ADHD can make staying on task a major challenge. While prescription medications can help alleviate symptoms, many ADHD sufferers still struggle with staying organized and completing tasks. If you suffer from ADHD and are looking for an alternative to stimulants, or simply want to increase focus, you may have heard that cannabis can help. Here’s what the science says about cannabis and ADHD.
Cannabis and ADHD
The science isn’t settled on cannabis and ADHD, however, there are a number of experts who believe it can help. Dr. David Bearman, a physician, and expert in the field of medical marijuana explains that cannabis works by affecting dopamine availability in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in learning, attention, motivation, and other tasks that ADHD sufferers often struggle with.
ADHD is often treated with stimulants, which slow the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, making more of it available. THC — the ingredient responsible for the high in marijuana — works differently than stimulants, but it can also increase the availability of dopamine in the brain. This may help alleviate the symptoms of ADHD without the risks of ongoing stimulant usage.
Cannabis: Complex Effects that vary from Person to Person
Just because it helps you finish a creative project or get your closet organized doesn’t mean it will help you in the workplace! If you’re interested in trying cannabis as a way to focus, start by taking a small dose (2.5mg to 5mg) during low stakes activities, such as cleaning the house or diving into a personal project. Over time, you’ll learn how it affects you, what tasks it helps with, and what tasks it doesn’t.
Be particularly cautious about using cannabis at work. It may affect your behavior in ways that aren’t appropriate for the workplace. Additionally, if your work involves driving, operating heavy machinery or other potentially dangerous tasks, we do not recommend using cannabis.
Changing your Behavior and Mental Habits with Cannabis
Cannabis can also be useful in intentionally changing your own behavior and mental habits, which can help overcome ADHD. THC often creates a sense of novelty and self-awareness. You can examine background thoughts you don’t normally notice, or take a new look at the way you organize your space or schedule your life. That can help you spot patterns that exacerbate your ADHD symptoms and come up with better ways of doing things.
- This can be especially helpful when combined with other methods to control ADHD, such as meditation or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a type of therapy aimed at retraining your automatic thoughts — the way you habitually think about yourself and the world.
- People with ADHD often develop negative and self-undermining thought patterns, which CBT can help them recognize and replace them with a more empowering understanding of themselves, their capabilities and the world around them.
Whether you’re meditating, using CBT or both, THC can help you gain a sense of perspective and take a deeper look at your own mental processes, which can be very useful for improving focus, productivity and happiness.
Additionally, using cannabis can help creatively inspire you, which can help you focus on projects you enjoy. Many artists, musicians, and other creative people use cannabis to help them with everything from brainstorming to eliminating distractions and diving into a project!
Enhance Focus with Holistic Lifestyle Changes for ADHD
While people with ADHD have neurological differences that can make focusing a challenge, there are some basic lifestyle changes that should help anyone improve focus naturally.
Build Better Technology Habits
Limiting screen time is one way to help improve focus. If you spend a lot of time procrastinating online or looking at your phone, it could be a good sign to cut back. Try setting a modest goal for yourself. If you check your phone all day, try leaving it in a different room or turning it off for an hour every day. For example, if you put off work by scrolling through your social media feed at work, try keeping it off for the first hour of your workday, or temporarily blocking the website with a browser extension.
After a week or two, try something else, such as cutting half an hour from your screen time in the evening. Over time, you’ll find a good balance that lets you enjoy your devices, without distracting you from more important tasks.
Prepare Healthy Meals Ahead of Time
A diet rich in green leafy vegetables, oily fish and lean meat will make you feel better and think better, but if you have trouble staying on track, cooking every day can be hard. Try cooking two or three times a week, but making enough food to last a few days each time. You’ll be able to eat healthily without having to cook every day.
Meditate for Five Minutes Every Day
Meditation retrains your mind to block out distracting thoughts and stay focused. Start by meditating for just a few minutes every day.
As cliched as it sounds, getting active can help! Making exercise part of your daily routine will boost focus while improving your health. Try exercising for twenty minutes every morning before you work. You’ll be less restless, and have an easier time staying on task.
Treating ADHD with CBD
Living with ADHD is challenging, but it’s not insurmountable. By implementing gradual changes, you can strengthen your concentration, retrain your mind, and improve your life. These holistic CBD products may help control the symptoms of ADHD.
While there have been few scientific studies of CBD for ADHD specifically, the supplement is very useful for many of the symptoms that often accompany ADHD, such as restlessness, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, because CBD is not psychoactive, you can use it anywhere without experiencing intoxication.
Papa & Barkley – CBD Hemp Drops
CBD can help alleviate the anxiety, restlessness, and discomfort that often accompany ADHD. This potent CBD tincture will help you stay calm and on task, without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Select CBD – Relax Cinnamon Vape Pen
While smoking can be a soothing way to take a short break and refocus your mind, the health effects of tobacco make it a bad idea. Take a break with a natural CBD vaporizer instead. This cinnamon-flavored vape pen will calm anxiety, relieve restlessness and help you get back on task.
Bloom Farms – Sequoia Mint CBD Vapor Pen
This high-quality vaporizer contains 60% or more cannabinoids, flavored with mint and delicate chocolate notes. Designed for 300 puffs or more, it will help you control your ADHD symptoms and get back on task.
Select CBD – Peppermint Tinctures
This ultra-pure CBD extract is enriched with peppermint, Rhodiola, and ashwagandha essential oils, to promote focus and mental clarity.
Medical marijuana aka. cannabis should be used under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider. This site is intended for adults and legal medical marijuana patients and contains links to products we sell on our marketplace.
How does Heally work?
Creating an account is easy, free, and safe in our HIPAA compliant platform. Visit with a doctor from the comfort of your home or on the go using your cell phone or computer. No appointment is necessary. If the physician thinks cannabis is right for your health and wellness goals, they will discuss treatment options and will grant you a downloadable certification document. Heally’s Telehealth platform currently serves California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio with medical recommendations. Please note there’s no charge if the doctor doesn’t believe the video visit meets her or his standard of care. If you do not live in a medically legal state and would like access to CBD products, visit the CBD Marketplace. We ship CBD products nationwide without a doctor’s recommendation. Questions? Contact us at email@example.com