Breaking the stigma on ADHD and the use of medical cannabis

Test Alt Text

ADHD Awareness Month aims to bring more awareness to this neurological condition which affects both children and adults across the globe by sharing information and research to help break down the stigma around it. With this blog, we want to highlight the benefits of the use of medical cannabis on the symptoms of ADHD as an alternative therapy to typical ADHD medication.

ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) affects people’s behaviour, making them restless, lack concentration and seem impulsive. Whilst most people are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, adults are still being diagnosed every day, with more men being diagnosed earlier than women.The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more boys are likely to be diagnosed than girls at a ratio of 12.8% to 5.6%.

While ADHD diagnosis are on the rise across a broad age-range, this disorder is still met with much confusion, scepticism, and prejudice; with many believing it is used to mask bad behavior or a complete lack of concentration.

ADHD presents itself in three different ways:


An individual may struggle to complete tasks, pay attention to details, follow instructions or conversations. It also causes a person to be easily distracted or to forget parts of their daily routine.

It can also affect individuals’ ability to concentrate when they are trying to focus on something they aren’t fully engaged with.


Patients with hyperactivity may fidget, move, or talk a lot or find it impossible sitting still for long periods of time. They also struggle with impulsivity and may interrupt frequently, speak at inappropriate times, or fail to wait their turn. Individuals can also become hyper-focused to the point they are unaware of the outside world, resulting in the inability to eat or rest.


Patients with Combination ADHD show symptoms of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

ADHD, if left untreated and unsupported, can affect individuals lives, friendships and relationships. A survey from the US ADHD Awareness Coalition showed that more than half of those who participated said they had lost or changed a job because of their ADHD symptoms.

Traditional Medications

ADHD is often prescribed with stimulant drugs such as Methylphenidate which affects the chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. However, drugs such as these are often not the best choice for those with ADHD and to those who suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. In some instances, it can cause these symptoms to worsen.

This is where medical cannabis prescriptions may offer an alternative medication for the right person. It is a promising treatment option expecially when other common prescriptions are  unsuitable for the individual.


Treatment with Cannabis

Medical cannabis we know has been found to be a good alternative treatment when an individual is dealing with ‘sensory overload’ which can happen when a person has input from their five senses at one time. From multiple conversations, flashing lights and loud music, all of which can be overloading symptoms in conditions such as Autism, Fibromyalgia, PTSD and ADHD.

Whilst there are not many studies on the use of cannabis specifically on ADHD, there are a few promising results.

In a small Israeli study* from 2020 on medical cannabis, patients suggested that CBN may help to reduce symptoms. The study involved 59 patients who were asked to record their ADHD, sleep, anxiety patterns using questionnaires. Those on a higher dose of CBN recorded less medication use while those on the lower doses recorded less anxiety. CBN is a controlled substance in the UK as it is created when THC breaks down and becomes oxygenated.


Knowing where to go for help

Due to the stigma and scepticism around ADHD, many patients find it hard to come forward with their symptoms and as such look to the illegal market to access cannabis for their ADHD.

However, the illegal market presents many difficult problems for patients as there is no guarantee of consistency of strain, potency, or effects. A clinic may be able to adjust the CBD: THC ratio to suit the individual depending on their needs.

No matter what an individual is facing, it can be incredibly overwhelming knowing where to start when it comes to accessing information and guidance around medical cannabis. There are an increasing number of experts in this field and The Medical Cannabis Directory may help you find the relevant experise.

*Hergenrather, Jeffrey Y., Joshua Aviram, Yelena Vysotski, Salvatore Campisi-Pinto, Gil M. Lewitus, and David Meiri. 2020. “Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Doses Are Associated with Adult ADHD Status of Medical Cannabis Patients.” Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal 11 (1).

Finding Your Nearest Medical Cannabis Specialist Is Easy

Simply enter the postcode, city location, specialist name, clinic name, treatable condition or type of clinic you are looking for: