ADHD and Cannabis Use Disorders

Misty Romack

ADHD, also known as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a common condition with today's adolescents, according to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 11% of children have diagnosed pediatric cases. With the popularity of medicinal marijuana being used in today's population, it also seems to be the "illicit" drug of choice among ADHD sufferers especially adolescents. This is posing to be a dilemma for parents and physicians everywhere.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adults. In the substance use disorders (SUDs) population, ADHD prevalence reaches 23.1%, leading to more severe substance abuse progression and reduced treatment effectiveness. Cannabis is the most common illicit drug used among the ADHD population. The increasing popularity of medical marijuana (MM) has raised concerns about its potential impact on neurocognitive functions, particularly in adolescents. Persistent cannabis use can cause permanent changes in brain structures and circuits." states the PubMed website.

Although some patients claim that cannabis helps treat ADHD symptoms, studies have proven long term use, or mixing cannabis with stimulants prescribed for ADHD and/or alcohol can lead to negative outcomes, not only physical side-effects, but mental side-effects as well.
Stimulants and Cannabis don't mix.Photo bylovingimages/Pixabay

One study looks at marijuana and the ADHD drug, methylphenidate. Experts found that the drug reacts with weed and can cause strain on your heart. Marijuana use can also affect your brain. Studies show that long-term use of the drug can lead to neurological, or brain function, decline. This is especially important to note if you have ADHD. Studies have shown that people with the condition tend to have weaker brain function and structure in their frontal lobe. If you smoke weed and have this condition, you’re at a higher risk for delaying your brain development even further." states WebMD website.

As vaping has grown to become very popular with many underage adolescents. It only seems to encourage the substance abuse behavior dynamic creating havoc for parents and physicians. Along with the availability of the Delta-8 THC vapes and Delat-9 THC* vapes in various gas stations across the U.S., leading to more availability to get into the hands of underage adolescents when they normally wouldn't be able to access THC so easily. It's important for you and your child's pediatrician to educate your child/children about the possibility of damage and health risks that can happen if they are being treated for ADHD, and taking part in risky behaviors of ingesting cannabis or THC in any form as it can interact with your adolescent's medication and possibly hurt them or cause a lifetime of mental/psychiatric, and substance abuse issues.

*A list of potential side effects just for Delta-8, Delta-9 and CBD can be found on the Healthline website. This does not include potential damage or side effects using them in combination with stimulants. *

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Sharing life experience from many factors in life, including Chronic Systemic Illnesses (Mast Cell Activation, Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy). Motherhood for special needs children (ADHD) and Autism. Abuse Survivors, and Baking.

Lafayette, IN

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