Cannabis is decidedly not a cure-all for this condition, but for some people, such as myself, its effects can provide a stimulant free adjustment of both attitude and attention.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complicated bit of neurodiversity. Sometimes you’re an attention superhero who’s as focused as a spotlight, bingeing the grandest projects into the wee hours of the morning. Other times, you’re a mopey, distracted mess, unable to do the most basic of tasks for days or weeks on end.
Though it’s a complex life that isn’t easy, it’s got its perks — and fervent and seemingly limitless creativity can be among them.
ADHD manifests in symptoms of hyperfocus, inability to focus, executive functioning issues, and sometimes irate behavior and mood swings. People who have this disorder will go to great lengths to counteract the negative effects, while others self-cope unknowingly for years before ever receiving a diagnosis, especially women.
Like some others with ADHD, I use cannabis to medicate, but as testing and peer reviewed research is scarce in these early days of innovation, anecdotal evidence is the only peek behind the curtain of those of us with such brains. Cannabis is decidedly not a cure-all for this condition, but for some people, such as myself, its effects can provide a stimulant free adjustment of both attitude and attention.
I asked cannabis consultant and researcher Emma Chasen what she thinks about the possibility of cannabis assisting those with ADHD. She says, “People with ADHD are more likely to consume cannabis. Scientists are not quite sure why this is, however, we do know that certain cannabinoids and terpenes have motivational properties. And the motivational properties of these compounds are actually influenced by the hyperactive brain.
“For example, there is anecdotal evidence to support that THC and a terpene commonly found in the haze varieties, known as terpinolene, produce a very motivating, focused experience for those with ADHD & hyperactive, inattentive tendencies. This is in direct contrast to the anxiety-inducing, overwhelming experience that THC and terpinolene can induce for people who do not have symptoms of ADHD.
“More research is needed to elucidate the synergistic properties of cannabinoids and terpenes as they relate to symptom relief, especially when discussing diagnoses like ADHD. However, it seems that cannabis can help as long as the cannabinoids and terpenes are in the optimal ratios/concentrations.”
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Chasen and other researchers believe that the various concentrations in different cannabis phenotypes are under researched and that when we understand every molecule in the equation, we will be closer to developing individualized medicine with cannabis.
Until then, here’s a few cannabis products with the terpenes, terpinolene and caryophyllene, which many report are helpful for ADHD.