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Cannabis and ADD/ADHD

July 21, 2014

In the eyes of popular culture, cannabis consumers aren’t exactly models of concentration and cognitive performance. So when a small group of researchers began exploring cannabis as alternative treatment for attention deficit disorders, there was of course some scoffing and skepticism. Nevertheless, with so many medical marijuana patients swearing by its ability to promote focus in place of prescription stimulants, these doctors sought to take a closer look at the scientific basis of this counterintuitive phenomenon.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD, is a controversial diagnosis marked by distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Adults are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or ADD, which lacks this hyperactivity characteristic, but is similar in other ways to ADHD. More than one in 10 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, a figure that has grown exponentially in the last 50 years. Since 1957, doctors have been treating ADD/ADHD patients with psychostimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.


The best cannabis strains for focus and ADD/ADHD

Antonio Rodriguez, diagnosed with ADD/ADHD at age six, had been among the masses prescribed stimulant medications. “I remember having headaches all the time to the point where I wasn’t able to sleep,” Antonio said, adding that his appetite was also nonexistent until treating with cannabis; and not only was cannabis lifting the stimulant side effects, it improved Antonio’s ADD/ADHD symptoms. “For the first time ever, I was in the state where I could really get my mind together.”

Having only been taught the dangers of using cannabis, Antonio was cautious about trying it for the first time. “I got scared about the whole ‘addiction’ side of cannabis,” Antonio said. “I was waiting for the moment my body asked me for weed, but it never happened.”

For those coming from an anti-cannabis background, explaining its therapeutic properties to friends and family can be difficult. This was no less true for Antonio, despite the fact that his performance in school had won him college acceptance with a scholarship. The reality is, there’s far too little research on cannabis and ADD/ADHD to know exactly how the two interact. Still, the data and results emerging from initial investigations show that there is more digging to be done.


These ADHD Researchers Are Reading Your Posts for Insights on Medical Cannabis

One main physiological irregularity of ADD/ADHD is the brain’s shortage of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter involved in cognitive processes like memory and attention. Medications like Adderall and Ritalin stimulate dopamine, thereby promoting concentration, but come with a myriad of unpleasant side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

Dr. David Bearman, a figurehead of cannabis research, has studied the relationship between the cannabinoid system and ADHD and discovered potential therapeutic value as cannabinoids interact with the brain’s dopamine management systems.

“Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine,” Dr. Bearman wrote. “This then has the same effect 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.”

Put simply, the compounds found in cannabis, called cannabinoids, could potentially correct the dopamine deficiency observed in ADD/ADHD patients if dosed appropriately and administered safely. Even in its raw form, cannabis is able to provide the mental slowdown necessary for concentration in many patients. Boring and arduous tasks become more manageable, and mood swings tend to level out. But why?


How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect the Brain?

“The most accepted theory about ADHD rests on the fact that about 70 percent of the brain’s function is to regulate input to the other 30 percent,” Dr. Bearman says. “Basically the brain is overwhelmed with too much information coming too fast. In ADHD, the brain is cluttered with and too aware of all the nuances of a person’s daily experience.”

While most medical professionals agree that anecdotal evidence is not sufficient in recommending cannabis for ADD/ADHD, researchers are optimistic about the potential cannabis is demonstrating. When political blockades let up and further research resumes, it could be that cannabinoid therapy provides a frontier for safer, more effective ADD/ADHD medication.

image credit: istockphoto

  • rdrake

    Worked for me when I was a teen. Doc pulled me off ritalin and I found cannabis. Worked much better. That was forty years ago, cannabis has changed a lot since then.

    • How has cannabis changed since 40 years ago? Are you saying it doesn’t work for ADD/ADHD symptoms anymore? =)

      • rdrake

        Sure it works as well today as it did then.

        • Jacob Alexander Hinsvark

          No, it seriously is way stronger and more varied in effects than it was before.

          • off grid

            its actually not as strong as it once was to many people making there own strains messed it up. Hybrids!
            And with shatter it will make you go insane psychotic

      • Seasoned & Grilled

        Oh, it’s changed! The quality now is unmatched from the past. There are so mamy types now, that have varying effects. One can pinpoint the issue the want to medicate. It’s unreal

        • off grid

          True weed now days looks good smells good but does not have as much juice too it as it once did, Northern Lights was good

          • Mercy

            You sir are smoking the wrong stuff.

          • off grid

            hahaha weed is legal where i am even when it wasn’t was still shit

  • Georgia Kelly

    I’m just reading this because I am A.D.D. and having been taken off my Adderall because of my age (55) and put on a non stimulant I was don’t to happy! I was just diagnosed with it 4 years ago, and first was real angry for the fact I wish A.D.D. was thought of the same as life as I know it may have been totally different then it is today, when I was growing up I was thought lazy and a rose colored world kid ( lol I kinda miss the day my glasses came off 4 years ago also ) so I kinda always wanted to do a lot of things and couldn’t ever finish it and sooner or later that will take afect on your life choices.
    Anyway, before I get off tract as I always do 🙂 As I am boiling up to say, my boyfriend smokes, and I COPD ( along with a whole other bunch of body crap ) so I never smoked, well at least for a whole lot off years :), and he said that was all the medicine he needed, and I should try it again that he bet it would help. And that it did, I felt clearer, I noticed things around me I never did, I focused and cleaned house, I played with my grandson, and I felt more like who I wanted to be a lot of the times. Of course I didn’t let him know that because I thought I was just high. As I said my breathing isn’t wonderful so I may only take one or two hits and very small at that. Well needles to say I tried it again a few more times and felt the same. But I also belong to a pain care and getting caught losing my meds I worked 5 years at getting help, I did not want to blow it ( and still don’t but sure I’m caught this week so I petrified of getting fired! My boyfriend has been telling me I should talk to them about my smoking and how I feel, and I would love to but I’m just to scared. So I decided to punch it in to Google and see if anyone out there was going thru the same thing and maybe there was something on here that would give me hope it was, and also for my own mind to see if what I’m feeling anyone else is, thank God for the internet! At least I know I’m not nuts, but feel better it is being looked at and of course I was feeling scattered and had to take a small hit just do dare to put this up, but also just knowing I need to know and my brain wouldn’t work other wise.
    So now that I wrote a small novel, let me get to the point lol.does anyone know anymore about this study going on, or anymore info I can go to find out more. I would rather feel like I do when I have some then how I feel without it, I’m a hell of a lot more focused now then I was on my Adderall. I know next month my pain meds are going to be taken away, So I want to get up a good back and more understanding about how this works to my doctor. Either way I would like to find out for me. Belkin

