Can marijuana help with ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 11% of school-age children and an estimated 4.4% of adults.

ADHD is characterized by an inability to sit still, inattention, and impulsive behavior. because of marijuana (marijuana) is associated with relaxation, and many people wonder if this herb can help manage ADHD symptoms.

Research has been mixed on whether marijuana can provide short-term relief from ADHD in people with ADHD. Researchers are still trying to learn more about marijuana and ADHD. Here’s what you should know about the effects of marijuana on people with ADHD.

How Cannabis Can Help Treat ADHD Symptoms

To understand how marijuana can relieve ADHD symptoms, it is important to understand the two components of marijuana, which are:

  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): THC is a psychoactive ingredient that provides the “high” associated with cannabis. It acts on areas of the brain that control attention, coordination, and reaction time.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp and cannabis (a marijuana plant that contains 0.3% or less THC). It acts on different areas of the brain and can counteract the effects of THC. CBD has been shown to help regulate brain activity.

When you smoke or smoke marijuana, you consume both THC and CBD.

Cannabis for ADHD: Study Shows

There isn’t much research on the use of marijuana for ADHD because federal research on marijuana is limited by Drug Schedule 1 status (drugs not currently accepted for medical use have the potential to be misused). However, existing research gives mixed answers to the question of whether cannabis can help with ADHD, including:

  • A small 2020 study of 112 adults with ADHD who used medical marijuana found that those who took higher doses of medical marijuana ingredients, such as CBD, took fewer other ADHD medications.
  • A 2019 medical review of 83 studies found “lack” and “insufficient” evidence on the effectiveness of marijuana in treating mental health conditions, including ADHD.
  • A 2021 study of 1,700 students found that people with ADHD self-reported that marijuana use improved their ADHD symptoms and reduced the side effects of ADHD medications.
  • A 2016 study analyzed online posts mentioning marijuana and ADHD and found that 25 percent of the posts said marijuana had a positive effect on ADHD symptoms, while 8 percent said it was harmful.

More research is needed to determine whether marijuana benefits adults with ADHD. At this time, however, most states with medical marijuana programs do not include ADHD as a qualifying condition for licensure.

Marijuana and Children

While ADHD is most often diagnosed in children, marijuana use should not be used by most young adults. Even states with recreational marijuana laws do not allow anyone under the age of 21 to buy or consume marijuana. Children’s medical marijuana programs are extremely limited, and ADHD is not a qualifying condition.

Using marijuana with ADHD medication

There is limited research on how marijuana interacts with ADHD medications, such as Adlar (dextroamphetamineamphetamine). A small 2015 study of adults without ADHD found that when Adderall and marijuana were taken together, they had unique effects (neither positive nor negative) compared to taking either drug alone .

If you are taking ADHD medication, it is important that you be honest with your healthcare provider about your marijuana use. Marijuana use is becoming mainstream and legal in some places. Your healthcare provider can help you understand the benefits and risks of using marijuana with ADHD medications.

How to talk to your doctor about marijuana

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Cannabis Effects by Strain Type

Some people believe that different cannabis strains have different effects. Strains are different varieties of the cannabis plant. Common marketing distinguishes these two strains:

  • Alfalfa is considered energizing.
  • Indica is thought to have sedative and pain-relieving properties.

However, studies have shown that differences between strains are not necessarily accurate. The effects of cannabis depend on its levels of THC and CBD, each of which has different effects on the brain and body. Most indica strains are thought to have a higher percentage of CBD, which gives it its sedative properties.

Most of the research supporting cannabis for ADHD has shown the benefits of CBD, so you may want to choose a cannabis strain with a higher percentage of CBD (such as indica products) or try CBD oil (or other CBD-only products) instead of cannabis.

When does marijuana use become a substance use disorder?

About 30% of marijuana users develop substance use disorders. Substance use disorders occur when substance use begins to interfere with a person’s daily functioning.

Research shows that CBD alone without THC is not addictive. Therefore, if you are concerned about developing a substance use disorder, you may want to choose a CBD-only product instead of CBD and THC.


There is very little research on whether marijuana can help with ADHD. Existing research is mixed: Some have found that marijuana can help with ADHD symptoms, while others have argued that there isn’t enough evidence to make that conclusion.

In most cases, ADHD is not eligible for the National Medical Marijuana Program, and marijuana should not be used to treat ADHD in people under the age of 21. If you have ADHD, it is best to have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider about marijuana use.

VigorTip words

It’s normal to wonder if marijuana can treat your ADHD symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Fortunately, researchers are continuing to explore the medical potential of cannabis. Hopefully, within a few years, we’ll have a better understanding of the effects of marijuana on people with ADHD.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should You Talk to Your Doctor Before Stopping Prescription ADHD Medications?

    Yes, you should always talk to your healthcare provider before stopping ADHD medication. Finding the right medication for ADHD can sometimes take time. Rather than stop taking your medication, contact your healthcare provider to discuss your concerns.

  • How much marijuana is too much?

    If your marijuana use is interfering with your daily functioning, it’s time to seek help. Remember, even in states with recreational marijuana programs, marijuana is illegal for anyone under the age of 21.

  • What is the best type of marijuana for ADHD?

    There is little research on the effects of different forms of marijuana on people with ADHD. However, CBD appears to be more promising for ADHD than cannabis containing THC and CBD. Discuss your specific situation with your healthcare provider.

  • Can microdose marijuana help with ADHD symptoms?

    There isn’t enough research to conclude whether marijuana helps people with ADHD. This includes microdosing, or taking ultra-low doses of marijuana to help manage symptoms without high doses. If you are interested in microdosing to help manage ADHD, talk to your healthcare provider.