Written by Stefan K.


Shouting, fidgetiness, impulsivity and an obvious lack of self-control characterise a condition that has only started to be recognised by science and the public in recent years. The condition is known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD for short. It is also known by the abbreviation ADD, which stands for attention deficit disorder, focussing specifically on the lack of concentration which is a characteristic of the condition. 

There are current studies[1], which give those with ADD/ADHD cause for optimism. In one study, subjects reported that cannabinoids increased their ability to concentrate.

Something which used to be “dismissed” as a purely psychological behavioural disorder is, according to the current state of knowledge, a developmental disorder which begins in childhood. Scientists now see CBD as a medicine which could be used to treat ADHD. Therefore, CBD and ADHD seem to work well together. According to the researchers, both the deficits in attention and the pronounced hyperactivity can be treated using CBD.

  • 1. CBD oil is no panacea but it can certainly help!

    Cannabis and CBD surely are no panaceas but for many people it is a natural remedy that can help with more than 65 different medical conditions. CBD is still quite unexplored but many scientists, doctors and pharmacists shed their prejudices and are interested in the health benefits of cannabidiol. Just always remember: CBD CAN be helpful - but it isn't always.

  • 2) CBD addresses the endocannabinoid system

    Pretty much nobody uses CBD without a reason to do so. CBD is a cannabinoid which is a group of substances that can naturally be found in various plants. These cannabinoids address the endocannabinoid system. Every human has such a system. Via various receptors within this system a number of functions in the body can be regulated, renewed or fixed.

  • 3) Breast milk contains CBD

    A study in 2017 has shown that cannabinoids are not only natural components of cannabis but can also be found in breast milk. Cannabinoids are not only valuable for the neurological growth phases but have many other astonishing health benefits. Without cannabinoids in breast milk newborns would would be less hungry and therefore drink less.

  • 4) CBD is the allrounder amongst cannabinoids

    Every cannabinoid has its own effects. Nonetheless, CBD can be called the allrounder among all cannabinoids. It is not only anti-inflammatory but can also slow down growth of diseased cells. It is also anxiolytic and an immunosuppressant. Therefore, CBD makes for a great dietary supplement and should always be the base. You can add more cannabinoids by choosing full-spectrum CBD products.

  • 5) CBD does not get you stoned

    Cannabidiol is the so-called antagonist of THC. THC means Tetrahydrocannabinol. It is psychoactive and can be found in certain cannabis strains. CBD counteracts with the part of THC that gets consumers 'stoned'. Therefore, the very small amount of THC that can be found in many CBD products is kind of neutralized by the CBD. As a result, CBD products are totally legal and non-psychoactive.

  • 6) WHO rates CBD as harmless

    The World Health Organization WHO published a 27 pages long report where they classify CBD as harmless. The organization states that pure CBD and products that contain less than 0.2% THC are in no way taken into the drug conventions. A reason for that is that CBD is not predicating and there is no danger of abuse. Therefore, CBD is as harmless as water.

  • 7) CBD is not a doping substance and is used in professional sports

    CBD can help reduce inflammations and can support regeneration after physical activities. As a result, many professional athletes (especially in the US) in football, basketball or martial arts use CBD. Many famous athletes also advertise respective compounds. In August 2019 UFC champion Nate Diaz caused a lot of furore when he smoked a CBD joint before a big fight. Nonetheless, it was totally legal since CBD is specifically excluded from the WADA doping list.

  • 8) CBD can be prescribed

    In conventional medicine cannabidiol is not very popular yet. First, doctors need to be informed about CBD in order to shed their prejudices and gather experiences. Nonetheless, even nowadays there are numerous specialists and general practitioners who have trust in the medical potential of cannabis. In some cases doctors also prescribe CBD to their patients.

  • 9) CBD and cannabis can help to cleanse the environment

    Cannabis is a plant that can naturally grow almost everywhere in the world. Additionally, it consumes up to four times as much CO2 as trees. Cannabis is also known for absorbing toxic substances and radioactive chemicals from the soil. Therefore, cannabis is able to cleanse the environment und is good for the earth's climate.
  • 10) CBD exists in all kinds of shapes

    Most people know CBD in the shape of CBD oil. CBD oil is so popular because it is easy to dispense and is well absorbed by the body. Nonetheless, there are numerous other kinds of CBD products such as e-liquids, salves, creams, pastes, flowers, sweets, food or crystals. On you can find many of these products!