    • Sorry I’m late with this Georgia, hope it helps.
      *You may think using anything as an “aide” in life, somehow makes it an invalid experience…
      OK, what aide are we talking about? Marijuana, my glasses, my hearing aid, my meds that aid me with diabetes, cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, anti-inflammatory, headache, thyroid, antibiotics, depression, sleep, stress, allergies, colds, viruses, vitamins. I could go on with the list but first I would like to know what aid do I stop taking to make my life work better? Which one of the above aids come without a warning on the label? Prescribed or over-the-counter? None! They all have warning labels. ibuprofen has more warnings and long term negative effects than pot does…
      Pot, makes my life work better! I mean, why take all the other meds just to live a defeated life and then die? All the meds I take keep my body functioning well at 70…
      Pot gives me the passion for life and motivation to be able to enjoy my good health. It’s what gets me up each day with excitement and great expectations because I know it’s going to be a great day with motivation! Ya gotta keep movin or nature will begin the “death spiral” sequence.
      …just sayin!
      Just smoking grass isn’t like any other “stand alone” experience if you know what to do with it and use the right strain of pot to get the right results. After smoking pot for 50+ years I’ve learned just how diversified cannabis is. When you consider sativa, indica and hybrids you’re looking at several hundred different strains and new hybrids coming out everyday. You learn what strain can make you anxious, and which one is the opposite with it’s relaxing, sleepy, couch lock, hungry effects. If you don’t want to get the munchies and couch lock don’t use pure Indica. If you don’t want to be edgy or shaky like an energy drink or too much coffee, don’t use pure Sativa.
      Hybrids find the sweet spot for each individuals desired effect. Don’t get me wrong, pure Indica and pure Sativa are very desirable… I just don’t recommend either for new users. If you don’t know what to expect and are determined to try pot, go with a recommended Hybrid first…
      one toke at a time, keeps you from, one toke over the line!
      Important note: You must not drink alcohol during this time. Alcohol will all but guarantee a bad experience. No other meds either, i.e.; aspirin, cold med, allergy med. No coffee, no energy drink. Don’t try if depressed or emotional.
      Find out what hybrid is tailor-made for you and your relationship. You may even want to use several different strains for different effects as I do. Between the weather, news, your “to do list” and everyday stresses, you find that your moods or needs can change at different times of the day. I personally have several strains (10 to 12) at the ready at all times. Why? I don’t ever want another bad day!
      If I can prevent a bad day… why shouldn’t I, why wouldn’t I, why couldn’t I, why can’t I?
      Now, I have a “say” in what I’m going through at the time. If my Lady or I don’t want to be a “mood’s victim”, we can change the mood with one of the 12 strains that allow us to pick the direction we want to go in for the rest of the day or evening. Being dialed in with your spouse at the end of the day is exactly where I want to be.
      No man made drug can do that. In my opinion, pot in a very positive way, can change your life, your marriage, your sex life, your health, your negativity and anger issues. It’s great for just being happy with a genuine sense of well being.
      For me, it’s just a healthier, happier and better way of life. Please don’t think I’m trying to encourage anyone to take any substance they don’t consider necessary. Remember, I’ve been using pot for over 50 years, for everything. So naturally, as a healthy 70 yo, it’s hard for me to see or understand how people, even today, freak out over the use of pot.

      • Marjorie Hague

        I’ve just been approved for medicinal marijuana. The diagnosis was anxiety and depression. I also have ADHD, I think they [anxiety/depression] are a secondary feature of the main problem. The doctor prescribed CBD for day time use and THC for night, it is in drops that one places under the tongue. I don’t want to smoke because of the health implications. The doctor also said there was a vaporizer available, it’s a small device one puts a little pot into and it heats up releasing a vapor which is also a healthier alternative. Marijuana slows my thoughts so I can think more clearly, and yes, it also helps with creativity. I’m an artist and it is a great aid for expanding creativity and keeping me on track while doing a painting. I live in B.C. Canada and marijuana is legal for medicinal use and apparently, also for recreational use in the near future. It’s sad that it has been looked upon so badly, it has a far better track record than alcohol, and I have never seen anyone get in trouble with pot [barring being caught with it illegally!] Sometimes, in the beginning, it makes me a little paranoid but that wears off in a little while and my rapid thoughts slow down and I can think super clearly in a relaxed state.

        Times are changing, and there is a lot of good research backing marijuana’s benefits and I think it is only a matter of time that it will be regarded no different than alcohol.

        • CONGRATS! I’m very happy for you! Here’s some “FYI” stuff that happened to me. I have asthma but rarely. Smoking pot doesn’t contribute to my Asthma… If I don’t smoke “any” tar or resin. I don’t have any lung issues. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with COPD. I was treated for 4 months and still couldn’t breath. Fourth time at emergency for trouble breathing. A new Dr. saw my chart, saw that my blood oxygen level was in the high 90’s. They stopped treating me for COPD and gave me an “over-the-counter” rescue inhaler. Haven’t had a problem since, that was 4 years ago. However, when I tried using a vape, of any kind, I would cough for a long time and get asthma. Go figure. My wife uses vape pins all day long and has never coughed once, but she doesn’t have lung issues. However, smoking pot “flower” makes her cough and gives her asthma. Neither one of us have any lung issues for exactly opposite reasons??? Keep your mind moving forward and your eye’s on “high beam”, there’s a lot more E-ticket rides to go on! Be safe, Be blessed…

  • Dinesh kumar

    15mg of cannabis is actually working for me and stopped taking adderall.i was diagnosed with ADHD 5yrs back.doc gave me adderall(60mg) which helped me to slow down and felt empty all the time and it blocked my creativity and was not able to move forward with my task.but when i started taking once a week for past months of cannabis…i started to feel far no addiction.i’m combing cannabis with meditation for faster healing.

    • Ali Kamran

      What strain do you take for ADHD?

      • Dinesh kumar


  • R.J.

    I wouldn’t doubt if it also works for autism and PDD!

  • Steve Jobs said it best before ADD was ever known about. I believe this quote was about Him trying to explain… himself.
    Quote: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble-makers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently, they’re not fond of rules…
    You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them or vilify them, the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
    … because they change things… they push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius… Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

    ADDer’s are forced their whole lives to find new, innovative and alternative ways to do everything. That’s what we do! That’s what we contribute! When we do, we give the world a new and creative perspective to everything. Expanding the knowledge base and opening mind’s.

    Where do you think all the knowledge for all the books of higher learning in Universities come from? It comes from the passion and hyper/laser focus of the ADDer’s of the world. We are the explorers, entrepreneurs, idea people, poets, writers, actors, philosophers, great painters, visionaries, musical geniuses. All stemming from uncontrollable hyper/laser focus on our passion not education. Education, to an ADDer, can be a diversion and a destroyer of their own creativity and direction. Human and social evolution would not be possible without their progressive, alternative and innovative contributions.

    What book or university will you find any of these abilities? NONE!!! It’s not something you can learn. It’s something you are! Something you were born to be! The only thing you will find in school is how to enhance your idea’s and direction using non-ADDer’s educational structure, credentials and scholastic achievement.

    Exactly like Steve Jobs when starting Apple. Documentaries have depicted Jobs as insensitive, mean and unfeeling. I believe he knew that, if diverted from his passion’s direction by listening to others ideas would be pointless. It wasn’t his narcissism or arrogance that made him a perfectionist and demanded everything be done his way. He knew that, if he allowed anyone to change, alter or modify his direction, he would loose his passion. He would loose focus and the company would implode. As soon as Jobs was asked to leave the company and put the educated people in charge, the company began to implode.

    Jobs knew that all along and that’s why he wouldn’t/couldn’t compromise and left. The first thing Jobs did was find his passion in a new project. He did and He and his passion became successful again.

    ADDer’s do one thing better than anyone else… we all have the ability to “hyper/laser focus” on our passion. Do you realize how powerful that fact is? Am I saying; we are all Steve Jobs looking for passion, focus and direction in life? Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying. Look, Jobs had one thing that made him who he was. Focus of passion and the ability to maintain his direction which led to future technology and commerce.

    This is where Steve Jobs lived and created… In the “realm” of “hyper/laser focus”. The birth place of passion, creativity, possibilities, and new direction.

    Personally, I can’t achieve the “realm of hyper/laser focus” without the right strain of pot. Jobs has admitted to using pot. ( so have other billionaires ) How much, how often and to what extent, I don’t know. I do know, that Jobs and others, didn’t know about ADD at the time and self medicated with pot to experience “brainstorming and hyper/laser focus”. If Jobs would have been diagnosed ADD and treated early on, we would still be using a dial-up phone, adding machines and Nickel ad’s to run a business.

    I believe all ADDer’s have this ability because it’s the only way we think. Focus comes with passion. We ADDer’s normally have focus issues. However, when we find our passion, “hyper/laser focus” occurs, and it’s relentless, not giving ground to anything. If the world could function on education alone… “We ADDer’s wouldn’t need to be here to envision and shape the future!

    In my opinion… If all humans were “non-ADD”, we would still be living in caves waiting for instructions.

    • I disagree. There is nothing beneficial about ADD. Not even one little thing. It is entirely negative. You can make up all the BS you want to convince yourself otherwise, but you’re like someone with no arm trying to find the benefit of it. There is none.

      • Reagan Strickland

        I would disagree with that. I have pretty bad ADD and I struggle with my school work. Always have and probably always will have that struggle but being ADD isn’t always bad. I’m an artist and a musician and being ADD has made me come on with different ideas and innovative ways to do my art and music. Its proven that people with ADD are more original and innovative thinkers because we think so many different ideas at once that no one would ever think of. Our brains are just wired differently. We see things differently. To be honest if I wasn’t ADD I don’t think I would be as good as a musician or an artist because I wouldn’t be able to come up with my original ideas.

