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Marijuana and ADHD: The Facts

By on April 1, 2013

Summary (click to view)

  • ADHD affects up to 9% of children and 5% of adults
  • ADHD is commonly treated with stimulants, such as Ritalin and Vyvanse
  • Marijuana works similarly by raising dopamine levels in the brain
  • Studies suggest medical marijuana may be an effective alternative
  • Some doctors have already begun prescribing marijuana to patients with ADHD
  • ADHD affects 5% of adults but is mostly diagnosed in children. Image source – Irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood swings. These problems may seem like just a part of everyday life for some people, but they also happen to be symptoms of a condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    While ADHD remains a controversial topic in today’s society, scientific research continues to show that ADHD is a very real disorder that can lead to a number of health and social problems when left untreated. Interestingly, research also shows that many patients with ADHD have a tendency to self-medicate through a variety of harmful substances and behaviors.

    Is marijuana just another one of these substances? Perhaps not, according to research which suggests medical marijuana might actually be effective in treating this common disorder.

    What is ADHD?

    ADHD (also known as ADD) is a behavioral disorder that is estimated to affect 6-9% of school children and 5% of adults. ADHD encompasses a wide range of symptoms, which lead to impairments in daily functioning. A large portion of ADHD patients also seem to suffer from other neurological disorders, including bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.

    Interestingly, studies show that up to 85% of adolescents with a substance abuse problem suffer from an underlying mental condition and that ADHD patients seems to suffer from substance problems the most. People with ADHD are sometimes referred to as having an ‘addictive personality’ because of this.

    The tendency for addiction in ADHD patients can easily be explained by research that finds low dopamine levels to be the underlying cause of this disorder. While stimulant medications – such as Ritalin and Vyvanse – act to directly increase levels of dopamine within the brain, research has shown that most recreational drugs can increase dopamine levels as well, including alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and marijuana.

    On the other hand, marijuana has a relatively slight effect on dopamine, which is a probable explanation for its low potential for addiction – studies show that only 1 in 10 marijuana users will eventually develop a dependency.

    How Can Marijuana Help?

    Research on the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of ADHD is very limited. However, a number of health professionals have recently come out in support for the use of marijuana as a treatment for this disorder, claiming that it is safer and less addictive than traditional stimulant medications.

    Doctors who have prescribed cannabis as a non-conventional treatment, such as California paediatrician Dr. Claudia Jensen, have found that it can indeed help patients with managing symptoms of ADHD.

    “They don’t have to get stoned – it’s dose-related. But they do get the benefit of being able to focus, pay attention, not be impulsive, not be angry, be peaceful and relaxed and pay attention in school, which helps them get better grades.” – Dr. Claudia Jensen

    Interesting enough, while marijuana is known to cause loss of focus and increased impulsivity in recreational users, those with ADHD seem to experience the opposite effect. Unfortunately, a lack of clinical studies prevents most doctors from considering marijuana as a treatment option.

    Watch Dr. Claudia Jensen’s interview with MSNBC:

    What’s The Evidence?

    While studies have yet to be conducted on human subjects with ADHD, a number of preclinical studies provide evidence of marijuana’s potential as a treatment for this disorder.

    The strongest evidence comes from research which shows that the endocannabinoid system can influence dopamine levels in the brain and that this interaction might actually be altered in patients with ADHD. Specifically, a study published in 2009 found that anandamide levels – one of the cannabinoids that are naturally found in humans – were higher in patients with ADHD.

    This seems to indicate that the human body may naturally produce more endocannabinoids in an attempt to counter the symptoms of ADHD, leading researchers to believe that the endocannabinoid system could be effectively targeted in the treatment of this disorder.

    Likewise, researchers have long been aware that marijuana acts to temporarily increase dopamine. Compounds in marijuana seem to do this by interacting with dopamine binding sites, which are found on various neurons in the brain. Commonly prescribed stimulants, such as Ritalin and Vyvanse, work in a similar way to increase dopamine.

    Besides raising dopamine levels, studies show that cannabinoid receptors are found in higher densities in areas of the brain that are linked to symptoms of ADHD, specifically the amygdala and hippocampus regions. These regions of the brain are known to play a role in emotional regulation and memory as well as bipolar, anxiety and depression disorders.

    In fact, there is strong evidence that compounds in marijuana, including THC and CBD, have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties, which suggests marijuana may help with the symptoms of anxiety and depression that ADHD patients often suffer from.

    Watch Dr. David Bearman’s explanation of the neurological evidence:

    What This Means For Your Health

    While research on medical marijuana and ADHD is still in its early stages, the fact remains that patients with ADHD have a higher tendency to abuse drugs, marijuana included. Furthermore, there are a number of doctors who have already begun to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment for this disorder, suggesting that preclinical studies provide enough evidence to satisfy the minds of at least some health professionals.

    It’s also interesting to note that prescription ADHD medications have been met with controversy ever since they were introduced to the market, due to their numerous side-effects as well as studies that demonstrate long-term use to be ineffective. In fact, a study published in 2012 by Dr. Katya Rubia and her team of researchers found that the brain can adapt to regular use of stimulants by increasing the rate of dopamine elimination, which explains why patients frequently require higher doses as their treatment progresses.

    “There is currently no evidence for the long-term effectiveness of stimulant medication. In fact, there is evidence that the effect of medication diminishes over time and we know from clinicians that medication doses often need to be increased over time to be as effective as they were initially.” – Dr. Katya Rubia

    The fact that children are the most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD is perhaps the largest concern for parents and doctors alike regarding the use of stimulant medications. The brain experiences rapid development before adulthood and is highly susceptible to alterations during this time. While studies have identified the specific alterations that result from the use of stimulant medications, evidence of marijuana’s effects on the developing brain are less pronounced.

    For this reason, doctors are sometimes willing to prescribe medical marijuana for ADHD as a safer alternative to conventional forms of therapy.

    • JB

      I’m pretty clear that I had ADHD when I was a child and have realised at th age of 52 that I still have the adult form of this, sometimes referred to as AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder) or just ADD. I have been researching on the medical uses of cannabis for a little while and, as usual, started to lose interest in this activity because I became ‘bored’. This boredom is characterised by too many exhausting and largely self-critical thoughts coming into my head about being able to remember the information I was reading (what does the amygdala do again? Where is dopamine produced again? Damn! I’ll never remember what THC is used for as opposed to CBD!) I then fail to do the sufficiently rigorous research before spouting off my mouth to my more flegmatic friends about the benefits of cannabis. They catch me out on my limited recollection or knowledge of facts, then I lose further confidence in myself and simply stop talking about it anymore to them.

      Then there is the never-ending mental bombardment of interrelated thoughts and memories that create even more anxiety and self-criticism because the constant mental maelstrom exhausts me. It only takes one moe drop of, to me, irrelevant or intrusive information from outside world, usually people talking, that pushes me of the edge and I need to drink or do some extreme actions get away from that person or situation. My head was already filled to the brim with turbulent dark waters, and people rarely understand that the tiny extra drop they put in to my head is sufficient to tip the balance and cause everything to rush out in a violent, inappropriate outburst.

      • Syed Farhan

        You put into words what was and is still happening to me.

