CBD Oil for ADHD: Can Hemp Products Help?
Around 6.1 million people in the United States have some form of ADD or ADHD.
That’s 9.4% of the population.
With conventional ADHD medications posing risks long-term and flaunting some nasty side effects, it’s no surprise that so many people are looking for a more natural treatment.
So, can CBD treat ADHD?
In this article, we look at the facts, fiction, and how you can treat ADHD using CBD and other natural methods.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Symptoms of ADHD vary but the most common symptom is poor focus and concentration.
People with ADHD often struggle to follow through with specific tasks.
Controlling impulsive behavior can also be difficult. Children with ADHD are often labeled as “unruly” or “problematic”.
Hyperactivity is a large part of ADHD. People with this symptom may struggle to sit still and have bounds of energy to burn.
What Are The Symptoms of ADHD?
- Lack of attention
- Increased anxiety
- Struggling to complete tasks
- Fidgeting & inability to sit still
- Talking a lot
- Taking unnecessary risks without thinking
- Difficulty resisting temptation
- Difficulty getting on well with others
- Having trouble sharing & taking turns
How Does CBD Work for ADHD?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain and nervous system. The interaction with these receptors may be why CBD works for ADHD.
When CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, it can reduce anxiety and hyperactivity. This is a huge benefit to people with ADHD.
Although there’s limited scientific research into CBD and ADHD, many people have reported a reduction of symptoms after using CBD.
CBD & ADHD: What Does the Research Say?
Although there’s limited research into the effects of CBD on ADHD, there are some studies that involve hemp-derived CBD and medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, most available research isn’t as useful as we’d like. A lot of it involves the use of products with a high THC content or involves research performed under poor testing conditions — such as small study groups, correlational data, or lack of blinding in the study design.
Two studies provide at least some insight on the matter.
One study looked into the impact of a full-spectrum cannabis medication on people with ADHD . This was a small study of 30 people and unfortunately, they noted an insignificant improvement in cognitive function and IQ performance.
The study noted a small improvement in impulsiveness and hyperactivity. The researchers suggested the study could have been ruined by participants not following instructions to refrain from using other medications and alcohol during the test.
A 2020 study found that when people with ADHD used high doses of medical cannabis (including THC) symptoms decreased .
Does CBD Help Children with ADHD?
Due to the stigma around cannabis, there’s currently no scientific research into the effects of CBD on children with ADHD.
It’s acceptable to give CBD to your child for ADHD as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC.
The form of CBD you use and how you administer it will depend on your child. Most parents go for CBD gummies because they’re already well-loved by most children, provide consistent doses of CBD per piece, and can be split in half for smaller doses if needed.
Consult your child’s pediatrician before using CBD to help manage ADHD with children.
Best Types of CBD for Children with ADHD
The best way to give CBD to children is by using CBD edibles.
As far as I know, there isn’t a kid around that’ll refuse a sugary treat. This is the easiest way to get your child to consume CBD.
If you’re trying to cut down the sugar in your child’s diet, which may help reduce hyperactivity, CBD gummies aren’t going to be the best option. In this case, we recommend CBD oil.
There are flavored CBD oils out there but honestly, the potent aromas and flavors of the oil tend to overpower these.
The best way to administer CBD oil is by adding it to your child’s food. The flavors in the meal will mask the hemp flavor and make it much less likely for your kid to throw a tantrum over the taste of the oil.
What is the Best CBD Oil for ADHD?
- Royal CBD — Most Effective CBD Oil For ADHD
- Gold Bee — Best Organic CBD Oil
- Hemp Bombs — Best CBD Isolate Oil
1. Royal CBD
Royal CBD produces high-quality CBD products.
They have a range of CBD oil, edibles, and topicals but their 1000mg CBD oil is our top pick for ADHD. The CBD oil is full-spectrum with an excellent cannabinoid profile — third-party lab tested. This means you’ll benefit from the full entourage effect.
All of their CBD products use high-quality extracts that are made using a CO2 extraction technique. The raw hemp used in the extraction process is organic and US-grown.
If you’re looking for a premium CBD company with a wide range of products suitable for treating ADHD, Royal CBD is a great place to look.
