By Nathan Raffel
Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADD and ADHD respectively are a huge problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control the percentage of children in the United States diagnosed with ADD/ADHD increased almost 40% from 7.8% in 2003 to 11% in 2012, while the National Institute of Mental Health tells us that 8.1% of adults, or roughly 20 million Americans suffer from a lifelong affliction of this disease. That means that altogether we have around 30 million ADD patients in this country.
So for those who don’t know, let’s briefly discuss exactly what the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are. ADD is a purely focus-related diagnosis while ADHD adds further symptoms such as hyperactivity into the mix. ADHD sufferers have a particularly difficult time sitting still in quiet or structured environments such as school or work. Normally treatment for these conditions involves prescription medications such as Adderall or Ritalin. These drugs contain amphetamine salts. If that sounds familiar and you’re not sure why, it’s because it is incredibly similar to the word methamphetamine, a drug known on the streets as “crystal meth.”
For those ADD/ADHD sufferers in the audience who aren’t looking to go the “Breaking Bad” route, CBD can be an effective treatment option. An Australian study displayed cannabidiol’s effectiveness on increasing the attention span in lab rats. While this study hasn’t been replicated on humans as of yet, many great scientific breakthroughs began with tests on lab rats. However, this study done by the psychiatry department of King’s College in London performed a human test with a combination of CBD and THC in an oral spray, and found that it helped to alleviate the symptoms of the 30 participants in the study.
These disorders are usually chronic conditions, meaning that their symptoms will be present in patients for their whole lifetimes. According to a University of California Los Angeles study, long-term amphetamine treatments can be neurotoxic, or in layman’s terms: they can kill your brain. This begs the question, why are we treating our kids with these drugs? Amphetamines are the most prescribed stimulant in the US and also the most abused stimulant in the US. Again, why are doctors prescribing these types of medications to their patients when there is an alternative?
CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system and has been shown to help with other chronic conditions such as anxiety and depression. As with all health concerns, you must consult a physician before embarking on a new course of treatment. That being said, you might be wondering where exactly cannabidiol or CBD comes from. It sure sounds a lot like cannabis, doesn’t it? Well that’s because it does come from that family of plants. CBD is present in both marijuana and in hemp.
The difference between marijuana and hemp is that hemp contains very little THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes users “high.” Industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity and so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC it is fully legal to ship across state lines. This change in legality has led to a breadth of product offerings online. You can now buy CBD as an oil, a powder, a tincture, a tablet, a pill and more! They’re even making it for pets in the form of dog treats and medications in case your furry companions are experiencing some health issues of their own.
When choosing a source for your CBD you’ll have to dial in your dosage according to your own body. Remember that everyone’s body is different so it will always be best to start off small and then scale up your dosage as needed. Don’t worry, you can take it in the morning, it’s not going to get you high. This stuff is purely medicinal and is no different from taking vitamins like Iron or Calcium that your body is deficient in. A lot of people don’t realize that our bodies actually contain receptors for cannabinoids! This University of Utah study explain that not only are we born with the right receptors in our brain and body for consuming cannabinoids but that those same receptors have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation.
In conclusion, many of the traditional treatments and medications for patients suffering from ADD/ADHD have been shown to harm the body in the long run, or lead to substance abuse. However, your body already has the hardware to process and heal itself using CBD. And even better: CBD is not a prescription medication, so once you’ve talked to your doctor you don’t have to take time out of your busy life to drive all the way to the doctor, wait in the waiting room and then drive to the pharmacy to pick up your medication. Now you can simply google CBD products and have access to hundreds of options at your fingertips that will ship directly to your door!
For more on using CBD for ADD/ADHD, check out Everything You Need to Know About Treating Attention Deficit Disorder with CBD
Nathan Raffel is a serial entrepreneur, lover of black coffee and a mildly entertaining podcast guest. Currently, he’s a contributing writer for Thrive Global, HackerNoon and AllHipHop.com. Nathan enjoys covering all things cultural from food and tech to music and cannabis. Find him on FB,LinkedIn or Medium at Nathan Raffel.