        • Patrick Rhoades

          This so much this add is like this for Me as well I have some sayings I was raised with to control the dark thoughts so the lake only gets bigger but can never overflow giving me time to drain some of it off

      • anonymous

        Thank you for this post, it is very relevant to my life. All the self consciousness and bombardment of uncontrollable thought becomes alleviated by cannabis usage, enabling me to think and operate on an interest at hand for the entire duration of the medication’s effect. I can’t speak much on memory retention due to a plethora of anxiety, depression and PTSD among other mental detriments (so memory is at times difficult for me), however, I can attest the aforementioned clarity in consciousness whilst ‘under the influence’ of medicinal cannabis. Others tell me they like when I smoke as I ‘act normal’ whereas I otherwise am seemingly lifeless, depressive, inattentive and outwardly uncaring of anything beyond what’s within the confides of my mind. It clears my so heavily burdened slate, activates a heightened focus within me allowing me to elaborate more deeply similar to how stimulants could (without the horrible side effects of vasoconstriction, dehydration, tourettes, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, skin changing color, a general unpleasant feeling within the recesses of my throat, etc) and doesn’t appear to effect me in the same way it effects those not typically known to have ‘ADHD’. The people I speak with insist it makes them retarded for the duration of the high (obviously dosage is a very important factor in gaining true medicinal benefit, smoking an entire bowl doesn’t necessarily equate heightened alleviation, instead leaning more toward becoming detrimental to motivation by absolute stoned contentment – this is in a situation lacking mandated physical and psychostimulation, I feel, however) (I feel the best results come from no more than a few ‘hits’ per dosage) yet my experience had been positive. One of the key factors in using medicinal marijuana properly, I feel, is keeping your self determination in actually completing your tasks. It can become overwhelming for some users, and as time goes on the urge to sit back on the couch and hit the bong all day agreeing to complete your work the next day intensifies, which leads some to spiraling out of control and evolving into the burnout effect. As a self moderated medication, it definitely surpasses any pharmaceutical crafted standalone chemical laden with latent horrendous side effects spanning multiple pages of release form data. Cannabis definitely is a game changer, I simply have to reinforce the importance of not letting the plant control your life, as one should do with any vices. Everything in moderation can be decent, and as those with ADHD are associated with having addictive personalities, surrounded by vast amounts of misinformation revolving the topic matter at hand, I simply feel it’s definitely an option that ought be available especially in lieu of stimulants – just some proper knowledge regarding potential for addiction must be understood to receive the maximum potential of this substance before entering this method of treatment. Of course, however, I personally feel everyone should be researching any chemical they intend on ingesting in this age of information where education is so easily and readily available, but that may be an unrealistic aspiration. Irrelevance aside, the only thing I ever truly hated was the neuroses I was forced into by social implications and judgment for my decision to use cannabis to treat my symptoms. Ignorant peers and family members would look down on the substance, entirely oblivious in misunderstanding just how much bullshit I put up with on a daily basis. I feel ultimately the key to quelling mental disorder is keeping physically active, eating and sleeping regularly, keeping hydrated, forcing yourself to stay on top of tasks and not procrastinating – generally being healthy and maintaining a somewhat positive persona in reacting to the environment around you, though this all is understandably difficult as I constantly feel like shit without the inclusion of drugs (at the same time, I haven’t exactly been able to live a healthy lifestyle in a long time due to unnatural stressors and commitments). Ultimately, I feel this human world perpetuated by globalized society is an incessantly unhealthy machine of production unfit for the ways humans, or any animal, are intrinsically crafted to live. No one should have to sit at a computer terminal for 8+ hours in a day, just as nobody should have to spend multiple hours of reading in a session either. I don’t believe it’s natural to succumb to what appears borderline addiction in work and modern leisure activities in the way humans do today – there is far too much luxury and demand on human ability that if we were all born again in the stone age we wouldn’t have to put up with. It truly is unfair, being expected to slave away and thus having to resort to coping medications to inhibit our natural compulsions due to arbitrary societal construct that is today’s clusterfuck of retardation – yet medicinal cannabis stands as the most prospective ‘cure all’ of the latent metaphysical conditions we get to experience on a daily basis thanks to this cold, heartless, corrupt policy driven world.

        • Edrik Sint Jago

          BEST POST EVER.

        • anonymous

          you just said everything i have ever wanted to say but didnt know how.

        • Stanlee Panelle Cox

          Fabulous post Anonymous! Yes .. .dosing is critical. there is nothing wrong with feeling “high” but if you do not have good self control /monitoring the reward/response center of the brain will take over and crave the ‘feel good’ as a constant. It is up to the individual to know their limits and needs and control their use appropriately. The best way to use for symptom relief on a daily, ongoing basis is to create your own infused BUTTER, PEANUT BUTTER, COFFEE (perfect delivery for ADHD!), SALAD DRESSINGS, etc. Eating small amounts throughout the day will give you the benefits without a distracting amount of ‘euphoria’. Check The Stoners Cookbook (bad name, but people today want to play with the old rhetoric) for recipes and advice on how to create infused foods for constant use, and how much to infuse for regular, small, effective dosing. It is really miraculous how little is needed for control, comfort, relief and even cure! Smoking is the least effective way to get the medicine, yet it does still work. For ongoing symptom relief, however, it would be most beneficial on every count, to consume it orally (or rectally in suppositories).

      • Geneva Milbourne

        right on JB

      • Stanlee Panelle Cox

        The point is that the plant is a naturally synergistic medicine! The cannabinoids all work together for best results. You don’t pull some of this out of it for that … and some of that out of it for this. It can work to some degree but rest assured it works best synergistically – wholely. Us a high THC hybrid strain that is Indica dominant and you will get the maximum effects of all the cannabinoids including CBD. To moderate the mood uplifting aspect (why?) control your use! Use tiny amounts. Preferably in edibles (make your own or buy them) and eat very small amounts as often as needed or throughout the day and you will not have a problem having too much fun. Please do remember though, that feeling light hearted, open minded, cheerful, positive and relaxed in addition to laughing, is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.

    • JB

      So, I recently started taking cannabis on a regular basis, either via a vaporiser or chewed and swallowed. It is the buds of a mixture of saliva and indica strains. The results have been promising: I am much more settled and able to focus on tasks for a lot longer without the captain on my shoulder reminding me that I am old, a failure, wasting my time, missing out on other opportunities, needful of a drink. And, after having spiralled down mentally to w point where I have made two attempts at suicide in the past couple of months as well as getting to the stage where 7 bottles of wine a day was getting to be the norm for me (starting drinking at dawn and drinking until after midnight), I am now enjoying my fifth day without alcohol and my fifth day without feeling as if everything is lost for the future.

      Early days, but my limited experiences so far give some anecdotal support to the research being undertaken into the benefits of cannabis as a treatment of, at least, the symptoms of the cluster of conditions referred to as ADHD.

      • hunter may

        Im 15 i have add and i started smoking pot when i was 14 and still do it helps me alot more with everything ivve got better grades this year and i play sports it doesn’t affect my lungs and i only smoke on weekends cause my parents dont let me but it helps my mood i fell better all day and on weekends im more active and dont stutter hardly at all when im high and i seem to focus alot better and should i tell my doctor or parents that it helps and can doctors secretly prescribed bud if its not legal in your state?

        • Jessica

          if you have a doctor that would “secretly” prescribe mmj, then you need to find another doctor.

        • Jessica

          I’m not really proud of saying this, but I really don’t think I would tell anyone about it. MMJ is legal here where I am, and I am a registered cardholder with a legitimate medical reason for needing MMJ (severe chronic pain from previous car accident, happens to help with my ADD as well), and I haven’t told anyone in my family. Just a can of worms that is better left shut. I would caution you to educate yourself on the side effects because of your age.

        • dickchiekn

          You are young, I suggest enjoying your developmental youth as drug free as you can, because if I had the opportunity to go back in time I’d gladly stop myself back then from smoking. Anybody is going to feel great from being high, the way you only smoke on weekends isn’t exactly medicinal – I’m not saying it doesn’t help some things, I’m just saying it’d be worth the wait to see how your brain grows, because right now in your life it’s going through alot of growth spurt so you’re naturally inclined to erratic emotions and cognitive malfunction. It really is part of being a teenager. Also, to Jessica, with the ‘chronic pain’ from a previous car accident…sounds like a load of bullshit you told your doctor to get the med card on that ‘legitimate reason for NEEDING mmj’. You sound like the fat people at walmart who ‘need’ the electric shopping scooters – ad hominem aside, the shady vagueness of your claims make it look like you’re just another person out to get legal weed. Which, I mean, shit tons of people do anyway, but still. Lol’d

    • reza

      marijuana works for my add nice….

