Most cultures believe that those who indulge in weed are not able to concentrate very well or not able to learn and perform well. Even though there was quite a bit of skepticism, a group of researchers decided to look into weed as an alternative treatment for attention deficit disorders.
That said, there are many people who use medicinal marijuana claiming they are more focused vs using prescription stimulants. This has drawn the attention of the medical world, doctors have decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon.
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a controversial subject marked by being easily distracted and impulsive. More adults are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, which does not have hyperactivity characteristics but is somewhat similar to ADHD.
Adding to these facts, one in ten children in Canada will suffer from ADD/ADHD. This number has grown enormously over the past 50 years. In 1957, doctors have been treating ADD/ADHD with stimulants such as Concerta, Ritain, and Adderall.
One patient said he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was six years of age and was put on prescribed stimulant medications. He remembered suffering from headaches all the time and was not able to sleep. On top of that, he literally had no appetite until he was finally treated with cannabis. Not only did weed lift the stimulant effects, it improved his ADD/ADHD symptoms. He said for the first time in his life, he was able to think clearly and pull thoughts together.
He had spent his life believing that cannabis was dangerous so he was very cautious about trying it out. He was afraid he would become addicted to weed and worried that at some point his body would start yearning for the substance but that day never arrived.
For anyone who has come from believing all the negatives about cannabis, explaining how it really does work can be very difficult. People just would not listen even though his performance in school had greatly improved and he won a scholarship for college.
In reality, there is far too little research being performed about weed and ADD/ADHD to understand how the two interact with each other. Data that has surfaced, clearly shows there must be more research on the subject.
One of the leading irregularities with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder is the brain’s lack of dopamine which is a chemical neurotransmitter involved in the cognitive processes such as memory and attention. Medications such as Adderall and Ritain stimulate dopamine promoting concentration but come with many negative side effects and withdrawals.
Dr. David Bearman is involved in cannabis research, studying the connection between the cannabinoid system and ADHD. He discovered potential value as cannabinoids interact with the brain’s dopamine management system.
He firmly believes that marijuana treats ADD and ADHD by increasing the level of dopamine. It seems to have the same effect as stimulants but the different mechanisms of action, such as Ritain methylphenidate and Dexedrine amphetamine which bind to the dopamine and interferes with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine.
Put in simple terms, cannabinoids that are found in cannabis can potentially correct the deficiency of dopamine which has been observed in patients who suffer from ADD and ADHD. Even in its basic form, cannabis is able to offer a mental slowdown that is necessary for concentration. Tasks that seem boring and arduous are more manageable and mood swings seem to disappear. It seems the most accepted theory rests on the fact that approximately 70% of the brain’s function is regulating input by 30%. The brain can become overwhelmed with too much information coming in way too fast. With ADHD, the brain is loaded with too much stuff and all the nuances of someone’s daily experiences.
Most medical professionals believe that anecdotal evidence is just not sufficient enough for recommending weed for ADD/ADHD. Researchers are optimistic about cannabis, but until political blockades are lifted their research cannot continue. It is hoped that cannabinoid therapy will finally become the pioneer for safer more effective ADD/ADHD medical treatments.