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CBD for ADHD: Does It Help With The Symptoms?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects both children and adults, though it is often underdiagnosed and undertreated in women and girls. This is for two reasons: women are more likely to internalise their symptoms, and there is still the common misconception that ADHD is a male disorder

ADHD symptoms tend to fall into three subtypes: hyperactive, inattentive, or a combination of the two. As Attitude explains, the main symptoms of ADHD include:

  1. Short attention span, especially for non-preferred tasks.
  2. Hyperactivity – physical, verbal or emotional. 
  3. Impulsiveness.
  4. Fidgeting or restlessness.
  5. Disorganisation, poor time management, and time blindness. 
  6. Forgetfulness.
  7. Emotional dysregulation.

As with ADHD in children and teenagers, ADHD in adults can occur alongside several related problems or conditions, such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. This can impact different areas of your life, including your social life, relationships, work, education and other day-to-day activities.

While there are several medications available to treat ADHD, some people are looking for a natural addition or alternative to help better manage their symptoms.

Can CBD Help With ADHD? 

There is limited research on the use of CBD for ADHD, but the existing studies show promising results that suggest it could help with ADHD symptoms. 

  • A 2020 study found that CBD containing compounds were helpful in alleviating symptoms of ADHD, with moderate recommendation. 
  • A 2020 review of research found that, against placebo, CBD showed a positive effect of improving core ADHD symptoms among adults over a 6 week period, with no negative effect on cognitive function.
  • A 2017 study found that cannabinoids improved hyperactivity and impulsivity, and reduced ADHD symptoms. 
  • In one trial, those with ADHD who used cannabis scored better on cognitive performance and activity levels than the placebo group, and showed improvements in their inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours. 

This is because CBD is thought to interact with our endocannabinoid system, a cell-signalling system that helps regulate a wide range of functions, including mood, sleep and appetite. Although we produce natural endocannabinoids, these get broken down by enzymes. CBD is thought to block these enzymes, allowing our endocannabinoids to build up and produce better effects for longer. Dr. David Bearman tells Herb that the endocannabinoid system specifically helps people with ADD and ADHD by “modulating the speed of neurotransmission.” 

In addition, CBD has been shown to increase appetite in some studies, which could help those who take ADHD medication better deal with this potential side effect. 

Future research is still required, and should give us a clearer answer on the relationship between CBD and ADHD symptoms, as well as related disorders.

Let’s return to the fact that ADHD can occur alongside several other conditions though, with more than two-thirds of individuals with ADHD having at least one other coexisting condition, and an estimated 50% of ADHD adults also suffering from an anxiety disorder. While research for the relationship between CBD and ADHD is limited, there have been more studies on the positive effects that CBD can have on various anxiety conditions.

  • In 2011, a small trial tested CBD on participants with generalised social anxiety disorder found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety and discomfort.
  • In a 2019 review of studies, it was concluded that CBD has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders.
  • In 2020, a study of 400 participants found that patients with mental health symptoms reported improvements to depression and anxiety symptoms.

Can You Take CBD With ADHD Medication? 

As a general rule of thumb, medications with a grapefruit warning shouldn’t be mixed with CBD. That said, most ADHD medications don’t come with a grapefruit warning, though you should check and consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements.

What CBD Is Best for ADHD?

CBD is available in a variety of forms, including oils, edibles and topical balms. CBD oils and gummies are a popular choice because both are simple to take and measure.

Topicals, on the other hand, are designed to target specific muscles or joints, and therefore might not be as effective for treating ADHD symptoms.

Looking for more guidance on what product is right for you? Check out our full guides on The Different Types of CBD and How to Choose the Right CBD Product.


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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

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*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

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