The causes of ADHD

According to the current state of research, ADHD can be triggered by a number of different factors. A distinction is made between causes and risk factors which are classified as

  • neurobiological,
  • genetic (70 – 80 % predisposition, twin studies[2]),
  • related to harmful substances (lead, tobacco smoke and PCBs are all considered suspects),
  • social, and
  • general.

Based on signal transmission and responses to chemical substances, neurobiologists have now identified causes of ADHD in the nerve cells of the brain. According to studies[3], functional deficits in the brain can be a cause of ADHD. According to another study, changes in large neuronal networks in children’s brains can also be a trigger[4]. If you are interested in learning more about the neurological causes, a number of excellent papers have been published on this subject[5][6].

Poor relationships within the family can also cause ADHD. However, psychologists are not yet sure of the direction of causation. The reason for this is that families with a child who has ADHD are often quite stressed, meaning that it is still unclear as to whether the ADHD is the cause or the effect.


How ADHD medication works

As children are the main target group for ADHD medication, it is generally prescribed by paediatricians and doctors who specialise in adolescent health. Responsible doctors almost always combine ADHD drugs with other, mostly social, educational or psychotherapeutic measures. The reason for combining these measures is that the ADHD medication alleviates the symptoms but does not cure the condition. In addition, the medication is not effective for all children.

In the UK, there are five active substances which have been officially approved for use in the treatment of ADHD. These are methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin), atomoxetine, dexamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine and guanfacine.

As a first step, doctors usually prescribe methylphenidate, which has been the subject of much research. The many studies which exist give the prescribing doctor confidence, but also offer the families of those affected some reassurance. According to relevant studies, side-effects occur in some 10 to 20 % of those investigated. These include sleep disorders, weight loss, and an associated lack of appetite.

CBD and ADHD – How can cannabidiol help?

Studies have shown that CBD and ADHD go well together and that the cannabinoid can successfully be used to treat people with ADD or ADHD. ADD patients have problems concentrating, whilst ADHD patients tend to be very restless. This restlessness can be expressed as hyperactivity. The relaxing effect of CBD makes it possible for those affected to calm down.

Experts now believe that both forms of the condition can be triggered by an imbalance of important messenger chemicals in the brain, amongst other causes. These are used by the brain to process information. It is ultimately the messenger chemical dopamine which is out of balance in ADHD and ADD patients. Researchers have also concluded that a portion of the cannabinoid receptors may have a role to play in this imbalance. There is therefore a hypothesis that CBD may have an impact on ADHD via the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, CBD and ADHD might be a successful combination.

Besides hyperactive behaviour, reduced ability to concentrate is often the greatest disadvantage for those affected – as well as for their families. Both can be treated with Ritalin  for example, but some consideration must be given to possible side effects such as loss of appetite and sleep disorders. Neither of these side effects occur when CBD is used to treat ADHD.

In addition to the effects described above, there is even more good news for ADHD patients when it comes to CBD. Restlessness, nervousness and motor agitation are all symptoms of ADHD for which the relaxing effects of CBD provide an effective treatment. In addition to alleviating these symptoms, patients also confirm that it improves their ability to concentrate and helps them with many of their social difficulties, as well as with a number of psychological problems.

Experience reports on CBD and ADHD

All these useful properties, coupled with the fact that interactions are limited, make CBD a product that is very popular for self-treatment. So now the question is whether CBD is also a good idea in the case of ADHD.

To date, there has been little research in this area, but there are product reviews by people with ADHD. These ADHD patients report that the use of CBD oil, or other CBD products, improved their ability to concentrate and made it easier for them to carry out laborious tasks. Not only that, but moments of frustration, and even mood swings, have been reported as being easier to manage since starting to use CBD products.


  • Above all, it is the relaxing effect of CBD which makes it a useful treatment for ADHD and ADD. Cannabidiol is being used more and more often, and people’s experiences have been very positive.

[1] – 01.08.2019

[2] – 31.07.2019

[3] – 31.07.2019

[4] – 31.07.2019

[5] – 31.07.2019

[6] – 31.07.2019

Further studies

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.