- High-quality CBD
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, & CBD isolate available
- Extracted from organic hemp
- Multiple potencies available
- Great customer service
- Excellent cannabinoid profiles — third-party lab tested
2. Gold Bee CBD
Gold Bee CBD is a relatively small company. They focus more on the quality of their products rather than quantity and product range.
Their product range is limited to less than 10 products. However, the products they do have on offer are top-quality.
Gold Bee CBD uses a slow-diffusion extraction technique to extract the CBD from organic hemp. This type of extraction is only possible in small batches and it takes far longer than a typical CO2 extraction. The quality of the end product is well worth the wait though.
We recommend Gold Bee’s full-spectrum 1200mg CBD oil for people with ADHD.
- High-quality CBD
- Full- & broad-spectrum CBD available
- Slow-diffusion extraction technique
- 100% vegan products (excluding their honey sticks)
- Excellent cannabinoid profiles in their full- & broad-spectrum products
- Third-party lab tested
3. Hemp Bombs CBD
Hemp Bombs CBD produces pure CBD extracts (CBD isolate) only.
Their extracts are high-quality and are backed by third-party laboratory testing. They have an extensive range of products and potencies available, from high-potency oils to low-potency gummies.
Hemp Bombs CBD is a great company to look at if you’re looking for CBD isolates to treat ADHD. Their edible selection of CBD is great if you want to treat your child for ADHD and their high-potency CBD oils are excellent for supplementing meals.
- CBD isolates only
- Great value for money
- Extracted from US-grown organic hemp
- extensive range of products & potencies
Conventional ADHD Treatments vs. CBD
The most common drugs for treating ADHD work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Doing this increases the threshold for activating the brain’s pleasure center.
When the pleasure center is activated more easily, it makes tasks more rewarding. When you get more pleasure from completing a task, it becomes more enjoyable — meaning you can stay focused for longer.
Common ADHD Drugs
The problem with these synthetic ADHD drugs is they come with some pretty nasty side effects and can cause damage to the liver in the long term.
There’s no doubt they work, but with side effects such as prolonged headaches, stunted growth, chronic insomnia, irritability, and stomach problems it’s easy to see why people are turning to natural alternatives.
Treating ADHD Naturally
Even for severe ADHD cases, the need for conventional medications can be eliminated with adequate nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.
By incorporating CBD along with a variety of other simple lifestyle changes you may be able to reduce your or your child’s ADHD symptoms.
A simple dietary change may help ease symptoms . Hyperactivity may stem from high blood sugar. Reducing the intake of sugary foods and supplementing CBD to control blood sugar levels could be enough to increase focus and reduce hyperactivity.
Speaking to a nutritionist is a great way to find out how a change in diet can affect ADHD.
Exercise is another fantastic way to burn off excess energy and increase dopamine levels in the brain .
Remember we mentioned that the whole point of conventional meds was to increase dopamine levels? Well, this can be done naturally with routine exercise.
Implementing a healthy routine into your life will benefit ADHD massively. Sleep plays a huge role in managing ADHD symptoms. Ensuring you get a full night of rest is an excellent way of improving focus and concentration the following day.
Using CBD is a great way to promote healthy sleep.
Combining CBD with a dietary change, exercise routine, and consistent sleep schedule may be enough to control your ADHD symptoms.
How to Use CBD for ADHD?
There are several ways to use CBD for ADHD. However, as mentioned, there are mixed results from person to person.
Start with a low dose and work your way up until you start to experience benefits.
Chances are if, after a month of CBD use you’re not noticing any reduction of ADHD symptoms, CBD isn’t going to work for you.
It’s important to note that the best way to use CBD for ADHD is through a multifaceted approach.
Using CBD alongside other treatments and lifestyle changes will give you a much higher chance of reducing the symptoms of ADHD.
Different CBD Products for ADHD
How you consume CBD for ADHD comes down to you. There are a number of different products available that may be effective for reducing symptoms and improving your focus and attention.
Although CBD topicals (creams, balms, and gels) and CBD vapes (inhaled CBD) are available, the best way to use CBD for ADHD is oral.
There are three categories of oral CBD:
1. CBD Oil
CBD oil is a popular form of CBD for treating ADHD.
