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ADHD and CBD: Claims, Research, and Considerations

ADHD and CBD: Claims, Research, and Considerations

An Overview of CBD and ADHD

Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained popularity in recent years as a natural remedy for various conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some individuals with ADHD report that CBD helps reduce their symptoms. However, there is limited evidence to confirm these claims. Moreover, research on the potential interaction between CBD usage and anxiety, which often co-occurs with ADHD, requires further investigation.

The Potential Effects of CBD on Anxiety and ADHD

  • There is limited research to suggest that CBD can effectively alleviate ADHD symptoms, although some studies have shown that individuals with ADHD may be more likely to have anxiety disorders.
  • Some older studies have suggested that CBD might be beneficial for social anxiety disorder specifically.
  • Further research is needed in this area to determine the full extent of any potential benefits or risks associated with using CBD to treat anxiety or ADHD.

Epidiolex: an FDA-approved CBD Product

Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved CBD product, is approved for use in both adults and children. Although many parents claim success in treating their children’s ADHD with CBD, further studies are needed to determine its safety and efficacy for this purpose. Consulting with a pediatrician is crucial before considering the use of CBD to treat a child’s ADHD.

Various Forms of CBD

  • CBD is available in various forms such as edibles, tinctures and oils, beverages, and topicals.
  • Topicals like creams or lotions containing CBD are unlikely to provide significant relief for conditions like ADHD, as minimal amounts enter the bloodstream due to skin penetration requirements.
  • The appropriate form and dosage of CBD should be determined through consultation with a healthcare professional.

Talking to Your Doctor About CBD

It is essential to discuss any health products you plan on using with a doctor before doing so – including CBD. If your doctor recommends using CBD for your condition or symptoms, they can also guide you on the appropriate dosage.

Natural Does Not Equal Risk-Free

While there is a perception that natural remedies like CBD are safer than other medications because they come from natural sources; it’s important to note that “natural” does not necessarily mean “risk-free.” While CBD is generally considered safe for human use, potential side effects include:

  • Changes in appetite and weight,
  • Fatigue,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Upset stomach, and
  • Vomiting.

There is no evidence to suggest that CBD worsens ADHD or related symptoms like anxiety. However, if you experience any of the mentioned side effects, discontinue CBD use and consult with your doctor.

Potential Drug Interactions

Similar to grapefruit, CBD can interact with certain medications and affect how your body processes them, leading to potential side effects. While most ADHD medications do not have a warning about grapefruit interaction, some anti-anxiety medications do. If you have both an anxiety disorder and ADHD and are taking anti-anxiety medication, it is important to discuss the use of CBD with your doctor before starting.

While there are anecdotal reports of benefits from using CBD for ADHD and related symptoms like anxiety, the evidence supporting such claims remains limited. Before considering CBD as a treatment option, consult with healthcare professionals who can help guide you in making an informed decision and determine the appropriate dosage if needed. As with any health product, always keep in mind that natural does not equate to risk-free, and be aware of potential side effects and drug interactions.


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