Being diagnosed with ADD at 16-years-old, I know that dealing with ADD on a daily basis can be exhausting. Contrary to popular belief, it can actually be helpful to use cannabis to treat ADD.
Considering the symptoms of ADD and other recommended “methods” of dealing with them, using cannabis for ADD has been a welcomed relief.
Suffering from migraines? Lily does too! Click here for her guide to using cannabis for migraines.
Using cannabis for ADD
The first step to understanding if I should use cannabis for ADD was to understand my symptoms. Having ADD means things that others would take for granted can be a daily struggle.
At the best of times, keeping my focus on a task is always like hitting a moving target. As such, there is no just “sitting down and doing the job”.
I also deal with impulsiveness. This means that without warning, I will spontaneously halt a task to walk about the room with no general direction which can sometimes get in the way of teamwork.
One other ADD-related issue is anxiety. I am constantly worrying about forgetting something or losing something, and I’ll check my pockets for my keys at least three times.
I’m also constantly worried that people will take my short attention span for disinterest, or that people will judge my impulsiveness.
I was sick of pills so I tried using cannabis for ADD
The medication that I’ve been prescribed in the past has generally caused more harm than good. I’ve tried all kinds of pills including Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall, just to name a few.
As a result, sometimes I would feel like I had consumed six cups of coffee. Other times I would get extremely angry for no reason and sometimes I would get sick to my stomach. Naturally, these side-effects weren’t great for my focus or anxiety.
I had consumed cannabis occasionally in high school, but coming from an island in the North Atlantic meant that alcohol was more prevalent and thus was how I dealt with my anxiety and focus issues. Needless to say, alcohol wasn’t a very effective way to deal with my personal issues.
“Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine. This then has the same effect [as the usual pills] but is a different mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin (methylphenidate) and dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine.” Dr. David Bearman (Source)
After having given up alcohol at 25-years-old, I had turned my attention back to cannabis as a way to help me stay on the “dry-path”.
As a result of my increased attention to researching cannabis, I discovered that cannabis is actually an effective way to relieve my ADD symptoms.
Why I use cannabis for ADD
Turns out, cannabis can actually be a great way to maintain focus and keep impulsive drives down.
If you are like me, you might find literally every noise distracting and having too much energy just amplifies your tendency to be distracted. You can see why calming your body and mind would be beneficial in fighting these distractions.
Consuming cannabis reduces my impulsiveness by slowing down my body and mind, giving me a second to remind myself that I’m in the middle of a task. You’d be amazed at how much more productive I am when I actually stay sitting at my desk.
Cannabis is already known to help with anxiety, but using cannabis for ADD helps combat these afore-mentioned issues, so you can actually take the time to catch your mind.
What’s the best strain for ADD symptoms?
Remember different strains for different brains. However, I would recommend something light if you plan on getting some work done. Balance is always the key, and you can easily go overboard.
I’ve had a few days where I would have purchased something too strong and that’s a day wasted right there. Finding a strain that’s effective means understanding your body and its needs.
If you need that extra boost of energy while staying super-focused, Green Crack (it’s cannabis, I promise) is a good example because it’s known to give the consumer a strong energy boost and an intense sense of focus.
I’ve tried this strain, and while it’s great, being a high-energy person I prefer a strain that is slightly lower in energy, like Orange Crush.
CBD is also something that should be taken into account, as people have reported that CBD has also been effective for ADD. Harlequin is a good example of a good CBD-heavy strain, and it’s also good for general anxiety.
I personally lean away from strains that have high THC content, but that’s just how my brain works (some people might need that extra THC). I also can’t consume anything that promotes the couch-lock feeling and still find the will to work, but I’m sure that I’m not alone in that sentiment.
To Roll This Up: should you try cannabis for ADD?
You will need to try a few strains to find the one that is right for you, but doing your homework is always the best way to start. I am always trying different stains to find something that might work for me.
How you consume can also have an effect (good or bad) on your ADD. Some people prefer pipes, some prefer vapes; I prefer to stand out on my back balcony with a (very) small joint, every few hours, as needed.
My last bit of advice is that your particular strain might not always be available, so try to have backups in mind.
Have you tried using cannabis for ADD/ADHD? What has your experience been like?