It’s easily accessible and available in many different potencies and flavors — each with varying cannabinoid profiles.
This form of CBD gives you the most flexibility in terms of dosage and application.
You can adjust dosage by simply applying more or fewer drops of oil under the tongue or into daily food and drinks.
The best CBD oil for ADHD are products made from full-spectrum hemp extract and come with an entire range of third-party lab tests to prove the quality and purity of the oil. Inadvertently consuming contaminants like heavy metals can make ADHD symptoms even worse.
2. CBD Edibles & Gummies
CBD gummies are great if you can’t stand the taste of raw CBD oil.
They’re great for use with children with ADHD. What kid will refuse tasty gummy candies? Just make sure to keep them out of reach from the little ones until they’re needed.
CBD gummies do contain sugar which could cause hyperactivity — but replacing another daily sugary treat with a CBD gummy won’t make too much of a difference.
There are also more natural CBD edibles available that cut out processed sugar such as CBD honey sticks.
3. CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are a simple and easy way to consume CBD for ADHD.
They give you complete control over how much CBD you’re consuming. Each dry or soft gel capsule contains a precise and consistent dose of CBD.
Unlike their edible supplements, capsules contain no sugar.
They’re a great option if you’re struggling with focus at work and need a simple way to take CBD on the go.
CBD Dosage for ADHD
Figuring out what dosage you need to ease ADHD symptoms can be challenging at first.
For adults, finding the correct dosage of CBD requires some experimentation. Start with a small dose at first and work your way up until you notice your focus starts to improve and symptoms reside.
If you’re currently using a prescription ADHD medication it’s important that you consult your doctor before taking CBD. CBD can negatively impact certain medications, so speaking to a medical professional is essential.
CBD Dosage for Children With ADHD
As with adults, the dosage of CBD needed to relieve ADHD symptoms differs from person to person. The potency and dosage needed will be a lot less though.
If you’re using CBD oil in your child’s food, you can adjust the dose by purchasing a lower-potency oil and starting with only one or two drops. You can slowly increase the number of drops as needed.
If you’re using edibles to treat your child’s ADHD, you can purchase low-potency gummies and split them up. Gummies are easy to cut in half or quarter using a sharp knife.
Start with one-quarter of a 25 mg gummy and slowly work up the dosage if symptoms don’t reside.
Although there aren’t too many side effects to CBD, you should always be careful when administering it to children. When upping doses always do so in smaller increments and at a much slower pace than you would for yourself.
Final Thoughts: CBD for ADHD — Does it Work?
There’s no clear evidence that CBD works for ADHD — but there’s plenty of anecdotal reports from ADHD sufferers or parents of children with ADHD that say it works.
CBD is an excellent supplement for children and adults with ADHD but for the best results it should be combined with other forms of treatment.
Combining CBD with a dietary change and exercise routine is the most effective way to treat ADHD if you’re looking to take a more natural approach.
Remember to start with a low dose of CBD and work your way up slowly until you start seeing results.
For children with ADHD, remember to significantly reduce the dose and increase it far more gradually.
CBD oil for kids
CBD oil for children is not psychoactive. This is the main reason why their use is also suitable for children. The THC content is less than 0.3%. Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not activate CB1 receptors in the brain, so it will not cause these effects. Thus, it can be described as a dietary supplement without intoxicating effects. Without unnecessary side effects, CBD oil for children can also help younger children with inflammation, anxiety, excessive stress, pain or insomnia, for example. Particularly popular is CBD oil for children with ADHD.
CBD and ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition characterized by a persistent inability to concentrate or hyperactivity-impulsivity and affects millions of children in addition to adults. Symptoms of ADHD are most often difficulty staying calm, controlling your moods or staying focused.
CBD and ADHD symptoms
Childhood ADHD or CBD was studied by researchers in 2013. They collected the results of 2811 users of this substance. They did indeed report reduced symptoms of hyperactivity after time. In 2017, a study focused on adult ADHD, and researchers again noted significant improvements in brain function and symptom reduction. CBD for ADHD also addresses specific symptoms such as anxiety. The Permanente Journal published a 2018 study by Scott Shannon, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Fort Collins, and Janet Opila-Lehman of the Wholeness Center in Fort Collins, which confirmed this, along with researchers have subsequently shown CBD to help with sleep disorders in children, according to the results.
