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CBD oil for ADHD: Does it work?

Research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may improve the lifestyle of epilepsy patients. It has also been proven to be beneficial in soothing anxiety, mood disorders, pain, and even acne. But what of ADD or ADHD? So far, the limited research linking CBD oil to ADHD, show that it may very well help manage the symptoms.

This article will take an in-depth look at CBD oil for ADHD treatment: “how it works on ADHD/ADD”, “can it cure the disorder?”, “what’s the best delivery method for handling the symptoms”, “are there any safety concerns and side-effects of CBD oil”, and “the possibility of treating children.

What Is CBD Oil? Does It Help ADHD?

CBD is one of more than 80 naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant and CBD oil is simply a high level of CBD dissolved in a carrier oil (usually coconut or olive oil).

It is a common misconception to associate the hemp plant with mind-altering effects, but this is far from the truth. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound that induces a euphoric or “high” feeling in a person, and it occurs in abundance in marijuana. Hemp, on the other hand, is specifically cultivated to contain little THC and much of CBD.

Because it does not activate the same regions in the brain as THC does, CBD oil has numerous health benefits because of how it interacts with the body and brain. The human body has a vast network of receptors, most of which are clustered in the brain, specifically for interacting with cannabidiol known as the endocannabinoid system. When CBD interacts with these receptors, it triggering positive effects.

There is little scientific evidence to prove that CBD can help treat ADHD or ADD. As responsible CBD suppliers, we try our best not to give users of our product misinformation or false hope and so far, much of the research surrounding CBD and ADHD focuses on cannabis, which other than CBD, contains over 80 compounds.

However, CBD as a therapeutic compound is good at dealing with ADHD symptoms, such as hyperactivity or restlessness. Though many people choose to use CBD oil as part of their ADHD treatment, they do so simply because CBD neutralises the common side effects of these ADHD/ADD medications such as loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, headaches, nausea, irritability, aggression, mood swings, and dizziness.

CBD oil and ADHD symptoms

Based on research so far, CBD oil might not be a cure for ADHD/ADD, but it may very well help patients manage the symptoms associated with the disorder.

Some people with ADHD have difficulty handling anxiety, which can worsen their symptoms. There are lots of evidence that shows the positive impact of CBD oil for managing anxiety and panic attacks.

Numerous research on the relationship between CBD and insomnia shows that the compound improves the quality of sleep in people battling insomnia, and as a result, may be useful for managing sleep problems caused by ADHD.

Potential advantages over traditional treatments

The traditional medications prescribed for ADHD fall into two categories: stimulants and non-stimulants.

Those that fall under the stimulant category are widely in use for their fast-acting effects, however, stimulant medications do have side effects too. These include:

  • insomnia
  • poor appetite
  • weight loss
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • mood changes

With non-stimulant medications, these side effects are less likely, but they’re still possible. These may include:

  • upset stomach
  • poor appetite
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • mood changes

To avoid possible abuse and overdose, both stimulant and non-stimulant are prescription-only medications, meaning you’ll have to see a doctor and undergo regular examinations to continue or stop use.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is neither a stimulating compound nor a controlled substance, which should not be mistaken to mean it should be taken without consulting with a Physician. It is well-tolerated at doses of up to 1500 milligrams per day and the side effects of CBD oil are, at best, minimal. They may include upset stomach and drowsiness.

How to use CBD oil?

The most popular method of using CBD oil is via oral ingestion or vaping.

Taking CBD oil orally is the best method to try out for beginners as it is less likely to cause side effects. This method involves placing a few drops of the oil underneath the tongue, then hold for 15–40 seconds before swallowing, and the effects can be felt within 30-45 minutes. 

For people that need faster symptom relief, vaping might be a better alternative. This method quickly delivers the compound into the blood by taking advantage of the numerous blood vessels in the lungs.

As per dosages, there aren’t any formal guidelines from any medical organisation on how to use CBD oil or what dosage is best to treat ADHD symptoms. There are, however, dosing guide for symptoms of ADHD such as anxiety and insomnia.

If you’re exploring CBD oil as an option to manage your symptoms, you should start with the smallest possible dosage – about 25 mg – and gradually work your way up so your body gets used to the oil and also to reduce your risk of side effects.

Potential risks and side effects of using CBD oil for ADHD

For some first-time users of CBD oil, an upset stomach, dryness in the mouth, or a drowsy feeling are inevitable side effects when they first begin consuming the oil, but the severity of these side effects varies according to the dosage consumed, which is why we always recommend starting with a very low dose so your system gets used to the compound.

The other side effects you could experience while using CBD oil may depend on the way you use the oil.

For instance, if you’re vaping CBD oil, you might experience lung irritation and, depending on your body system, may lead to a cough, wheezing, and other breathing difficulties. This is why vaping is not a recommended method of consuming CBD if you have asthma or any other type of lung disease.

If you are not sure about the potential side effects, how your body might react to the compound, or interaction with other medications, then talk with your doctor.

Is CBD Legal?

Although CBD products are widely available and easy to come by, not all CBD products are legal in Europe. Make sure you’re aware of any local, state, or federal laws concerning CBD-based products before making a purchase. Here in Ireland however, purchasing CBD in the form of oils, tinctures, capsules & vape oils are legal.

Is it safe for children?

Doctors may recommend CBD for children with specific medical conditions, such as epilepsy because there is scientific evidence to support the benefits of CBD on the condition. But they’ll be hesitant to do so for ADHD as a direct result of the limited research available on the benefits of CBD on the condition.

Most of the evidence available is anecdotal. And, although CBD oil is different from marijuana, there are parents and caregivers that are concerned about the association and limited research work, which understandably may make them sceptic of the product and refrain from introducing the product to children.

If you think that CBD oil may relieve your child’s symptoms, you should talk to a doctor and explore all of their options before starting CBD treatment.


Does CBD come from marijuana or hemp?

While it is true that both marijuana and hemp are a cannabis plant, they are two different varieties of the same plant.

The hemp plant is a strain of cannabis that contains little to no trace of THC – the euphoric compound – but high quantities of CBD throughout the plant (stem, buds, etc.). According to the law, if any plant contains more than 0.3% THC, is considered a “marijuana” plant and is illegal to grow.

That’s why most CBD-based products use the hemp plant as their source material since it contains more CBD and less THC, therefore little processing.

How long does It Take to feel the effects of CBD?

The duration it takes before feeling the effects of CBD varies according to the delivery method: when taken sublingually, you’d usually feel the effects of the compound within 15-20 minutes, but when you use a vaping oil the effects are almost instant. The slowest is a topical application which could take up to an hour or more, but it best for localised pain.

Is it safe for pregnant women?

From research performed so far, CBD is not lethal and the side effects even at high doses are not life-threatening. But, since these researches weren’t focused on the compound and its effect on the foetus, pregnant mothers, and children younger than 2 years, we think it’s safer to avoid it.

Will CBD make me feel high?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has many health benefits and few side effects, but psychoactive, “euphoric” effects are not part of those. CBD simply feels relaxing. If you feel a “high” or any mind-altering while using a CBD product, then it might contain more THC than advertised.

Is water-soluble CBD better?

The best way to consume CBD is in its natural fat-soluble state. Converting a fat-soluble compound into a water-soluble version involves many complex processes. Better to keep it simple and as natural as possible.


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