      • I agree, there isn’t much good about ADD. Unless, you smoke the right strain of pot and achieve hyperfocus to brainstorm and find your passion. ADD is a drag for sure but so is being non-ADD. Being able to focus on boring stuff isn’t my idea of a happy life either.
        You use an example of finding a benefit for no arm. I say… the arm was there all along, you just need a little pot to use it!

        • PTK65

          Hyperfocus isn’t anything special. It’s a defect. It’s SEEMS like an “ability” to you, because periods of intense focus are rare. Most people accomplish focus but can be interrupted. We can’t, we shut out everything else when we “focus” (“hyperfocus”) because we can’t do what everyone else can do – get interrupted and resume what they were doing without much problem. I agree with Russel Barker here, ‘hyperfocus” is BS. It doesn’t even exist. It’s just our INABILITY to break our attention and resume – so we shut everything out. Non ADHD people don’t have to do this – and they focus far better than we do. All the time.

      • Andreas Schiffer

        Whatever you believe in, you will experience! So if you say so to yourself, you´re right. ADD has LOADS of benefits but maybe not if you want to go along the way society and media promotes. I totally agree with greg´s point here. I guess his point is that normally a person with ADD has a widely spread focus on too many things at the same time (chronic over-thinkers) but as one finds ones true passion, that excitement grabs ones full attention and therefor this super laser focus is generated. I am archiving this myself not just by smoking pot but by meditating. Be open for this instead and you might experience it for yourself as well. But if you keep telling yourself that it has nothing good with it, then you will experience that kind of reality. Its your choice 🙂

        • PTK65

          What absolute and total nonsense.

          • Jacob Alexander Hinsvark

            Yup. It’s not just nonsense, it’s just straight insulting. ADHD has no benefits, and if someone thinks they have ADHD and it’s a good thing, that just means they don’t actually have it and are an insensitive person with no compassion for people who actually do suffer from ADHD. It’s just so obnoxious when people who don’t need medication come and belittle the actual need for medication that some people have.

          • Joe Saland

            The top researchers in the field disagree with you. ADDers think differently not wrongly. It is miserable when you are a teenager, I know…been there 20 years ago. I still have ADD today, I still struggle with it every day.

            That said I wouldn’t let you take it away from me either. I sit in a room full of smart people talking about some problem, 9 times out of 10 I see the solution first because my mind can make it from A->D without going through B and C. I graduated college (15 years after high school) with a degree in Physics, 3.96 GPA and was valedictorian of my graduating class. I didn’t even need to crack a book. I rarely did my own homework, generally copying a friends who knew how my mind worked.

            We are highly intuitive and many of the most creative minds in the world have ADD.

            Everyone else in the world has an Attention Surplus Disorder IMHO 🙂

            Proud (and still struggling) ADDer

          • That’s just it – we do not “think differently” – that’s nonsense. We “think” the same way everyone else does.

            We’re less motivated. We do not have the motivational plumbing that “normal” people have.

            We’re inclined – possibly – to points of view others may not have considered, but only in exceptional cases. And exceptional people will always be exceptional, you know, ADHD or not.

          • Joe Saland

            You are sharing opinion. Please do some research and stop spreading hurt driven misinformation. Read about brainscan studies that show how we “think differently”. There is decades of research on topic which disputes how you feel.

        • Naomi

          I agree with you and want to start meditation too.

        • killerunderbite

          It seems that spectrum of ADHD makes it much more exploitable for some than others. But totally agree with what you say above…as they say “Your thoughts become things.” I think that meditation and mindfulness are powerful components to seeing things in a different way.

      • killerunderbite

        Have you read this book? Driven to Distraction. Seminal read for adults with ADHD and ADD.
        ADD and ADHD don’t need to be viewed as “disease”. There is a broad biological spectrum for how our minds work, diversity is part of biology…but the issue is that we live in a time and society that expects all pegs to fit into the same square hole even though our pegs are triangles, circles, hexagons, hearts, etc. Therapy should include not only meds but also knowledge, support groups, therapy, meditation, coaches, etc. If your psychiatrist is not presenting all of this then you may need to find someone else.

        • Naomi

          exactly! Some of us have co-existing problems that need cannabis and a stimulant, I SUFFER from ADD AND FIBROMYALGIA and there is a SUFFERING component to BOTH. I’m going through that redtape now (not having a doctors who present you multiple alternatives) and read the book Driven to Distraction many years ago. 20 years since my diagnosis I still go through a merry-go-round. A doctor who does not know as much as me about ADD is treating me now because I can’t afford to go to a specialist and am going through red tape just to be referred to one. I just have to deal with their ignorance because you can’t exactly walk into CVS and get Adderall off the shelf. They ARE NOT presenting all possibilities and I resent that. Two medications I took were both in that category of MORE controlled substances and they came with hassles too. Its ridiculous to take away narcotics from people with chronic pain conditions then be surprised they turn to cannabis. After years of fighting with doctors just to get the diagnosis, then endured them experimenting on me for years to figure out what works is a nightmare. While I do attribute my laser beam focus at times to being VERY CREATIVE however, survival in life requires, the ability to focus on things we don’t have a passion for. In perfect world focusing on your passion would work, but perfect this world ain’t, therefore we can’t just live our passions because if they aren’t paying the bills YOU WILL SUFFER. The whole Food and Drug Administration is a bogus farce. If I waited on their approval, I’d still be suffering needlessly today. At the end of the day you have to be your own health advocate and do what’s best for you regardless of societal prejudices’ and diss/mis-information.

          • killerunderbite

            ADHD and Fibromyalgia is a tough double whammy. Completely get what you are saying about the inadequacies of the system…I speak from experience since I am a physician (like Dr. Hallowell). The U.S. medical complex is just not set up to deal with conditions like ADHD or fibromyalgia, it is really best at reactively fixing acute problems like broken bones, appendicitis, etc…and merely offers a salve for psych and neurogenic issues. I was just recently diagnosed and am exploring a bunch of options myself, including stimulants, supplements, nootropics, meditation, support groups, and therapy. I know I am in a fortunate position to be able to afford some of these things but not all of them cost money…but they do take time/commitment/logistics. Hopefully you are in a state where medical cannabis is legal if that works for you…I’ve heard a lot of good things about cannabidiol oral sprays for pain (although haven’t pursued it myself yet). Anyways, good luck with your journey…I am trying to maintain a positive outlook myself but challenge is life.

          • DebrinaMaria

            Omg, you are so right. I know so many others who have and are enduring the same problems. To many chronic pain victims suffer and can not get the medications they desperately need. And there are way to many people that do not have any pain problems whatsoever or ADHD or ADD or anything else. They are just getting meds to get high. It hurts the ones who truly suffer. I have read many articles regarding this very thing. You said it the best, you have to be your own health advocate and do what’s best for you regardless of societal prejudices’ and diss/miss-information.

        • Yaco Ale

          it is a disease
          autism, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, they are all diseases but they created great painters, poets, scientists or whatever
          they are still diseases and if you have any of them you are more likely not going to be a great painter, poet or scientist
          you are better off without them

          • Austin Savidge

            I wouldn’t say that it’s a disease. I have ADD and I don’t consider it a disease. A brain defect yes, but not a disease. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 7 years old. I’m 18 now and I have increased the dosage enough to the point where I have to take 108 mg of Concerta a day (2 36 mg pills at breakfast and 1 36 mg pill at lunch). And even with such a high dosage I still found it hard to focus. I still take my concerta but I also started smoking pot. Ever since I have started I have been able to focus more and I’ve been more productive than ever. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for pot.

          • Ken Whitten

            I have found adderall increases the effectiveness of pot which I have been smoking for 46 years. Maybe the pot is increasing the effectiveness of your medicine.

      • Nolan

        Your feelings about ADHD are totally valid and it SUCKS having ADHD, however I personally like how my brain works. It’s a real asshole. A real fucking asshole every single day. But alas, sometimes but I like how my weird brain does things. I’m a great problem solver and a fantastic brainstormer, and very creative (even if I’m exceptionally uneven about following through). For me personally, I feel some positives.