    • Zack Stan

      I have ADHD. Its has been something that has created problems for my life, but don’t see it as a set back. I was arrested for some dumb stuff in college that I am still dealing with the consequences today … Probation. But I did get myself into this trouble making wrong decisions under the influence of Alcohol. Yes It was myself that did this and I am not blaming it on my ADHD, because having been diagnosed with ADHD years prior and not my helping condition in anyway at the time let alone denying myself to really recognize it as my life’s condition. I made the poor choice because I always have an overwhelming thought that I can be doing something better with my time to make the night as awesome as possible. I wasen’t treating my condition as I should have and yes I take full responsablity of my actions.

      Ive tried alot of medications Adderal, Vyvance, and Concerta, in my past High School Years and all of these have worked in some degree. But I hated doing the drugs because I couldn’t eat and that lead to some digestive issues. But I did leave the drugs alone going to college, and definitely had a hard time. I was all over the place I didn’t care where I had to go or what I had to do have a good time as long as it was fun. But I got into trouble with the law and kicked out of college and also put on probation for 4 years… still today.

      But you think this would all be a huge step back…. Not for me luckily I was really creative with my time and spent the money I would spend on college on a new professional video camera. And then landed a broadcast job with a University and worked at After School Program with Elementary kids. I used my ADHD to inspire my creativity and soon realized this could actually work… But with true ADHD fashion that isn’t enough to have me content with surroundings.

      I got to do an early release plan this summer where I was not being drug tested anymore and just had to send in a sheet basically saying I was staying out of trouble each month for 5 months. So with this new drug test free freedom I had this summer I began to smoke weed again… Actually Concentrates because I don’t like smoking a bunch but love the effect. This effect actually did make me content with what I was doing in that moment. And for once I was not itching to do something better. I opened a production company and I was working daily to land paying jobs… Promos, Sports Highlights for online magazines, weddings, concerts, and also found myself doing Marketing for one of the most prestigious University in the world. Stuff that only took me to just sit down, write the emails and build up my portfolio of work since I don’t have a degree. But with one hit I was content and able to focus on just getting stuff done…that was HUUUUUGGGGEEEEE. My productivity and creativity was fueled my by ADHD always looking for more freelance jobs.. I would have a turn around rate for a lot of videos something having it be only a few hours after shooting the video. I would get home hangout with my girlfriend till she went to bed then I would crack down on some editing after taking a hit.

      Life was awesome until this month. A week before I was completely done with probation, I get a call from my probation officer to do a drug test in which I failed… now more probation no more pot, been clean for have itches to anything possible othan editing… and now I feel super depressed because I have to basically start all over. I found Marijuana to be a natural cure for my ADHD and because it being illegal I won’t be able to feel the way I did… somewhat cured

      • Pitts

        I’m 38 years old and I agree 100% with the positive effects one hit of weed every 2.5 hours can give someone with our type of aadd. Started smoking when I was 36

        • Stanlee Panelle Cox

          Great job Pitts! One hit every 2.5 hours! Perfect! unfortunately, most people eventually enjoy the uplift gained, to the degree that they want more of that and begin to do 2, 3, 4 oh my! hits … not the same result, eh?

      • Stanlee Panelle Cox

        And finally they are dealing with legislation that will decriminalize use/posession of Cannabis (less than 1/2 ounce) while on probation/parole!

    • Apricot

      I’m all for the legalization of industrial hemp, and perhaps marijuana may help some people; the effects do vary greatly brain to brain. However, speaking solely from personal experience, marijuana has only increased my ADD symptoms- inattentiveness, inability to focus, etc.- and the only thing it ever did for me was make me completely apathetic to my issues. Is this helpful? I suppose it depends on how much of my life I care to live apathetically. Perhaps it may help restlessness and anxiety to some degree, but the idea that being stoned can help a majority of people focus, I think, is absolutely preposterous.

      • manbearpig

        i think there is a difference in reaction between add & adhd. it has helped me tremendously. as a kid even with ritalin i could not get good grades. didnt start smoking till i was 18. in college i do better then i ever have. my parents describe it as “flourishing” i have always been hyperactive dominant type. and described as “overly stimulated by environment” so as you can tell the calming, zoning, affects could greatly help for me personally.

        • Patrick Rhoades

          Or you can be one of the false diagnoses that happened when incentives were pushed to prescribe Ritalin and other add ADHD drugs which lead to the discrediting of all or most diagnoses including the real ones. When unmedicated did you ever feel like 10 thoughts are happening at once and changing constantly or did you feel worthless in school or work because of how easily you forgot things or were distracted no matter how hard you tried to the point of frustration

          • Stanlee Panelle Cox

            Well! LOL … good thinking here … these diagnosis are definitely profit driven (the newest one is Orthorexia: overwhelming insistence on eating clean, organic foods!!!). think back to the old nursery rhyme: “Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice … little boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails…” this was a description of over active, expressive and wild youngsters … girls were supressed and submissive (more) and boys were allowed to “boys will be boys”!! Now we need to control them and suppress them en mass and have no tolerance for natural, childhood energy, vitality, randomness, experimentation and expression!

      • durs

        talking about stuff you dont know about. ANY THING THAT CANCELS OUT PART OR ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS IN MY MIND WORKS.. how comes people who are normal, regularly start the day with a coffee, then a sugar snack and are emotionally stretched they are far far more stessed than me. ITS ALL AOUT PERCEPTIONS. I think van goghs paintings look like they wre done by a drunk amateur.. some say genius. i find from your sentences that you seem to be highly critical, opiniated,self righteous, and probably like to shout a lot, (if your brave enough) and find yourself mostly (outside of the party,instead of in it.)

      • James Poddubny

        I think it depends on your condition. Personally the stimulant vyvanse I’m prescribed does help my attentiveness but even the smallest of doses of any adhd medication increases my insomnia drastically. My doctor had tried ambien and klonopin to counteract the side affects. I can definitely say it did the trick but if taken at an early time like directed I would have rather taken medical marijuana instead of more prescription pills.

        • Stanlee Panelle Cox

          yes … all prescription drugs work because they toxify the body and force it to behave unnaturally which is NEVER good for the physical body even when it does the desired thing. There will be deterioration internally and other problems physically as time goes on, with continued use of prescriptions.

      • anonymoose

        You don’t have to get stoned to get the alleviating benefit

      • Stanlee Panelle Cox

        Honey it’s not about being stoned. And I would suggest that you may have tried strains that didn’t blend with your chemistry the way you needed it too. Sounds like you found what you could use for sleep issues … or perhaps major pain issues, but there are definitely strains out there that will effect you differently than you describe you’ve experienced so far. In every case, when using Cannabis for symptoms relief and disorder/disease treatment, one only needs to use very small amounts and preferably not smoked, which is the least effective (albeit most popular and readily available) delivery system.

    • Sean

      I am a college student with ADHD and this research is certainly fascinating, but I feel the obligation to mention marijuana DOES NOT help me at all. Some of my friends are really weird and claim they can write a paper when they’re high, and you know what- power to them. If there are people out there with ADHD who benefit from smoking- power to them as well. I definitely think it should be legal, to allow more research and the opportunity for people to choose whether it’s right for them. However, when I smoke I literally feel it damaging my brain. Maybe it’s just a feeling, and again, I’ve never officially stated that it’s wrong for people in general, but I really think I need to quit if it’s making my brain feel like it’s dissolving, and I think if you haven’t tried it at all, it’s better not to start, unless a doctor prescribes it, because I think coping with this huge ass hurdle involves purity. This doesn’t just mean from meds though, this means purifying yourself completely- sleep, exercise, healthy food, plenty of nature, meditation. I’m also pretty sure it requires a little bit of elbow grease. I mean if starving people in third world countries have to spend their whole lives struggling to eat for the week, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we just have to suck it up, is it?

