Patients with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) report that cannabis mitigates symptoms of the disorder and reduces some of the adverse side effects associated with their prescription medications, according to survey data published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

A pair of investigators with Washington State University conducted an online survey involving 1,738 students with ADHD. 

They reported: “Participants with ADHD who have used cannabis reported that cannabis has acute beneficial effects on many symptoms of ADHD (e.g., hyperactivity, impulsivity). Further, they perceived cannabis to improve most of their medication side effects (e.g., irritability, anxiety). Finally, cannabis use frequency was a significant moderator of the associations between symptom severity and executive dysfunction.”

Authors concluded, “[P]eople with ADHD may be using cannabis to self-medicate for many of their symptoms and medication side effects and that more frequent use may mitigate ADHD-related executive dysfunction.”

Prior studies have reported that both inhaled cannabis as well as the administration of cannabis extracts mitigate ADHD symptoms in human subjects. Israeli data published last year further reported that ADHD patients with legal access to medical cannabis products significantly reduce their use of prescription medications. 

Full text of the study, “Self-reported effects of cannabis on ADHD symptoms, ADHD Medication side effects, and ADHD-related executive dysfunction,” appears in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

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