      • Yaco Ale

        I cant agree, objectively people with ADD are more creative but creativity is glorified by dweebs like OP
        you are also a dweeb

    • Villabolo

      I think that you have a different type of ADD then most others. Most ADD sufferers don’t have that “hyper/laser focus” that you mentioned. I, for example, am very creative but the ADD keeps me from putting that creativity in writing (I’m a writer).
      I would give anything to have such focus even for just a couple hours per day.

      • Thank you for your post Villabolo. I need to clarify myself… First, I can’t give you a clear cut definition of hyper focus. I know what it means to me. It only happens when I have smoked the right strain of pot together with a passion to know something, solve a problem or brainstorm new ideas and possibilities. We’ve all heard this all our lives, but it’s so true. Find your passion in what you want to do and creativity flows. I get up every morning 2 hours before anyone else, alone and quiet! I make a super strong pot of coffee (French Roast) smoke sativa pot, and sit and wait for things to start to flow. The key is… let your mind take you where it wants to go.
        Our mind knows exactly what we want and need. This is where passion is the most attainable because in this “free zone” there are no boundaries, no pre-conceived direction. People don’t seem to realize how intelligent they really are if they would just shut up, sit still and listen to the depth and genius of themselves. At this point, overwhelming excitement turns to passion because you begin to see possibilities not realized or seen before. My energy level goes thru the roof because I’m motivated, excited and full of positive expectations. Now, I’m in the “hyperfocus zone” I can’t shut it off and will stay there for days until I’m thoroughly exhausted and stop the process. The results are amazing and often genius.

      • PTK65

        hyper focus is when you shut everything out in order to concentrate on what you’re doing. If you’re doing something and someone has to actually slap you to get your attention, that’s “hyperfocus”. It isn’t any more productive than a normal person’s focus. It’s a defect because we have to shut everything out in order to achieve what everyone else does anyway. It does feel nice, though.

        • Joe Saland

          Stop being so ridiculous. You may feel this way but you are not the majority. You sound bitter that you are not like others, like you got a raw deal. God gave you a beautiful brain, it just works differently. Learn how to deal with it and learn how to leverage it in your life like many who came before you.

          • No, you just do not understand the difference between someone who has to bullshit themselves to get through life and someone who does not.

          • Joe Saland

            How old are you? You don’t know me so don’t pretend you do. How long have you lived with this disorder?

    • Jacob Alexander Hinsvark

      This is asinine. You clearly do not understand what it is like to have severe ADHD, how dare you belittle our problem by saying we just haven’t found our passion. I know my passion. I love science, especially biology; when I am able to focus on it I am so happy and it makes sense to me so I love it. The problem is that BECAUSE I HAVE ADHD I CANNOT FOCUS ON IT. It’s totally normal to not be able to focus on stuff you don’t like, that’s not ADHD; it’s when you can’t even focus on the stuff you love that it is a serious problem. When I take my meds I feel like a whole new person, vibrant and full of life like when I was a child, but without them I am a twitchy, anhedonic person who never gets anything done. I hate people like you who look down on people like me who need medication because you think not taking meds somehow makes you better; literally the ONLY thing the fact that you don’t need meds means is that YOU DON’T HAVE ADHD. So just keep your ignorance and arrogance to yourself please.

  • Jamie Curry

    Diagnosed with ADHD as a child and still suffering the difficulty in managing tasks and still have the hyperactiveness I see Cannabis as a medicine to treat my condition. I’m highly creative when smoking the correct strain and very unmotivated when smoking the opposite and even more so when without. When smoking I feel like a creative scientist having the need to draw having bits of paper strewn around the place, if I’m not drawing I urge something creative like picking up the guitar……listening to music on one hand has always been my favourite activity. However, getting back on queue, having smoked different strains, it’s easy to assess that some strains don’t work with my psychological makeup having intense paranoia and very clumsy outsets……this usually happens with more indica dominant strains, however, when smoking more sativa dominant strains my mind races and urges creativity feeling at one with the universe and others. As explained earlier like a creative scientist seeking the adventure and research of creativity. To me, cannabis has always been seen as a medicine even though others will criticise….taking the wrong medication “strain” may do metal harm but taking the right medication will set you on the right path…… don’t take morphine for a headache but it helps =)

    • the real ksi

      Please give me advice: My son is 14 and was diagnosed with ADHD/Depression. he was taking 5 pills every morning that his doctor gave him. And always going up. He just stopped/said he hates pills. What is the best marijuana for him ?

  • GKH

    Had my first trial with a low dose CBD edible and ‘my-oh-my’ did it ever work like a charm. I’ve been on 15mg adderall for just over a month which I take as early as I can in the morning (set my alarm earlier or have my lovely gf pop one in my mouth if she’s up earlier) and it’s working really well for me. I injested half of a 6mg CBD mini cookie in the evening around 8pm and went for a nice paced walk with my gf. I felt really good overall in terms of my mood with a real sense of ease and calming as opposed to the usual evening ‘adderall anxiety’ that kicks in around 4pm and follows me home from work. and I also felt quite limber and loose in my shoulders and back (where I tend to carry all of my anxiety and tension). I would highly recommend giving it a try to see for yourself, especially for those on low dose adderall like myself.

  • I have ADD and have been a lifelong weed smoker, but it doesn’t do much for ADD. The main thing it does is reduce the frustration and anger with waiting and definitely helps with regulating emotions. I mean, weed pretty much zaps the amygdala, which is a definite bonus for ADD folks. It also floods the brain with dopamine (the thing we lack) so it does work a little, but being stoned effectively nullifies the benefits of that. It is not as effective (not even close) as stimulants, but stimulants stop working very quickly (2-3 months); MJ does not.

    • Jason Pearson

      I’m not educated on the subject at all, trying to learn. You say yourself that being stoned nullifies the benefits, would it be wrong to assume that if you used CBD oil, so without the THC, you might still have the benefits without being stoned? Just trying to find out more information for my brother, he’s struggling real bad is all.

      • PTK65

        I don’t think. I believe it’s the dopamine release caused by getting stoned that is the magic. So THC-less pot is pretty useless.

      • Wendy Ramirez

        I have ADD really bad and was having a hard time doing my job. My doctor wanted to put me on ritalin and I started researching CBD oil. I am a professional and do not want to be high at work. I started using CBD oil and my thoughts are clear. It is not a miracle drug, but I can manage my symptoms. If I make lists I am good to go!

      • Mercy

        You need to use CBD with THC. Pure CBD is ineffective

  • Brad Muldoon

    Im 16 years old and i am from the United Kingdom where cannabis is currently illegal, i was diagnosed with adhd at the age of 5,and with those eleven years of development and getting to understand adhd, i can 100% say that the past 3 years of smoking cannabis has benefited me more than the prescription drugs i was taking up until 12 years old aka ritalin concerta and methylphenidate, the prescribed drugs had huge side effects and consequences that were inflicted over so many years, i had headaches everyday i wasnt eating due to the loss of appetite which also meant i wasnt putting on weight so finally i made my own decision to stop the meds stop going to the doctors all down to being uncomfortable with the way i was living, about a year later i was introduced to weed by an older group of friends, after smoking it for quite a while i was starting to realise the side effects were the complete opposite to the legal drugs i was taking and it was helping with concentration, the eating, and it all around chills me out calms me down and makes my day more enjoyable without the constant hyperactivity. Obvcourse being from a country where marijuana is illegal alot of people have a completely different view on the subject than people from canada or Amsterdam, because in the uk weed has been looked down upon so much for so many years that people would rather see it for its bad aspects rather than its benefits for people who need it the most. All in all from my own personal experience marijuana does co-operate with adhd spectacularly well minus the side effects.

    • off grid

      Also way better on your whole body, cannabis has been around for over 1000years they found weed pipes bongs in the pyramids still with thc resin !! a Fantastic find!!