      • Patrick Rhoades

        Marijuana actually is known to have the opposite effects of dissolving your brain and can in small doses help brain function that’s just the marijuana caused paranoia mixing with years of anti pot propaganda.

      • Jonathen Johsnon

        When I was younger I smoked it as well I have AADD as well smoking always made me feel out of whack the problem with ADHD people is they don’t know how to control doing things like pot. I have only smoked it. I doubt most of the people here get help smoking it as smoking any thing cuts off oxygen to the brain eating a small amount may be very effective.

    • Mikayla

      I’ve had my son on a few different adhd meds and I hate them. I hate the way he becomes when he is on them. He talks but its like he is lifeless can’t play or eat. And on top of those meds I have to give him a sleep aid. I stopped giving them to him and his school is wanting him back on them because he can’t focus or remember anything that he has been told or learned. I’ve had three different dr say they have never seen all the symptoms of adhd in one child therefore they have been calling it the worst case they have ever seen. I have it as well but as a younger child I smoked weed to help me in school and out when I stopped when I knew I could control it on my own at times after I stopped I got angry because I couldn’t focus anymore and my grades were going from A’s and B’s back to D’s and F’s which is what they were before I ever started smoking marijuana. I don’t want my son to go through what I had to deal with but I also don’t want him taking meds that I know will hurt him later in life, I know what they put in those meds is like handing your children a crack pipe and marijuana is nothing like that. I wish I could give it to my 5 year son so he could be happy, learn in school, and still be able to play like a normal child does. I’ve tried all the natural medicines and they don’t work for him just make him angrier. If they make adhd a legal drug for adhd/add I would be one happy mama.

      • ashley napier

        Make him THC pills or suckers I have ADHD like your son and was not given any meds or guidance I am 22 now started mj at 20. In these last two years I have made friends, built an actual steady relationship, fell asleep before 5 am, I’m sorry but it is far worse to give your children amphetamines or methelphenidate. I took a 10 mg adderal for the first time this year and it was terrible I was awake for two days’ couldn’t eat and after all that my anxiaty just got worse don’t feed your children what you yourself would not eat

    • Bradley

      Hello everyone! I’m a 29 year old that lives with adhd. It’s to the point where everyone I work with or know in my personal life has asked me if I have add or something like it. As a child, I remember going through all the test and meetings with doctors which lead to meds. Thanks to my mother I was taken off of them about a year later, which was the best thing that could have ever happened. As a young teen, I tried to coop without using anything to help manage the symptoms of adhd, which didn’t go well. At the age of 16, I was introduced to MJ. For the first time I was able to focus, fall asleep at night, and be calm and not bouncing off the walls with energy among other things without the nasty side affects of stimulates. In all, the pros well out weighted the cons with the exclusion of being illegal. From someone who lives with this condition, weed helps immensely. At work (yes I use at work but only in small doses) I’m able to focus and do my job well. I don’t smoke joints or blunts at work, I keep it small and only use what i feel is needed. Without this, you can tell the difference in work performance with losing my place, not being able to stand still, and a few other things. Now I don’t depend on MJ, I could live without it. It makes things so much easier to deal with than without. Now, the reason I am commenting is to help push MJ to becoming medical approved for add/adhd use. It was recently med. approve for IL but after going over the list of approved conditions, add/adhd wasn’t on the list. This broke my heart. I know what works for me, not stimulates like;Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine, but MJ. I couldn’t get into the science side of why it works without using awesome columns like this one but, I could go on for days about how it helps me manage my adhd. So the only thing I ask is for MJ to be put on the medical list for medications to help relief symptoms of add/adha.

      I hope my message gets through, I suck at putting my thoughts onto paper/typing.

      • Starnexus

        I have ADHD real bad and I’m currently on effexor but its not that effective I still find it difficult to focus so I’m thinking about trying pot.

        • Coal

          DO IT YO!!!!

        • Geneva Milbourne

          omg, effexor is horrible stuff to get off of…dizzy…crying jags.

          • Danielle L

            YESSSS omg. my main reason for getting off is that I tend to forget to take it on time (duh, adhd) and the withdrawals come fast. sometimes I fall into coma-like sleep and others im dizzy and nauseous for hours. and the longer I go without it, my body can go into the “shakes” and I develop flu like symptoms. it’s awful.

            Anyway I’ve been trying to convince my psych to wean me off of it but he’s insistent that I stay on the lowest effective dose. I still feel awful. I’m looking for a new psych who will pay more attention to my needs, but NM has one of the worst mental health care systems in the country.

        • token420

          for me, and these purposes, it takes a lot of consistent smoking especially once a tolerance is developed. that said, yes, it does work quite well. more and more, however, i tend to agree with dr. jensen above. we need more effective delivery systems and potency. i can’t remember to keep smoking as much as needed (lol!), nor do my lungs particularly want that much smoke.

          • bears

            vaporizing it should eliminate any health concerns you have for your lungs. when vaped there not a bit of damage, in fact studies show it can be good for it because of all the antioxidant properties.

            • Gabe Garcia

              Vaporizing is a good suggestion. Edibles are also another option.

        • GOTcommonSENSE

          Have you tried the edible form? Takes about a hour to kick in, though! But is a great alternative to smoking, plus the effects last 3 times longer

      • Coal

        You sir are a f*cking genius.

      • big rob

        I second this. I find it highly effective in work environments such as yourself. As you stated, you perform at best with it, and I do as well. I do agree, only a little is need, just enough to the cut the edge off and not be noticeable. ;-) .Times I don’t, I find it extremely difficult to get myself in gear to work, be attentive and deliverer solutions at work and personal life. I will say though, my ADD (I don’t have ADHD) is worse if I stop. In any case, lets vote to legalize it, heck the government makes millions off of synthetic heroin, why not THC? There are so many gains with legalizing. Medical research can mature with this great nature herb.

        • Gabe Garcia

          Big Rob…I couldn’t have said it better myself. The government makes millions upon billions off synthetic heroin, alcohol (which is probably one of the biggest contributors to car accidents out there), lung cancer causing cigarettes, etc. It’s sad how corrupt our government has become in America but that doesn’t mean people should give up the fight.

      • Chalvez

        I agree with you.

      • Austin

        Dude I have that same problem I smoke a little before I go to work it really helps me concentrate I work with numbers and It helps me remember what I gotta write down and stuff my overall performance improves when I smoke and I don’t smoke all day everyday just morning and night kinda like medicine it helps me focus and helps me sleep at night if this has so many medicinal benefits why do people still have a problem with it they should just make it legal already my life would be so easier if it was
        Sorry my thoughts are scrambled I ran out lol

      • Zach

        I am to a 16 year old right now living with adhd. it sucks I hear you! once I started smoking weed I noticed how much better the pros and cons were vs taking adderall. I am off the pill! thanks for the story can relate almost 100%

      • Guest

        I was always a non-believer of the whole ADHD thing….until my youngest of 3 kids started showing symptoms. He was diagnosed at the age of 7 he is now 12, 13 in October. I have tried Concerta for a while. But the dosage went from 9mg to 18 to 27 within less than a year. The doctor said it would continue to increase because of his age, constantly hitting plateaus. It never worked for more than a week after each increase. I took him off meds. I refuse to put my child on meds that do not help but could hurt him. But now he is constantly in trouble at home, in school. He is a good boy. Polite, respectful. But cannot control his impulses at all, no concentration, no focus. Disruptive in class. I have no idea what to do to help him. It breaks my heart to no end as a mom.

        • tmaa mom

          I have a 16 year old girl that has adhd. She’s allergic to all meds for adhd. I completely sympathize with you. Im lost as to what to do.

