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Medical cannabis and ADHD

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Even though the research of hemp as a medicinal product is still in its infancy, pilot studies are regularly published that provide evidence of the effectiveness of the hemp plant in the treatment of various diseases. In the following article, presents such a study, which deals with the therapy of ADHD through cannabinoids.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a behavioral and learning disorder. In most cases, the disorder is diagnosed in childhood. However, in rare cases, the disorder may not appear until adulthood. For a long time, science did not know where the disease came from. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was generally assumed that poor upbringing and unfavorable environmental conditions were the main causes. In the meantime, however, it has been scientifically confirmed that ADHD is largely genetically determined and can be explained neurologically. The neuronal processes are very complex and MRI examinations still lead to new insights and a better understanding. To put it simply, hypoactivity and dysregulation prevail in certain brain regions, which leads to the over- or underproduction of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin. This imbalance ultimately leads to the well-known ADHD symptoms such as concentration difficulties, hyperactivity or aggression disorders.

The study cited in this article deals with the case of a 33-year-old man who was not diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood. After an unsuccessful therapy with Ritalin and after other medications had also only led to severe side effects, the proband decided to undergo cannabinoid therapy. For 5 years, he regularly took Bedrocan, a primarily THC-based drug, and Bediol, a THC- and CBD-based drug. The combination of the two cannabinoid medications caused his ADHD symptoms to greatly diminish: Frustration tolerance became higher, aggression attacks fewer, and the ability to concentrate improved massively. In addition, the accompanying scientists found that the THC and CBD combination in Bediol also measurably improved sleep quality. To date, it is not clear why cannabinoids seem to have such a good effect on individuals suffering from ADHD. A great deal of scientific work will still be needed to describe the exact mechanisms of action. However, the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system in particular seem to play a central role. They are the ones that interact with the dopamine system, which has been shown to play a major role in ADHD.

Unfortunately, the study cited here is still the only controlled study worldwide that deals with the treatability of ADHD by cannabinoids. According to the authors of the study, the bad reputation of the cannabis plant and the conservative attitude of many doctors are the main obstacles to further research.

Very briefly:
ADHD is a well-known behavioral and learning disorder. A first study suggests that the disease can be successfully treated with hemp. Unfortunately, science in this area has so far been very restrained in its research.

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