    • I’m 15. An older group of friends introduced it to me to the idea because they do it like I want it but I don’t want it because my mom and I had a recent conversation how she’d never approve if she ever found out I was doing drugs. I take the highest dosage of Vyvanse fo ADHD, and it’s not working like it used to and it’s getting worse. Iv’e been on Adderal and Ritalin in the past but it never worked to well for me. Ive been on vyvanse for maybe 7

      • João Coelho

        Talk to your mom. it’s ok to take adderal and ritaling but it isn’t to try marijuana? Have a serious conversation with her

      • Ken Whitten

        I started smoking when I was 14 and it seemed to be the secret to life. I am 60 now and still smoke. It’s a long time and I can tell you I never came close to what my potential was which is fine with me. Eventually any drug can lose effect or in my case maybe cause anxiety, which is not fun for a laid back pot smoker. I am just being treated now because it wasn’t a real thing back then. The adderall works great for me. You do have the benefit of knowing what adhd is and hopefully have a fulfilling happy life.

      • I’ve been alternating between adderall and vyvanse every month, and it’s been working better that either alone. I’m also very treatment resistant, after a few months of adderall, I could not tell the difference between a day with it and a day without it. Initially the effect was profound.

        • Rhonda Kent

          That seems to be my son. Works for a little while than doesn’t. I am going to be asking for Vyvance instead.

    • Yaco Ale

      you shouldnt smoke if you are below the age of 20 something
      this is huge and nobody fucking knows or cares about, pot takes nutrients your brain needs while developing
      you wont die if you smoke daily since youre 12 but you will definetely lose IQ points

      its not propaganda or any of the sort, pot is literally harmless if you are over 20 something when your brain stopped developing

      you should look it up

      • Bigdaddy Dre

        Actually, this is false. I’m 42 yrs old, and I’ve been smoking weed, since I was 19. I was diagnosed with ADD, when I was 5. Stopped taking the meds, when I was 6. The next 13 yes, was hell, except when I was on the football field, which was pretty much an outletfor my hyperactivity.
        My senior year, when I began to smoke, my grades improved, significantly. In taking an IQ test, that yr, I scored an 89.
        More recently, as I had to take a psych eval, for a custody case, my IQ is now 108. That’s basically 30 whole points.
        Just numbers? Yeah. I agree. But, overall, I feel more intellectual, now. Hell, I’m even writing a book. I better choices, when I’m high. I can perform my daily tasks, without confusion, aside from all of society looking down at me, for being a “pothead”.
        It prevented me from getting a decent paying job. It pretty much fucked my life up. But, only because of societies opinion. “Marijuanas bad, so I’m bad for using it”. But, I’m probly one of the nicest caring, and real people, you’llever meet in your life. And, I just wanna be normal, without side effects that will give me headaches, loss of appetite, internal bleeding, heart attack, and whatever else.
        People also say, weed is a depressant. When have you ever seen a group of depressed people, sitting around giggling, for 45 minutes?

        • Nobody noticed I had ADD until I was 12. Even then teachers were reluctant to accept that my grades and behaviour were anything but immaturity. At age 16 I started smoking cannabis (hash, pot, skunk) and within 1 year my grades improved and my concentration was focussed. I eventually smoked weed every day from age 20 to 34, all this time getting a bachelors in multimedia design and maintaining a job. But in the end all weed did for me was cause headaches an fatigue. I’m now 41 and I’ve seen a slight relapse in ADD symptoms in the 7 years since I stopped. I’m maintaining my job and family life but I keep wondering if my bigger issue is ADD or weed. I’ve been considering maybe going back to a joint or two a week. It wouldn’t affect me negatively but I suspect it would actually help.

        • Yaco Ale

          it is not false
          research has been done, you should look it up

          19 is a safe age to start smoking tho, safer than 13 or 15 when you can lose up to 7 iq points with heavy use
          pot can help a lot with your focus, IQ tests dont measure your intelligence, you scoring 89 might have to do more with the fact that you werent as focused at the time of the test

          “It prevented me from getting a decent paying job. It pretty much fucked my life up. But, only because of societies opinion”
          still, it fucked your life up. how can you reccomend the thing that fucked your life up?

          “People also say, weed is a depressant. When have you ever seen a group of depressed people, sitting around giggling, for 45 minutes?”
          I dont giggle anymore and I havent in like years, pot’s high is different for me now in comparison to when I started smoking and I bet it is for you too.
          pot makes some people depressed, me included. I dont intend to stop smoking, I just adapted to that fact and I use it more responsibly because I dont like feeling depressed.
          I know potheads that eat like shit, never leave their house and live surrounded with filth. they are depressed and pot isnt helping them one bit. I love pot and I think it should be legal because its stupid that it isnt (if tobacco and alcohol are legal then there’s no reason why pot shouldnt be too, given the fact that pot is much less harmful than those two) but denying its possible side effects and disadvantages is retarded
          its dangerous to think that pot is harmless, it might mostly be harmless but it can do a fucking lot of harm on some people
          and talking from experience, do you know how scary, frustrating, enraging and unfair is to find out that you might’ve fucked up your brain? because you believed everyone when they told you pot is harmless?
          I cant shake the feeling that I might’ve made a terrible mistake that I will be paying for the rest of my life

          • SketchySketcher

            I am sure you may have noticed, but it’s just like any other popular drug or drink or whatever the hell your poison is, the side effect deniers “It didn’t happen to me! Must not be true, let me spread the word!” Every. Single. Time. So, people, yes! You can have negative side effects caused by the beauty, MJ. All I can do is recommend that you wait to start smoking until your brain is done with its development, somewhere between 23-25. All of you people claiming add/adhd should know when your brain stops development because its an extremely important number, diagnosed after 25? Adhd for the rest of your life. Diagnosed at 7? You have a chance to develop out of it, that’s what the drugs are used for, to help teach your brain how to work properly before its too late! Too late for you? Well, besides medications, there are other ways to help cope and manage, wont be going into all that.
            @bradmuldoon:disqus , do you realize the medications they gave you as a child may be the reason you got better? I understand you were having difficulties near the end, but maybe that was your body telling you it was done with it? Soon after stopping the drug things were better for you, thats how they work, its unlikely that you suddenly got smarter from smoking MJ. People with add/adhd are generally hyper sensitive to the things going on around them, your brain may have developed to the point it didnt need the drug anymore, but that doesnt mean you suddenly are not sensitive to whats going on around you, most likely you have better situational awareness than most others you spend time with (am I right?), so when you smoke the pot, it may relax you enough so you can focus on whats going on. Depending on how big a dab I do, I can either get more energy, relax enough to focus, or I turn into a fool who can’t remember what the heck I am supposed to be doing.
            All in all, ladies and gentlemen, treat it like anything else, be responsible and smoke on!

          • Wakak


          • Wakak


          • Emily Earlenbaugh

            Actually.. you should look it up. New research invalidated the claims that pot is harmful to the young brain. The old research had poor methodology and didn’t account for confounding factors like tobacco use, poverty, and disability which are also correlated with both cannabis use and poor academic achievement later in life. The best science does not support this claim about children being especially vulnerable to cannabis’ effects.

          • sweetqueen777

            I must agree. I started smoking weed when I was about 14, and I know that I am not as smart as I used to be. (Near Genius.) There were other drugs involved as well, during my teen years and early 20’s. It is best to allow your developing brain and personality to grow and mature, before you begin the use of psychoactive substances. That being said, my son would not have made it through school without pharmaceutical assistance, and he now smokes weed daily, to self medicate for his anxiety and anger issues. This sadly, limits his job selection, as he cannot pass a drug test. There are a lot of factors to consider with this issue.

        • Chris Pedersen

          Almost 30 points? That’s only 19 points man.. Not saying that it didn’t help but the math there is definitely way off.

          • alvaln

            Chris, iq is scaled relative to the population. If IQ was a fixed value, Dre would have seen somewhere around a 30 point increase.

          • Chris Pedersen

            Yeah my point was he did his math incorrectly.

        • Jane

          @Bigdaddy Dre – Late to the party, I know, but marijuana is considered a ‘depressant’ because it ‘depresses’ your major body systems. It relaxes the central nervous system, slows your heart rate, respiration, pulse & smooth muscle contractions. It doesn’t cause the mental disorder depression, but a lot of depressed people smoke pot for the same reason they use other drugs or alcohol – to self-medicate. As the article stated, pot increases the availability of dopamine in the brain, so in people with clinical depression, it works the same way many antidepressants do – so in this case, self-medicating with pot is not as much of a problem as self-medicating with say, heroin.