          • andy

            Let her smoke Marijuana

          • PTfromPNW

            I have seen articles where Doctors are fighting the laws in order to be able to treat young patients with edible cannabis. I live in Washington state where cannabis is legal. In the Seattle area there is medical facilities that are now treating with medicinal (sp) marijuana. It is all state tested and regulated. I have heard of many that are now having a real life instead of suffering for years.

            • crystal

              I am 25 and have had shingles seven times… iv been on different depression meds growing up… as an adult valium and prozac is the only thing that helps but both are not something I want to be on the rest of my life.never been diagnosed with add but most of the symptoms match… Do u think it could cause my recurrent shingles?

            • crystal

              I meant don’t wanna be on those meds the rest of my life.

            • Stanlee Panelle Cox

              I have chronic low grade shingles as well and have for about 30 years. I had my first full blown, bed ridden episode this year and with Cannabis I could get some relief from the pain and restlessness. Along with Acupuncture and Chiropractic I was back up and functioning in 7 days! Unheard of in the medical world. It took about a month to get my normal vitality back and completely resolve the residual back pain. It is necessary with this condition to take excellent care of yourself regarding food, rest, exercise and meditation. Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is helpful on a daily basis, to ward off shingles, and tincture of Hypericum (St. John’s Wart) is especially helpful in fighting off the approaching symptoms of shingles.

        • quadar

          I recently found out that the doctor who came up with the term adhd on his death bed that it was a nonsense disorder meaning its made up. However the vaccines, food and fluoridated water is linked to the attributes of this disorder. Cannabis is the one and only natural and safe way to fight this made up term that has generated billions over the years to drug companies and there cronies along with diet and nonfluoridated water and of course vaccines.

          • Morey Ladini

            So, vaccines and fawcet water cause the “phoney condition” called ADHD?
            And pot, incidentally, is THE CURE for fluoridation?
            One hardly knows where to begin in answering this, except perhaps suggesting one should empty one’s bong water at least on occasion – even if with only tap water.

        • nev

          I was diogenesed with adhd a a child and found boxing to be a really good out let as well as taking cannabis I can understand your concerns with that but before I started smoking boxing was a really good out let it was my focus and tourt Me alot of discipline and really helped me

        • matt

          I had that problem growing up. I was on medication from 2nd grade to highschool. Eventually I got into pot and for some reason stopped needing the ADHD meds. Didn’t understand it then but, all my friends around me did. What also helped me from having to increase doses was not taking it unless I was at school. I didn’t use it during the summer or long school breaks.

      • Jordan

        Being a 16 yr old kid with ADD this is defiantly something I’m gonna show my mom. She honestly doesn’t believe this is one reason I smoke weed. You described everything to T. Those medicines are way too much money to be spending when they don’t even work. (I tried Aderall, Ritaline & Stattera they were defiantly a waste of over $100 each)

      • Michele

        Hi Bradley.. My son has add the Dr’s put him on aderall when he was 7 years old.. After two months of using this medicine(we took him off that medicine) my son told me he wanted to die and he now has chest pains.. Pains in his left arm.. And he gets stomach seizures and will throw up uncontrollable now.. He was complaining about getting light headed and dizzy.. He was funky school.. Getting kicked out of school and this was all in the third grade.. So my husband did research on cannabis and we seen it was helping children so we monitored our son one hit before school and one hit after school and in days there was a big improvement.. He loved school he focused wasn’t getting angry and he made low honor roll in two weeks.. We live in Illinois so we don’t have edibles and it’s illegal here… Our son is 15yrs old now he was doing wonderful but now we our dealing with DCFS because we were treating our son cannabis for his medicine.. They took all three of our children because of this medicine.. My husband and I moved to Michigan where it is legal so I pray we get our children back and we can then legally give our son the medicine he needs with his card.. I wasn’t trying to break any law I was just trying to give my son the medicine he needed.. It broke my heart to hear my boy tell me he wanted to die. So I took matters in my own hands and even though it was illegal it made my son better and his health was all I was worried about.. So cannabis is an amazing plant

        • Chronic

          more ppl need to hear this, but i started smoking weed at 18, and i have ADHD, with my concerta it worked slightly but i only ever felt half there with it, then i started weed and it has helped me immensly with a whole plethora of problems from not eating (im underweight and have been my whole life but concerta and alot of stressful events have led to a lousy diet)i can concentrate alot longer on something and i can actually watch a full movie now. and my whole life i could never go near ppl i was too annoying, that was also fixed (and the thing is i understand how i can be annoying now, and when i don’t have weed and i go through moments where im impulsive i can explain to ppl y i did that and generally i just dont push ppl away anymore, only thing is i practically get a anxiety attack everytime i see a cop….advice for those thinking of starting pot….moderation….dont mix with tobacco, you will get nicotine cravings lol (i dont smoke cigarettes but if i dont have a bong i NEED a smoke)

          • matt

            Move to where it is legal and you will feel better. I live in AZ and know I felt safer after having my card. The anxiety of loosing my job was my problem.

        • Stanlee Panelle Cox

          It hurts to be a mother sometimes! Good for you for standing up and caring for your child naturally. We will get this straightened out and then I hope you and the rest of your peers will start a class action suit against The System for causing such great harm to you and your children. The System (Gov) has known since 1998 that Cannabis is helpful for ADD/ADHD. Traumatizing your kids and ruining your family for using this medicine is criminal!

      • Ben Grimm

        I actually think that was very articulate. I wonder if you are me from a parallel universe.

      • greg dave

        We supply top quality marijuana strains for sale text or call (567) 698 8469 or email …,,.

      • Jeff Wright

        Bradley would share your story on my All Things Marijuana page?

      • Nev

        I completely agree with you I am 18 was diagnosed with ADHA as a child was on medication for alot of years and have alot of anger problems which lead to me attempting suicide and being kicked out of school finally got off them at age of 10. I found the medication was ineffective and useless. Since I started using cannabis I have calmed down alot and I use it same as you low dosage but in a joint tho and I also take it whilst at collage and have found that it has improved my grade as well as my behaviour I’m alot calmer and nicer person to be around and work with :)

      • matt

        I couldn’t agree with you more. I have used it in small doses also to help with the my wandering mind. The difference in my concentration goes from 15% to 80%. I hope that someday they can zero in on the specific plants that can treat the ADHD the best. I’m in Arizona and have a medical card. When I got the card I was so overwhelmed by the huge variety of treatments it can provide but, at the level of medication targeting one specific ailment to another. I had to do my own research to find the best plants that worked for me. It’s just amazing.

      • Jarrod Dowell

        Since you posted this last year I wanted to let you know that there are 2 bills in the IL state houses, one would reduce pot to a misdemeanor the other would allow for personal possession of up to an ounce and cultivation of up to 5 plants. Just in case you didn’t know yet, but I have good feeling you do.

    • pinks

      i have found it to be the only thing to make the Ultra fast, Super random thoughts slow down enough for me to focus and finish a whole one…. I’m 25 With Extreme AdHd. i cant sleep or eat half the time.. im very hyper and love to get my hands dirty… but never seem to be able to settle on just one topic,or finish a started project, or even thought… getting bored easy and just moving on … Marijuana has given me the focus and drive back in my life… giving me a chance to actually slow down and have a chance to fully observe and learn!

    • Zumondo

      I don’t smoke it that often, but on two occasions, with the most recent being about 2 years ago, I felt like marihuana made my brain work like it should. In other words, I went through a complete transformation… personality, behavior, intelligence. I essentially became a different person and it seemed that everything that was wrong with my brain was temporarily fixed… completely fixed. In fact, I was with a close friend who’d known me for years and he just gave me a look like he no longer knew who I was. He was visibly uncomfortable and felt like he was with a stranger. It was that profound.

      I would like to know if there are any medically engineered strains that are tailored specifically for certain types of ADD?

