling those dopamine levels could help manage ADHD symptoms.
So How Does Cannabis Fit In?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the active chemical compounds in marijuana. It is capable of boosting the dopamine levels in your system, which means it’s possible that it could have many of the same effects as the other prescribed medications.
Why is this important?
Because some people who suffer from ADHD do not respond to the traditional treatments. And when the therapy and the conventional medications don’t work, cannabis could be the viable alternative that many people need.
This is why there has been many cases reported where ADHD patients are able to stay focused and cope with their condition for longer periods of time.
Take ADHD Seriously
ADHD has something of an image problem. Some parents use it to explain their children’s rambunctious behavior and inability to listen to adults. Other parents use it to judge otherparents for their perceived lack of parenting skill.
Then again, some people refuse to think of this disorder as a real problem, and that it’s just “kids being kids.”
The fact is that ADHD affects millions of children and adults, and it makes living a balanced life very challenging.
And, that being the case, it means that you have to take it seriously, too. Don’t treat it lightly and don’t assume you know how to treat it on your own.
As more and more research is done into both ADHD and the effects of cannabis, it may become a recognized supplement to help manage many of the relevant symptoms. Until then, though, always discuss your options with a professional.