          • jminion

            Jane reread the article, you missed a key component in what was being said, quote: “Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine,” Dr. Bearman wrote. “This then has the same effect 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.” “Put simply, the compounds found in cannabis, called cannabinoids, could potentially correct the dopamine deficiency observed in ADD/ADHD patients if dosed appropriately and administered safely. Even in its raw form, cannabis is able to provide the mental slowdown necessary for concentration in many patients. Boring and arduous tasks become more manageable, and mood swings tend to level out.”

            The problem as you describe it is nothing like heroin.

          • Jane

            I see the humor in the line about heroin was too subtle for this forum.

          • DrTCH

            The reasoning you cite makes very little sense. You DON’T WANT a “mental slowdown,” for crying out loud!!! You want decreased distractibility and INCREASED focus and initiative. …AND the article DOES not specify which strains. Very sloppy work on the part of this online article. Of course folks must ALSO understand that ADD is NOT the same as ADHD. In my case, for the record, it is ADD. I guess I could add that the effect is not quite the same with Ritalin as with other stimulants, such as meth-amphetamine. The latter may render one very nervous and “hyper,” while the former acts in a more “inner” way. Even some physicians DON’T GET THIS!!!

          • I don’t see this ever working. I love weed, but the effect doesn’t last very long and I really don’t want to be stoned all the time. I do use it for the reasons stated, but it has many drawbacks.

        • Wakak


          • Wakak


      • Wendy Krebs-kelly

        I am 55 years old and I have been smoking pot since I was 15. My IQ I can tell you has improved immensely since I left high school. My 16 year old son has ADD, aspergers. as well as mild autism. He has just barely passed most of his grades. Since being in high school and after discussing this with his father and I, he now takes chocolate edibles to school with him. Two very small pieces. When he didn’t have the chocolate and he had a math test, his score was in low 60s. For the last few months with the chocolate his last math test he got 97%.

      • disqus_vFpxsA3tYC

        you are an uneducated fool who would rather trust what the government says instead of doing whats right for our body.
        You think western medicine gives a crap about getting you better they just want to prescribe meds that have more debilitating side effects, than Marijuana will ever do.
        I would suggest you do some research on this plant before you choose to comment. I was also a Ritalin child so you have no idea what that treatment was like for me and my friend who was also diagnosed with adhd. look at my comment above

      • Wakak


        • Wakak


          • Wakak


      • Marjorie Hague

        Definitely agree, pot has been shown to have side effects on the developing brain.

    • SketchySketcher

      I would like to add that I do not want to downplay the benefits you may be getting from cannabis use, I just wanted to clarify that the “it didnt happen to me, so it must not be true” isn’t a valid argument against scientifically documented research. (Not to say someone doing a study cant fudge the results for a fat pay check, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Hope you are doing well and smoke on!

  • Jacob Alexander Hinsvark

    I’ve always used weed to deal with ADHD, but it never really did the trick. It made me focused and calm, but it also made me to lazy to get up and use that focus for anything relevant. I started taking Ritalin and it works like a charm to calm and focus me, but I couldn’t smoke weed on it or I’d get anxious. I missed the taste of weed though and wanted to smoke something so I bought some CBD weed. All I can say is be cautious when mixing CBD with ADHD meds, it can have just as adverse a reaction as THC. I say this because most people who post here tout the benefits, but it’s worth knowing the risks as well. When I smoked a bowl of the CBD weed (20:1 ratio, almost no THC) on my Ritalin it made me extremely restless and unable to sit still; it also made me feel less focused, like my mental energy was being transferred back to physical energy. It’s literally like the CBD completely reversed the effects of my Ritalin. It’s definitely not for everyone, just like any other drug it can have bad side effects.

    • Carmen

      I have adhd and I am on biphentin (same chemical as ritalin- methylphenidate) and it works great for me. I just bought some CBD oil with no THC content. Last night (about 12 hours after I took my biphentin) I took some CBD oil and I felt totally fine. I felt relaxed and focused.

      This morning, I took some CBD at the same time I took my biphentin. I felt dizzy and distracted, extremely unfocused. I noticed it was difficult for me to respond to people I was talking to.

      I was happy to see someone had the same experience as me!

  • Jameel Kouara

    I was diagnosed at age 4 but was never put on ritalin like the doctor wanted, i was lucky enough to have a parent that never put me on that shit!
    Cannabis helps to regulate emotions and the hyperactivity for me. Even when i first smoked (age 12/13) I remember the feeling of all the cluttered thoughts slowed way down and I coud focus on one particular thing.

  • MG Deegan

    I am ADHD


    I am 20, I get damn great stuff to smoke. I am not completely sure if I have ADHD or not, but story isn’t about it.

    When I smoke pot, doesn’t matter, with best friends or alone, I always feel bad.

    When I am with my friends, I am always awkward, can be easily manipulated, played with, making fun off. I start feeling cold, I shake, I am counting the minutes to leave the place, but I get this paranoid feeling “what others will think about me, they will start to speak less with me”. Paranoia.Paranoia.Paranoia

    When I smoke alone, it’s a completely different story. I get the best food I love eating during and before smoking pot. When I start to puff, first 3 minutes are as usual, eyes become heavier. As soon as I decide to play video games or watching TV programs…

    The only thing I notice is how people behave, it’s like, I’m trying to read their minds, to find the solutions, the next things they are going to say. SO MANY thoughts makes me paranoid, my prostate start to burn, i might even start choking, like wtf?

    I was smoking for 6 years weekly basis ,didn’t smoke for already half of the year. The process of weed which happens in my mind is impossible to describe. I start to think about multiple theories, and when I get into it, a lot, I start to become even more paranoid, start to hear things which didn’t actually happen. I was asking myself, “am I dying?” “Did I find the truth to all of my questions?”, “Or, I am just insane even thinking about the ideas I’m thinking about right now. So much stress, so much anxiety, so much panic. I feel that everyone are against me, that danger is right there, behind the corner. I am getting insane.

    This is a very brief story of my life… Because of… Weed???

    • Yaco Ale

      Im the same, you sound like you have social anxiety
      social anxiety and pot dont mix well
      I advise you to smoke less when you are with people, I try to not smoke enough so that Im too stoned to hold a conversation and also I drink a little to soften myself
      dont drink too much if you are going to smoke and viceversa, do a little of both or you will end up wasted. pot and alcohol are synergetic

      btw, it wouldnt be weird that you also had depression and ADHD
      they usually come together

    • Jessica Louise Dalziel

      Actually its nothing like
      what buddy just said. I am a Cannabinoid Therapeutic Educator (fancy term for Cannabinoid Nurse), your THC level is probably toooo high. I am going to probably assume by your age your not prescribed, which means your purchasing street cannabis. Well known for high THC levels and causes many side effects, paranoia ,paranoia, paranoia is one of them. Increased heart rate, shakes, etc.
      Maybe look for weak THC strains. Too many people are manipulating marijuana, street stuff you cannot guarantee your CBD vs THC ratio or percentages. You cannot guarantee pesticides, fungicides were used, or if mould is present, or if it was even harvested at proper times.
      Go medically if you can!

      • Tamara Monteilh

        It’s hard to get lab reports even if you get medical grade cannabis

  • Yaco Ale

    ADD here, no hyperactivity whatsoever
    with pot I can focus a lot, like a lot. its like the best nootropic but it only works on things I like
    I cant study for shit, I cant hold a proper conversation and I forget the subject while im talking about it, I burn anything I put on the stove but im a fucking god on any game especially fps, I flick and quickscope like its nobody’s business

    I definetely feel that my ADD is worse the day after, I get this feeling like im high even if the last time I smoked was 12/18 hours before
    but its not like a pot high, its different. I can tell because I feel kinda slow, sluggish and like I have a hard time focusing
    its hard to explain, its like being high on pot but without the fun part

    pot is amazing and I love it but it is incompatible with anyone with ADD and in college imo

    • Carmen

      Have you tried CBD oil or something?