    • St. John

      Am about to be tested and diagnosed for that

    • Superbudman

      I have been using cannabis since I was around 16 for ADHD. Yes I know using this mind changing substance is not best to do at that age and I do regret starting so young. HOWEVER it has been the ONLY thing that COMPLETELY destroys my adhd, anxiety and ocd or anything that accompanies my ADHD. In fact I am convinced it has since physically re-wired my brain to a much better perception and thought processing ability. If I had not discovered cannabis I am not sure If I would have ever gotten into getting more intelligent, strange to say, but until I started using “mind expanding” substances I simply did not realize or care about the vast amount of knowledge and possibilites that laid before my very existence. I believe it gave me the ability to take charge over my annoyingly fast non-stop mind and helped me actually think clearly and in extreme detail. If you are taking prescription medication STOP. Check out the drugs with over 4,000 years of testing, and over 4,000 years of 99% positive results. Anyone who argues cannabis is bad or wrong is seriously just ignorant and has massive Egotistical walls that need to be shattered for the growth and good of mankind.

    • Jonathen Johsnon

      I have had ADD as a child they put me on ritlen when I was in the second grade. I dropped out of highschool in the 10th grade was in the special ed class all the time it’s not that I am not smart I have very very good common sense and I am very street smart I like computer programming a lot but I can’t ever remember things at all I remember bits and pieces but I can’t freakin put the puzzle together. This is what it’s like for me daily I have thousands of ideas to make money have a future for my wife and myself but when I am on the computer I find myself going to yahoo news cnn or random sites I can’t sit and do my school work for more than 5 minutes without losing interest I am addicted to tobacco, pornography I have random bad thoughts al the time anxiety and depression I am seriously thinking about eating tch to see if it helps tired of feeling like I am being lm locked in a cage not able to focus on anything

    • Gracie Darling

      I take Marijuana for arthritis. If I don’t have it I can’t hold a hammer and work. I can’t pick up a nail. I can’t make a fist. I can’t hold a cup of coffee. Many years ago I drank alcohol. I used it as a crutch. Now I smoke on one joint a day. I use the pot the same as I used Prednisone. But pot doesn’t kill my liver and kidneys. Before I started smoking pot I was on welfare because I couldn’t work. Now I don’t even apply for food stamps. Marijuana kept my family together by providing me with the ability to work.

    • Erok Miranda

      i have suffered from adhd my whole life like many other people and when i smoke i am more focused and i really need to get it aprroved by a dr that marijuana does in fact help me in many ways including depression and many other things i suffer from how can i make this happen please someone help

    • Taylor

      Hey so I have a question for all of you. I’m 19, I’ve been on pills all different ones since I was five. I want to get off them so bad. I’m on two different pills 72mg concerta and 10mg Ritalin in the afternoon.
      Lately I’ve been thinking to get my medical card, is it worth it?? Does it actually work.
      I wanna get off these pills, I feel like I’m brain washed on them. I feel like I need to be on them the rest of my life, and that’s not what I want at all. I have a hard time sleeping at night, my anxiety gets through the roof. Recently my dr. Tried cutting me back by 25mg and I was going crazy. I was so impulsive, my attention was like a squirrel… Should I get my medical card?
      Where your guys side effects bad, or did you barely have any?

    • Jim

      I”m 57, a lifelong ADHD guy. They didn’t know what to do with me growing up. Nuns switched me from left handed to right handed which screwed me up more. I had 2 different people write their doctorate thesis on me. I suffer from lifelong rythmetic movement disorder, which means to fall asleep I roll back and forth in what my parents called “rocking”. This releases built up energy. I’ve had 2 heart attacks due to tension. I never stop moving. I’m extremely recognizable as when walking down a street my head to up down left right and never focused. When someone talks to me and is saying a story, I hear for a short while, my brain raises a question and from that point I do not even hear what the other person is saying. I had a friend tell me 2 days ago he can’t handle me as I interrupt and ask a question that has nothing to do with their story. I never remember a name, never. I haven’t dated in 10 years cause what’s the point? I can’t sleep with them cause they may get hurt from my sleeping disorder. I do have a decent career as I can focus for 2 hours at a time on a subject I like. I’ve broken 15 bones over the years due to lack of focus. I’m ok driving. I have a lifelong attraction to pot. It helps me see the world from a different perspective and when my straight perspective isn’t appealing to anyone (I have very few friends-loner), the buzz excites me cause it actually makes me feel more normal. Coffee works some. Here it is Sunday, I”m behind in some work so I’m in my office yet look what I am doing. Gotta go find some weed.

    • geem

      I posted a response, why isn’t it listed?

    • Melissa

      I have a 15 year old son who has been diagnosed with adhd, impulse control disorder and mood disorder. I can’t keep up with him. He is constantly tapping, banging, slapping on any and everything, he also randomly makes noises such as squealing, just anything. He bounces from one thing to another to another and back to the first. He has so much energy but not enough focus on how to handle the energy. He gets frustrated very easily. When he tries to explain something, bc his brain is going 90 to nothing, his mouth cant keep up. He has to explain at least 10 times & just hope you actually understood what he was saying. His frustration leads to aggression! His doctor has him taking Abilify, Dexedrine, and Wellbrutrin. None of which begins to scratch the surface. My son has went to a “friends” house & came home high from marijuana a few times. I knew the minute he walked through the door. His attitude was completely different. He was calm, more relaxed. He was able to sit down and have a two hour long conversation with the family without having to repeat himself. (Yes, I know for sure it was marijuana bc I drug test him each time). BTW the drug test I gave was for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, barbituates. I would rather have my son on marijuana than on all these horrible no good pills but marijuana, medicinal and recreational, is illegal in Alabama. My son has refused to take the pills, considering it didn’t help, I cant blame him. You can’t tell the difference of him taking or not taking the pills. So YES I hope ADD/ADHD is added to the list and I would love to see at least medicinal marijuana legal in all states!!!

      • jelle

        Woh I feel bad for your son. A mother that does drug test on her son and who doesnt see the negative sides of weed. If you encourage this he will never learn to deal with his disorder the right way. I can know cause I also tought weed helped me, but this is only on short term. Sure im more relaxed and less chaos in my head, but it destroys your short term memory even more and also reaction and sleep will suffer cause of weed. So please dont encourage this and instead look for help. A doctor can send you to a profesional and they can help your son.

        Not saying your a bad mom, your doing everything you can. But I know from my own experience, and from all the research they did on weed, that it only makes his symptomes worse on long term.

        Sorry for my bad english in not native speaker.

    • Jelle

      Its a shame they only show the good side of the weed effect. Cause when some one has ADHD weed can also work the opposite way. If you start using weed as self medication it is only a short term solution. Also you memory and reaction will decrease even more. I felt it really helped calm my self down and slowing or removing over thinking things. But on the long term you need to deal with it with out medication.

      Since ADHD means you have less dopamine produced in the brain, it is logical to smoke weed, cause weed raises dopamine levels in the brain. But you can see that it is just a short term thing. When the weed works out(2 houres) your dopamine levels decrease and will be lower then before you smoked. This is also the case with ADHD meds, so same goes for them. Its only a short term solution with allot of bad sides.

      Im just responding here cause I dont want young adults reading this and thinking weed is the solution. Please speak with profesionals on this area, it helped me a great deal. ADHD is something you have to find a way to life with. Weed can be a solution, I also found this out on my 15th, but its not the best one in my opinion since it brings a negative side. Weed also causes you to sleep less deep. This means you wont be in REM sleep as long as you should, hence you dont dream. The study on this is still very young, but their is reason to believe REM sleep is a very important thing in processing and remmembering. Look at it like your brain storing everyhting that happend that day on a good place. If this doesnt happen it has a real effect on you.

      • Arya Martell

        So these young people should just take stimulant medicines that stunt growth, cause even worse psychiatric problems instead of using something that could help them naturally. Are you a jockey for the pharmaceutical industry or what? Smh.

    • Robert

      I was diagnosed with ADHD after I had brain surgery when I was 9. I am currently a 24 year old adult living with ADHD, and I gotta say marijuana helps me so much. Believe it or not, everything from paying attention to a lecture to driving a car are much easier when I am high because it puts me in the zone. I am much more creative, focused and determined when I am high. Without it, the second something else catches my attention I immediately drop everything I am doing.

      • jelle

        But in the meanwhile the weed destroys your lungs your memory and your reaction time. Also it has effects on your social life.

        Not trying to insult but you sound like a addict. Only naming the positive sides, not even seeing the negative ones

        • Arya Martell

          If he’s smart he vaporizes or ingests instead of smoking.

          Maybe there are no side effects for Robert, who are you to call someone an addict. Weed works differently for different people. I’ve met people who have had little to no side effects. It happens.

    • Arya Martell

      If you choose to use marijuana to help for ADHD there are only a few strains that you should use. Blue dream and Cinderella 99 are two of the best to use for ADHD as well as some other sativas. Be very careful as some strains will make it worse and others can cause problems. The ADHD patient should avoid indicas and use them with caution as they can counteract and make ADHD problems worse. It is not for everyone but it can do good for many people.

      • Stanlee Panelle Cox

        Nicely stated! Except … the thing about Indica vs Sativa is not exactly correct – although is apparently perfect for you … and is the base line for experimentation. Thing is that the chemistry of the individual harmonizes with the chemistry of the plant and creates a slightly different effect for each person. Some people fall asleep immediately on Sativas. I for one get more of a lift from an Indica dominant Hybrid. ADD/ADHD seems to require contra-intuitive applications such as coffee/stimulants to calm the speediness down in the brain. For the most part, your evaluation is very good and as I said, a base line for trying it out. BUT … please do not make blanket statements about Indicas and Sativas because they are not at all static or dependable results in individuals. Start with a small amount of Sativa and see … if you don’t get what you need from it, try a Sativa dominant Hybrid … then an Indica dominant Hybrid … then an Indica … until you find what works for you … AND ALWAYS, always, use very small amounts and watch for several hours …

    • Rachel Brown

      As a mother of an 8 year old with ADHD, I would love to see nothing more than for this to be a legalized way to treat his condition! my son can’t take stimulants like ritalin, or adderall, they make him more hyper and aggressive, so he is currently on the only non stimulant approved for ADHD, but they are adding other meds to his regiment and its causing him to gain weight because he is eating non stop! however its not helping his anger outbursts, or his aggression! They are in the process of legalizing marijuana in PA, however ADHD isn’t on the list of approved uses!! I guess this mama is going to have to figure out how to petition them to add it!

    • Costa Goldie

      I have bad ADHD and i end up doing real weird shit when im not on anything. Anyways i am on dexe,s and they seem to only hold back my weird behavior but it doesen’t help with anything else. I have done weed multipule times but when weed is mixed with dexe,s i end up freaking out e.g Faster heart rate, slow speech impedament, slow reactions, temporary memory lose, and i would like to try weed just by its self meaning no dexe,s.

    • KimDinNY

      I was always a non-believer of the whole ADHD thing….until my youngest of 3 kids started showing symptoms. He was diagnosed at the age of 7 he is now 12, 13 in October. I have tried Concerta for a while. But the dosage went from 9mg to 18 to 27 to 36 within less than a year. The doctor said it would continue to increase because of his age, constantly hitting plateaus. It never worked for more than a week after each increase. I took him off meds. I refuse to put my child on meds that do not help but could hurt him. But now he is constantly in trouble at home, in school. He is a good boy. Polite, respectful. But cannot control his impulses at all, no concentration, no focus. Disruptive in class. I have no idea what to do to help him. It breaks my heart to no end as a mom.

      • redebeth

        My 9 year old is the same way, 2nd of 4 kids. I am worried about this permanently affecting his self esteem. He is so smart and sweet, but I still get daily phone calls from his teachers.:(

    • theunseen500

      hey I lived with severe adhd like u bradly I to have been through all the medication however I also suffer from insomnia is that on the email at and we can talk

    • Xikaos

      I’m 21 years old Information Security student from Brazil. I started with pot at the age of 15 but started to smoke daily with 17.
      Its awesome to see how the weed helps me to concentrate, gives me more will force to take actions and control my anxiety. My dad had problems with alcohol for the same reason as me (ADHD) and found his medicine in a vodka bottle, but for so many reasons I think drinking is dangerous for me and if I need to choose a drug to deal with for my entire life, it would be marijuana. I took Ritalin, Vynvanse and Janssen Concerta and all of them improve my focus and anxiety, but I felt no hunger or joy to talk to people, was always silent, aware.
      I did some neurofeedback for one year two years ago, and that REALLY helped me, specially in matters of focus, but nowadays I’m experiencing that old constant loss of focus.
      Today I took my anxiety medicine that doesn’t help much and started looking for info about weed and ADHD, and for my surprise I found this article.
      My doctor said that the weed and the medice fight for the same neuro receivers, and its CLEARLY a lie, knowing that cannabinoids have specific binding structures in the brain.
      I will never go to that god damm doctor again, will continue with the pot and start looking for some meditation techniques and binaural beat stuff.
      Hope for the best

    • Suheyla

      I have inattentive ADD which means my mind wanders easily. I find it helps me focus for a while but then later it brings on greater confusion. Also, I don’t retain later what I was able to focus on earlier. What has actually helped is yoga and meditation. It’s actually all that it’s cracked up to be!! I’ve never focused better in my life since I started these practices. And no negative side effects!!

    • kevin pollard

      i have adhd and i use too take adderal from when i was 4 to 15 i was diagnosed at the age of 4. my doctor says im out growing y medicine and took me off of right before i started high school i currently have a major problem focusing in class i get distracted so easily i wish i could just focus and be able to study like everyone else but its freaking complicating. people say focus and do you your work but you cant cause its so difficult. i am currently 17 years old.

    • 1

      I was diagnosed with adhd at age 5. It was so severe they thought i would grow up to be mentally challenged. Anyways i took it for 8 years. Despite expectations i was head of my class although i still suffered many symptoms, insomnia being the worst. But recently i have tried this new method. I do it once evey two weeks and have found improved focus and motivation with none of the stimulate symptoms. The only thing i must add is marijuana doesnt make you smarter like adderall, but allow you to focus better. So its all on you. As for reaction to marijuana. I have found that it takes up to 1/5 the amount that others need to produce the same effect even when i would smoke frequently in the summer

    • aandre

      I’m an 18 year old male with ADHD. When I was still a prepubecent I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was wrestling with depression suicidal thoughts and eating disorders from my condition at the age of 12. I had trouble making friends that understood me and was running out of people who could stand to be near me. I got put on concerta and ritalin. Those medications just made it worse and actually sent me in to a dark period of paranoia and suicidal actions. The people who really did love me ran away or got pushed away by me including my own family. I was removed from my medicine and started to work extremely hard to be “normal” I would go out and drink excessive amounts of energy drinks to counter act my ADHD that I was hospitalized and running a risk for cardiac arrest. When I turned 16 I slipped into servers alcoholism. I would drink a liter of vodka everynight on the weekend and stash some in special places in school and it home so I could get drunk uringg the week too. Then I finally broke from my habit. I started smoking and I have a normal social life my grades have improved tremendously and I don’t have suicidal thoughts anymore. Out of anything that has ever been offered to me for my condition weed is definately the safest most healthy and most effective.

