Living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is undeniably difficult. The symptoms faced by those with ADHD can make work, school, and life in general more difficult to navigate. Not only are the symptoms troublesome, but often the medications that are prescribed to help treat those symptoms come with their own list of negative side effects. CBD may be one way you can find greater relief.

While you’re not going to be able to cure your ADHD symptoms by simply adding CBD to your life, there are reasons for considering CBD as an additional way to help manage your ADHD. One of the greatest qualities of CBD is that it can help provide relief or support to a variety of ailments without the difficulty and discomfort of unwanted side effects. Research is currently limited, but there are studies that show CBD could be of use in managing ADHD. Let’s take a closer look at this condition and how CBD may be able to help.

What is ADHD?

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that can cause unusual levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. It is more commonly diagnosed in children but both adults and children can suffer from ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 11% of children and 4.4% of adults have a current diagnosis of ADHD. ADHD can manifest itself in a variety of ways but is most associated with difficulty focusing on a single task. Let’s take a closer look at the variety of symptoms that can affect someone with ADHD.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

Doctors use the primary symptoms that someone with ADHD experiences to divide the disorder into three different presentations: predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive (ADHD-PH), and combined (ADHD-C). 

Those who are predominantly inattentive experience symptoms such as:

  • Making frequent mistakes or missing details when studying or working
  • Difficulty focusing when listening, reading, or conversing
  • Trouble organizing tasks, making deadlines, and keeping track of objects
  • Easily distracted by small happenings or nothing at all
  • Do not follow instructions or fail to complete tasks

Those who are predominantly hyperactive-impulsive experience symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty sitting still for lengths of time
  • Trouble carrying out tasks quietly
  • Excessive talking and high volume
  • Difficulty waiting in line or for their turn
  • Frequently interrupt others when speaking or performing a task

The most common type of ADHD is combined. These individuals experience a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. Doctors do not know what causes ADHD but factors may include genetics, structural differences in the brain, and reduced dopamine level.

How to treat ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD with stethoscope and medication.

The most common way of treating ADHD in both children and adults is through stimulant medications. Nearly 70% of those diagnosed with ADHD take medications to help them overcome the symptoms, and 70-80% of those who are on medications experience a reduction of symptoms. However, stimulant medications also come with a variety of side effects. Those side effects include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea

How CBD can help

While the research is limited, there are studies that offer evidence that CBD can be helpful in treating some of the symptoms of ADHD as well as mitigating some of the side effects of traditional ADHD medication. Let’s look at how CBD might be a helpful addition to your ADHD treatment plan.

CBD may reduce hyperactivity

A 2013 study has shown that supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) reduces the amount of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms self-reported by participants.

CBD may help increase focus

A 2014 study found evidence that CBD can enhance focus and energy. You can read a full Green Dragon article on the ways that CBD can help with focus here.

CBD is associated with lower doses of ADHD medication

A 2020 study found that products containing a higher dosage of CBD were associated with decreased use of ADHD medication in adults and lower ADHD symptom scores.

CBD may decrease side effects of ADHD medication

The most often reported therapeutic effects of CBD are things like nausea relief, anxiety relief, pain relief, and aiding in sleep. These are all potential side effects of ADHD medication. Adding CBD to your treatment plan may help reduce these side effects.


What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is mental health condition characterized by hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or a combination of both.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

There is a wide range of ADHD symptoms that include trouble focusing, forgetfulness, difficulty sitting still, and frequently interrupting others.

How can CBD help my ADHD?

CBD may help with reduce hyperactivity, increase focus, and mediate the negative side effects associated with stimulant based ADHD medications.

Can CBD replace my prescribed treatments?

No! It is important that you follow the prescribed treatments from your doctor as well as consult them before adding CBD to your treatment plan.

How can I take CBD?

Cbd oil dropper - Young woman taking cannabis oil in tea drink for anxiety and stress treatment - Alternative medicine

There are a variety of ways that you can consume CBD. Let’s look at some of the most popular.

Extracts and TincturesThese are concentrated CBD and cannabinoids distillates that you can add to food, drinks, or take orally

EdiblesEdibles like gummies, candies, or baked goods are a great option for first time CBD users. Because they must be digested, they may take a little longer for the effects to take hold, but they are usually the easiest way to regulate your dosage. You can find out more about CBD dosages here and here.

VapeAnother option for ingesting CBD is by vaporizer. The advantage of vaping is that it is fast acting and convenient without the smoke and smell associated with flower. There are a variety of vape options in the CBD world, you can learn all about them here

Flower Smoking CBD flower is another quick and convenient way to ingest CBD. It can be bought in pre-rolled joints or cigarettes or purchased separately to be put in pipes or hand-rolled smokables.

Things to Keep in Mind

CBD may offer a variety of benefits than can benefit those who have been diagnosed with ADHD but there are many things that you should consider before deciding to make it a part of your treatment plan.

Always consult your doctor first

If you’ve been diagnosed with any condition or disease, it is important to consult your doctor before making any changes to how you plan to treat yourself. Your doctor will be the most knowledgeable source of information on your symptoms, your medications, and what to expect moving forward. While research suggests that negative side effects of CBD are minimal, it is important that you get the opinion of an expert before adding it to a treatment plan.

CBD is not a substitute for prescribed treatments

While early research on CBD’s therapeutic effects for ADHD are promising, medications or treatments that have been prescribed by your doctor have gone through rigorous testing to verify their safety and effectiveness. As research continues on CBD, we’re likely to learn much more about the ways it can be used to safely treat ADHD, but until those studies are completed you should rely on your doctor’s recommendations and those treatments with proven success.

CBD is largely unregulated

Because of CBD industry is relatively young, the government has not yet formulated robust systems of oversight. This means that if you are choosing to use a CBD product, it is important that you purchase from a reputable source that provides laboratory tested results to ensure that the product you receive is what it says on the label. The Green Dragon CBD only sources products from highly respected producers and makes sure that the laboratory results for each product are easy to locate on that product’s page

Wrapping it up

Living with ADHD makes a variety of tasks more difficult but with the help of a doctor and the right plan, you can live a happy and fulfilling life. If you and your doctor think CBD might be a helpful step in making that happen, The Green Dragon CBD is a great place to start down the CBD path. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us and one of our representatives will do whatever possible to help you make the best decision for you.


Scott Jones is a freelance writer, author, and digital marketer from Akron, Ohio. He loves to research and write about any and all topics that fascinate him, including CBD. He could afford to watch a few fewer movies and eat a few more vegetables. Connect with him on LinkedInInstagram, or read other posts by Scott.

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