      • Yaco Ale

        I don’t have access to it atm but I intend to

        • Lisa Butts-Heide

          it helps, and its legal in calgary. improving my add symptoms.
          the oil drops three times a day seem to improve my focus.

  • James

    My 16 year old son has add. Shortly after he turned 15 he lost his best friend in a tragic accident. A few months after that some kids at school told him smoking marijuana would help him cope. Guess what. He liked it a lot. Now he memorizes pro cannabis websites to tell him that pot is the best thing in the world. He says that it is way better in helping him than concerta. You tell me. His average grade in school is a D. He was fortunate 2 teachers gave him D- on finals otherwise he would have failed 3 classes. He smokes pot before school, after school, and at night before bed. Thats during the week. Pretty much always smoking on the weekends. He lives in his bathroom/closet except when sleeping. Yes he smokes in our house. Not our choice. Our basement smells awful. When we take his stuff we are met with anger from hell. He runs away. He threatens that he is gonna take his life. Now he has a girlfriend. Her mom was pregnant in high school. Her mom doesn’t care that she smokes pot. Its a normal thing in their house. That is a scary situation for us. He used to be a 2 sport athlete. Now he does 0 sports. Maybe he is quitting because our school is starting random drug testing for athletes and he knows he will never pass one. Claims he only played sports for his mom. He never liked them. He has great athleticism. He has given up all of his friends that he used to hang with for all the kids that get into trouble. He leaves our house without asking. Admits he drives high. He steals from his siblings and us. Money and things that he can sell. Lies about stuff even when he is caught red handed. The text he sends to his mom are the most hurtful things in the world. Doesn’t seem to care when I remind him that she lost her mom when she was a senior in high school. Tells her to FUCK OFF on a regular basis. Thats not the way he was raised. He blames us for raising him to softly. Maybe he is right. Both of us were raised in a way which we did not want to raise our kids. Yes maybe we gave our kids to much and let them have the easy life. I can’t change that. We wanted our kids to have the best of everything and we are capable of doing it. All we asked for was respect which we got from our kids until he started smoking. I think that marijuana can help with a lot of things. I actually even support it to be legalized. But for kids and adults that have no self control it doesn’t work. Its just getting high and using medical reasons as an excuse. For my son it completely changed his life and not in a good way. He doesn’t even see whats happened. He claims he is happier than he has ever been. I know thats not true. I am sure I forgot lots of issues but hopefully I made my point. It doesn’t cure anything. Just makes things worse from my standpoint.

    • Yaco Ale

      It’s really important that he stops now
      Pot is really harmful for teens, it takes nutrients that your brain needs to develop
      It can lead to a loss of several IQ points
      When I find out I was shocked, I felt like I might have done a irreparable damage that I didn’t even know could even happen
      Look it up, heavy pot users under the age of 20 something can lose up to 7 IQ points I think

      • Wendy Krebs-kelly

        My husband’s IQ was tested when he was in grade school and then again in High School. He graduated High School, grade 13, with honours. He has about 8 awards for Achievement. He has smoked pot all along. Fast forward 30 years. He was injured on the job and through WSIB had to go in to retraining etc., as he was told by his surgeon he would not return to his previous job, ever. They deemed him eligible for 3 years of College. (he had 2 years of college as a teen, however had to leave for circumstances beyond his control). He went and had testing done. He was deemed genius IQ again ( that was the conclusion of his first 2 IQ tests in early years). After all that pot smoking you would think his IQ has gone down, it has not. I myself have been smoking since I was 15. My IQ has never wavered. I don’t allow my 16 year old son to smoke pot. He does however eat edibles as he has been diagnosed with ADD, Aspergers and mild Autism. He was a terrible student through the years. First year of high school was rough. Once he started eating the edibles (and we allow him to vape every once and a while) his grades in Math (was his worst subject) went from low 60’s before eating edibles. His tests afterwards have shown quite an improvement. His last math test his score was 97%. His average for math is now 82%.

        • Kathy Hoyt

          How many milligrams does your son take per day?

    • This sounds like my teen years, self-medicating as an escapist solution to coping with a lot of pain. When we are escaping from dealing with pain, our psyche experiences something similar to cognitive dissonance–I know this is wrong, but I can’t stop because I’m afraid to feel what I’m trying to understand about myself, so I hate myself, but I know this is wrong”–this is a negative feedback loop.
      3 years ago I tried a puff and was amazed at how different my brain felt. I started exploring V E R Y carefully, looking at Limonene, Pinene and myrcene in particular among the terpenes, combining certain strains in MICRO DOSES with ADD meds (Adderall + Celexa). Still struggling, and still have many misgivings as many others have expressed. Am I fooling myself? Is the net outcome positive? Certainty resides in only a few strains: Green Queen is the ultimate focus without muscle tension or anxiety. ChemDawg added helps synergize and lengthen the effect of any Sativa-dominant strain. Pink Lemonade is the perfect uplift and mood improvement in the evening when severe depression was my main side-effect of coming off adderall, ruining family time. PL also has a 45 minute creep effect that keeps the transition smooth and ends with a window of sleepiness to get to bed without muscle tension and racy thoughts from adderall. Many others that have different effects, keeping good records is essential.

      It’s complex as hell, and I’m getting yearly IQ/personality/ADD assessment testing to track my brain chemistry for any trend. Today is my first counseling session to work on med-management and I hope to get into group therapy for reducing the behaviors that come from years of coping strategies that are not all positive or effective. My parents had to kick me out at 18 and after a year on my own I could no longer ignore the shambles my life had become, but I had very strong, loving upbringing and roots that I returned to to get the help I needed. Your child does not seem to have that history. I strongly recommend you sit in on an Al-Anon meeting in your area. 12-step is a powerful multi-tool for dealing with addictive behaviors. As a parent or loved one, the best way to help him is to get help. You need to learn how to live with this suffering person who is so manipulative and self-centered that he can’t let himself (the real kid you remember) to be there. It’s so easy to make it worse…tread carefullty and let LOVE be your guide. Also, look at the differences between depression and grief,which I also am working through. This boy may simply be coping with grief, and just knowing that is the main driver may be a huge relief for him. It certainly was for me. It can mean the difference between feeling sad and thinking it’s better not to live. God bless!

  • Miguel Arellano

    When I read “Basically the brain is overwhelmed with too much information coming too fast. In ADHD, the brain is cluttered with and too aware of all the nuances of a person’s daily experience.” I was happy because that explained a lot haha I thought I was just weird; being a little too aware of danger and such.

  • Carmen

    I’m not sure about what this article is saying, I have no bad side effects whatsoever from my methylphenidate prescription. I’m not addicted or troubled by it in any way. It saved my life. I feel ideal and the last semester of school I had was the best of my life.

    Lots of people posting in how about how smoking weed helps them to focus. I think CBD is valuable in the focus department, but I do not think THC is. I think they are enabling themselves, convincing themselves that it’s medically necessary for them to chemically alter their reality every day.

    If you have ADHD and you want or need chemical alteration to help you focus, don’t knock all the prescription medications out there. Sometimes you have to try a few before you find the one that works. For some ADHD’ers, only methylphenidate works. For others, only the amphetamine works. If you want to try natural alternatives, go for CBD or a diet change. Save the THC for special occasions.

    • Feel the same way about Adderall XR.Would not have graduated, kept jobs, finished degree or been a capable spouse without it. That being said, it does not do as much for increasing focus or decreasing anxiety and impulsivity. Focus and anxiety have been largely addressed with micro-doses of specific strains that work for me. Green Queen is a magic bullet. I couldn’t believe how clear and structured my mental process became, with NO negative side effects like drowsiness, giggles or talkativeness. Green Crack, Durban Poison and Jack Herer hybrids Jack Frost and Galactic Jack also very good. 3-5 calyxes from a 12% – 16% THC bud will make a single dose of about 600-800 micrograms (smoked). Barely felt, but it makes all the difference. Very different from getting “high”.

  • Beverley Hughes

    Pot is not what it was years ago. I recently went to a pot store in Colorado and was blown away by the different types. I tried two and they are eons apart in the experience. If they do studies, I hope they will identify the TYPES that they are using and give conclusive results. This article could send people off to purchase pot that will not have the desired affect on them.