    • Harry Lilly

      AM from south Africa…i saw this comment on positive blogs and i will love to tell every body how my status changes to negative, and am now a living witness of it and i think its a shame on me if i don’t share this lovely story with other people infected with this deadly virus…,hiv has been ongoing in my family… i lost both parents to hiv,. and it is so much pain ive not been able to get over.. as we all know medically there is no solution to it..and medication is very expensive. So someone introduced me to a native medical practitioner in africa..i had a job there to execute so i took time to check out on him.i showed him all my tests and results.. i was already diagnosed with hiv and it was already taking its towl on me.. i had spent thousands of dollars so i decided to try him out…i was on his dosage for 3 weeks. although i didnt believe in it, i was just trying it out of frustration… and after 2 weeks, i went for new tests… and you wont believe that 5 different doctors confirmed it that am was like a dream,,i never believe aids has now negative,,am a living witness..i dont know how to thank this man… i just want to help others in any way i can..have joined many forums and have posted this testimonies and alot of people has mail and called this man on phone and after 2 months they all confirmed news took it live and every.. hope he helps you out.. everybody saw it and its now out in papers and magazines that there’s native cure for hiv and all with the help of this man,,have tried my own parts and all left with you,,if you like take it or not..god knows have tried my best.about 97 people have been confirmed negative through me..and they send mails to thanks me after they have been confirmed negative,,this man is real..don’t miss this chance,,hiv is a deadly virus,,get rid of it now.. DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@HOTMAIL.COM OR DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM +2348113017989

    • Adrian

      I am 22 and I have ADD before pot I was a lose cannon my emotions were never in check could never do anything right my focus was always off. I tried ridlin stratera and many others none of them ever worked the only relief I get from ADD is smoking at the end of the and everything this article says is true becuz ive had the same affect another example Is ppl without ADD or ADHD who take aderol get all hyper and gig out where as if I take it it slows me to a stop with marijuana its vice versa great read

    • Burt

      I’m 20 years old and have ADHD. It was confirmed by the age of 12, the age at which I started taking ritalin. This did me good, it helped me focus in class and kept me calm, because I was really active and couldn’t control my impulsive behaviour (saying things tha came up to me in an instant, keep my body still, control my emotions, etc..) I truly believe that marihuana can be effective as a medicine, BUT you do have to keep in mind that people with ADHD have in fact a weakness for addiction. I’m prety much addicted to weed, so I don’t use it as my medicine, I use it recreational up to a point where it sometimes became smoking dramatically huge amounts. I have difficulties of keeping my level of amounts low, and when I start again to use alot the amount of weed I use raises really fast. So don’t get me wrong, I love weed and it’s beneficial side effects for people like me, but this HAS TO BE in a CONTROLLED way, otherwise kids will be like me, and smoke way too much (which is not good for your head, consider the amount of THC in modern weed; you could consider abusive using as hard (drugs) using) and end up with a weed addiction or even try different stuff. I now take concerta, 54 mg, which is pretty heavy due to the fact that my ADHD form isn’t quite normal, it’s rather enormous and ‘abnormal’. I do hate this kind of drug, it makes me feel depressed and gives me social anxiety (I’m better at controlling my emotions which leads to the fact that it’s hard for me to act ‘friendly’ or te look ‘lively’ or to laugh with ‘funny’ things. In a way it gets me back to reality, it gives me the feeling that a lot of social behaviour is just bullshit; but that’s really not good for my social life). It does give me better concentration, it is literally the only way for me to concentrate and to focus, even though I still have problems doing this with the medication. So don’t be so harsh on meds for ADHD or ADD, they do work, and they are helpful. Don’t consider weed to be ‘The’ solution to the problem, it isn’t. It would probably make it worse. On the other hand, maybe using weed in very small doses could help, I don’t cause I always use too much, a bad habit that I’m trying to get rid of for the past 4 years… I have no idea where this is leading to, I just had a need to write this down. Grtz

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    • Daven Shane

      Low doses of magic mushrooms would work fine for me.. except it’d probably exacerbate my anti-social personality, and pupil dilatation is difficult to work around, unlike red-eyes for cannabis.. and low doses of shrooms would only work for a short period of time, after a little while the tolerance would be too high, and I’d just be eating mushrooms that don’t taste good, give me a bit of a stomach ache, and make my farts smell like rotten eggs…
      Now I’ve stopped smoking cannabis, because I still have to live with my parents, and they really hate the smell, plus I’m waiting to move to a different city, the contractor building the new house keeps delaying (delayed for an extra three months for fuck’s sake), so I don’t have any income, and I’m kind of tired of cannabis anyways, I haven’t smoked in more than a month, not that it matters, because people still think I’m a pothead and naturally look down on me, lol I don’t even drink, I drink 3 beers when I go out and that’s it, I only get drunk once in a blue moon, which means once a year.
      If it wasn’t for the ridiculous cost of a plant that would take no effort to grow in large quantities outdoors if it were legal.. the only thing that gives values to this fucking plant is it’s illegality, if I could grow it outside legally, a pound of cannabis would be worth less than a pound of tomatoes, nobody would bother stealing since they could grow their own.. but since it has to be grown indoors.. its the same cost as if our groceries had to be grown in secret without anyone knowing.. imagine the price of your fucking vegetables if the police was destroying all the vegetables they found, we’d only be eating shit.
      The world is fucking insane.. and I don’t know how long I can bare it, but I’m ready to do it sober if that’s the hallmark of being a good, intelligent person in the eyes of our stupid-as-fuck society.
      You can go give your money to a fucking casino, no one will bat a fucking eye, but smoke a plant that gets you high for less than 3 hrs, people lose their shit
      THINK OF THE CHILDREN! they say when we talk about legalization for 18-21+

      Go bomb villages full of women & children across the sea? Sure
      Smoke a plant? You’re fucking evil!

      I’ll probably kill myself once my parents die, I’ll at least give them that, they’ve been good to me.

      #I’m depressed for good reasons # I have ADD #I know I have potential, but I feel guilty for not reaching my full potential #life is good, ‘cept its shit because people are hell.

    • nev

      am 18 was diagnosed with ADHA as a child was on medication for alot of years and have alot of anger problems which lead to me attempting suicide and being kicked out of school finally got off them at age of 10. I found the medication was ineffective and useless. Since I started using cannabis I have calmed down alot and I use a low dosage but in a joint tho and I also take it whilst at collage and have found that it has improved my grade from passed to distinction* as well as my behaviour I’m alot calmer and nicer person to be around and work with :)
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    • Been there done that

      We have a son who was diagnosed with ADD when he was 15. We experienced all the usual symptoms like lack of focus, extreme mood swings, paranoia, anxiety, anger issues, and all the other issues involved with this disorder. He was put on Aderal medication to supposedly help the disorder and it works while he is taking it for school during the day. The problems starting arising in the evenings when he would come down off the Aderal. Anger, anxiety, extreme mood swings, you get the picture. After awhile we started noticing these issues would disappear for days at a time. He was nice, he would study, and his grades even came up. Then he would go back to psycho kid again. We just thought it was the medicine and the so called “riding the roller coaster effect”. What we soon found out was that he had started smoking pot. At first we were upset at this, but soon came to realize that he was a far better human being when he was smoking than when not. At first we had issues with him smoking to much and being to stoned. I then sat him down and talked with him about smoking to much and wanted him to try to just smoke just enough to ease the ADD symptoms. Well, this has worked beyond any of our expectations. We have a semi-normal child again.
      So my spin on pot as a treatment for ADD is thumbs up. We have learned and my son has learned to use it as a medicine and as everything else in life, not to use in excess. Yes, I’m sure he still uses it as a recreational drug, but I would much rather him use this than alcohol or other drugs
      any day of the week.

    • Patrick Zoppi

      I’m currently 16 years old and using vyvanse for my ADHD. I’ve been smoking pot since late August and it’s now early March. My grades have been the best they have ever been, and the marijuana helps with falling asleep at night, giving me an appetite, which the medicine takes away from. It most definitely helps me with being more relaxed, and not bouncing off the walls and being so hyper around family members. I hope that ADHD/ADD becomes one of the conditions for medical marijuana use