CBD and adults
The authors of the 2017 review noted that adults can take up to 1,500 mg of the substance per day for these disorders, but for children this dose is lower and depends on their body weight, disease state, or previous experience with cannabis oil for ADHD. Children have significantly less body fat. Dosage and administration is easiest in particular with oils. Compared to other forms, the specific dose is easily measured by the number of drops. If the child does not like its taste, just mix it with another drink.
CBD and epilepsy
Hemp oils with higher CBD content are also extremely effective for this disorder. CBD in childhood epilepsy works almost immediately after taking it. This is also one of the reasons why it is one of the most recommended preparations in the treatment of this unpleasant disease. However, all of this is borne out by studies of CBD and epilepsy. These have been carried out since the 1970s and generally confirm a huge advantage over conventional drugs in the absence of side effects.
CBD and Epilepsy study
Scientists at Stanford University enrolled 19 children aged between 2 and 16 years who had previously been treated with more than a dozen other drugs in the research group. The results of the study confirmed a significant reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures in up to 84% of cases. Among the positive effects, they identified increased ability to concentrate, improved sleep and mood. Israeli experts recruited 74 children aged 1 to 18 with epilepsy into their study group. They were given CBD for 3 to 6 months along with olive oil in a 20:1 ratio. 89 percent of the children experienced a significant improvement in their mental state, 18 percent even reported a 75% to 100% reduction in epileptic seizures.
But why does cannabidiol improve the condition of these patients? The endocannabinoid system, which takes care of the balance of the whole organism, is the basis. This is aided by cannabinoids, which are very similar in composition to those from the cannabis plant. If the cannabinoid system goes awry, the body cannot produce them in sufficient quantities. And it is with these natural preparations that we can supplement them.
Most frequent questions about CBD
CBD also helps with two specific types of infant epilepsy that are among the most severe – Dravert syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These cause seizures on a daily basis, exposing children to injury, mental disability or even death.
CBD and autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in repetitive patterns of behavior, abnormal social interaction and impaired communication skills. It is also extremely widespread among children, as it begins to manifest itself as early as the third year of life. The causes of this disease have not yet been scientifically proven, but often a combination of genetic predispositions is behind it. Around the world, approximately one in 50 babies is born with autism.
Cannabis oil for autism can reduce epileptic seizures, relieve aggression, help increase the ability to listen and perceive or calm children. Among the greatest experts in research on the effects of CBD oil or for children or other similar preparations with this substance is Dr. Adi Aran. His preclinical tests in the study have taken epilepsy treatment several steps forward. The Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, treated 60 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with cannabidiol at a ratio of 20:1. 61% of them showed a significant decrease in explosive behavior, and 47% of the cases showed an improved ability to communicate. The positive effects of CBD in autism were subsequently confirmed by a clinical study.
CBD oil and Asperger’s syndrome
CBD oil is also effective for Asperger’s. This syndrome is a milder form of autism and occurs at school age. Medications for autism, or specifically this type of autism, often results in side effects that negatively affect the body, mind, and behavior, and often cause patients to become violently explosive. A 2018 study by researchers at Stanford University in California, published in the journal Molecular Autism, documented that children with Asperger syndrome have lower levels of anandamide. It is a brain endocannabinoid that balances the transmission of neurotransmitter messages between cells. Without this compound, cells send inappropriate messages to the body.
CBD oil for children sleep disorders
Up to one third of the population suffers from insomnia. Children are no exception. For them, the problem is the fact that drugs designed for this have many side effects. Sleep is also dependent on a well-functioning endocannabinoid system. CBD for sleep disorders will achieve its balance and will also help you get a good night’s rest by suppressing pain.
Keeping the stress hormone cortisol at a certain level is also an important factor. It is most often released in the morning, but children with insomnia may also have high levels at night. This increases their number of times they wake up. In one scientific study, researchers found that cortisol levels were significantly reduced with as little as 300 to 600 mg of CBD oil, which acts as a natural sedative in such cases.