  • I have ADD with a severe working memory (1st percentile) deficiency, and have, on and off, been a lifelong weed smoker. I am 51. I would say mj treats some symptoms, and makes some worse. It certainly helps with patience and emotional control. It does not help with motivation, working memory or procrastination. In any case, I feel amphetamines are a more effective treatment but amphetamines are useless once you’ve built a tolerance to them, which happens rather quickly – after a few months I could not tell the difference between a day with adderall and a day without. At least the tolerance to THC can be reset rather quickly – 12 days or so. To reset adderall takes an excruciating 12 months or more. Which means adderall gives you around 3 months a year of semi-normalcy. I disagree with doctors who say just keep taking it. After a brief treatment period adderall is pointless. At least with MJ I can keep my anger and frustrations in check. It is very important to stay away from self medicating with alcohol which I think many of us are drawn to because of its availability. Now that is a catastrophe.

  • Jojo Appiah

    Hi everyone I have enjoyed reading the comments below and yes I did find out recently after 30 years I’m ADD+ ,(which totally explained my lack of focus for so many years and inability to finish projects I started) I’ve been smoking marijuana on and off for a while but realized it gave me focus sometimes and sometimes it didn’t …then I found out what the real problem was I was smoking mostly indica’s…my life has changed ever since I switched to sativa’s ONLY ..I started having better focus without the couch monkey feeling I could plan shit better and heck I was able to create MailOnX , the first email client for the xbox (even got an article about it in pcworld) and made close to $1million doing it all in the space of 1 year (I was dirt broke before then), If you have ADD /ADHD you really should be looking at Sativa strains instead of Indica strains…my all time favorite is Green crack because it gives me maximum focus without the feeling of being extremely high and great for all day functionality. Please remember… Sativa’s and not Indica’s.

  • Dakukira97

    Im 20 years old going to a super competitive liberal arts college, and I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD ever since I was 12 and began showing symptoms of Narcolepsy. I’ve been on several different doses and regiments of Focalin and Provigil, and am currently on 40mg xr dose of focalin daily + 5mg tablets for when I need to complete school work in the evenings. I have been smoking regularly since probably my Senior year of HS and I initially started to deal with my motivation and confidence crippling depression. Smoking a few times a week initially allowed me a sense of purpose and drive that only my medications have made me feel, without the complete loss of appetite, it also just made me feel happy.
    I’m in my 3rd year of college now and I’ve struggled dealing with my Narcolepsy Depression, and ADHD, here at school. While my medication works well enough for me to be awake and function, once I leave classes to go home and the medications wear off I’m stuck in this very frustrating state of limbo, being awake enough to do things, but not being focused or motivated enough to do school work or other business. I take Wellbutrin as well and I find that my depression doesnt hit nearly as hard any longer, but as I’ve grown this past decade, pumping my body with sometimes abusive amounts of prescription stimulants to make it to and through college, I realize how much I disdain being dependent on these medications to function. The reason why I’ve continued to smoke weed regularly as I can is because it provides enough stimulation especially after I’ve taken some of my meds, to actually allow myself to accomplish things. While the anti-depressants have done much to deal with my clinical depression, I find that smoking the right amount has the same uplifting effect as my medications. I literally can’t just choose not to take my medications any more because narcolepsy is a fickle and unpredictable condition, but I’ve found that unless I irresponsibly get too high, smoking weed never hinders my ability to function more than it already is. Being that I function at 50-70% normally, weed combined with my medications in the right proximity allows me to use the high to accomplish anything that I was too stressed, unmotivated or depressed to, and because I’m used to working with and learning with a brain thats rarely at 100%, using weed in an intentional and purposeful way has surely helped the symptoms of my Narcolepsy, Depression, and ADHD. Recently because of financial constraints I havent been smoking nearly as much, or as often as I used to, and I notice that because of it I feel even more dependent on my meds which in turn makes me even more anxious because as an alternative I’d gladly use medical marijuana to replace even one of my prescriptions, because unlike the amphetamines that I’ve fed to my body for the past decade, Marijuana doesn’t kill, can’t be overdosed on, and isn’t a chemical compound made in a lab for the profit of the pharmaceutical industry. I have been more depressed and stressed recently…..when I’m not high and I feel that in this way I’m somewhat dependent on Marijuana, but honestly I’d rather be dependent on something that doesn’t force me into shitty dietary habits, migraines, increased anxiety, high-blood pressure, insomnia, and that I can’t just take when I want to.

  • Judah Hanh

    Thanks for the article. I liked all the info you shared, although I wish there was more info on CBD (non-psychoactive component of marijuana) and how it specifically affects A.D.D & A.D.H.D. Seems like it would make more sense for someone suffering from one of these ailments to take CBD rather than smoke, because the psychoactive high of ganja sometimes doesn’t lead to focus or productivity. I found some good info at that might be useful for going deeper about this. Cheers and thanks again for the article.

  • DrTCH

    I’ve found this piece to be interesting, but PRETTY MUCH useless. Why? We have a heading labeled “The Best Cannabis Strains for Focus and ADD/ADHD,” yet there is–in fact–no specification of any helpful strains. I suspect that…some strains of Sativa..if any (in low dosage), but this is not much more than speculation. As a very general matter, my experience is that the Indica puts one in a very deep, kind’ve magical place (and helps with depression and pain), while the Sativa is more of a “head-trip,” and enhances sensory input. I will mention that–years ago (having been diagnosed with ADD in 1990)–I was on methylphenidate, and it helped considerably (along with such things as removal of white sugar, and a better overall diet (as well as neurofeedback, “Brain-Gym” type exercises (Applied Kinesiology stuff too!) and the use of certain supplements, like Lecithin, B-complex and Gotu Kola (herb), which seemed to help lay down new neural pathways), but there WERE side-effects, such as tooth and bone mineral loss…and visual floaters, which eventually became worrisome to me. Is there ANYONE here who can speak to the issue of what strains might be helpful? I see nothing here–so far–which does this!!! Naturally, a lot of cannabis is just going to mellow one out…and even put one to sleep….pretty much the opposite of enhancing mental focus, decreasing distractibility and boosting initiative/gumption.

  • DrTCH

    Incidentally, “Edibles” generally contain the Indica strain, only..which no one here seems to have mentioned.

  • DrTCH

    Actually, I’ve taken a moment to review some of the scientific literature on ADD and pharmacology, and must conclude that this article is a very sloppy, inaccurate one. It appears that it is not terribly clear why stimulants like methylphenidate are very helpful for SOME ADD sufferers. We do know that such chemical substance enhance the production (or decrease the “reuptake”) of both dopamine and norepinephrine. I will add that when I was on this medication, not only was my focus and initiative given a BIG “kick in the seat of the pants,” but my depression (from Bipolar Disorder) was significantly helped (though I think a LOT of this stemmed from my sense of gratification at having this enhanced motivation, and at finding a lot more work getting not only started, but COMPLETED. After a while, I felt (compared to my previous condition) like a “million bucks,” —much more competent and like I had worth as a human being. Hope this was helpful.

  • Martha Maja Medina

    You could also try full spectrum CBD oil, that’s
    what we use and it works VERY well!!

  • The Dude

    Again, this article is just gibberish with zero conclusions. 2014? I’m finding the articles on Leafly to be increasingly useless aggregated material. They have a persons name attached but this is just anonymous data you could get from looking at just the result list from the search I just made on Google. I’m starting to see this more often – articles which go round and round and come out nowhere, like it was written by an Algorithm. I won’t be wasting my time on this site anymore..

  • sweetqueen777

    I am the Nana of a little (small for his age) grandson. He is 5 years old, and has obvious ADHD, like his father before him. Dad is vehement about meds for the problem, and he is already having big-time problems in school. (Only in Kinder.) He has now been kicked off the bus for a week, because of his disruptive behavior. I am desperate to find something that will help him settle down and pay attention. He is also a poor eater and resists sleep. It makes it very hard for me to be the Nana I want so desperately to be, because I just cannot handle him at my age. His daddy self-medicates with illegal weed, but I think that the CBD might help both of them. I would like guidance as to the best dosage, and the best type of product for a little one, and is it legal in Texas?? Neither of them has any other health problems.