Why Smoking Pot May Treat ADHD Better Than Adderall

Pass the reefer.

woman smoking marijuana Canna Obscura / Shutterstock

The medical use of marijuana is no secret. It can be used to treat a number of ailments, chronic and short-term. It also makes you look really cool at parties. 

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But according to a groundbreaking new medical study of 30 patients with ADHD, all 30 reported improved concentration and sleep as well as reduced impulsivity after using medicinal cannabis.


These 30 patients reported having limited success with conventional treatments like Ritalin and Adderall. Twenty-two of the 30 patients opted to forgo their previously prescribed medications and use marijuana to manage their symptoms instead. 

It makes and helps you stay relaxed, longer. It also helps you become productive, or even helps you de-stress after a long day. There are so many benefits to marijuana, and it's great that people are finally taking the time and resources to truly test the wonderful effects of marijuana. 

If people often find themselves irrationally angry, then taking a couple of hits of marijuana could help them instantly calm down and relax.


It's a small sample group, yet it's an incredibly positive development. Imagine what we could find out with 100 patients. That would be a lot of trips to the local gas station for snacks.

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"Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine," said Dr. David Bearman, a cannabinoidologist. "This then has the same effect but is a different mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin and Dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine."

Basically, cannabinoids in marijuana might correct dopamine shortages in the brain that are seen with people who have ADHD. It can also help increase their dopamine levels over time. It's a great idea. You get the ability to be productive and happier, without all the, sometimes, annoying side effects of ADHD medicine.


You would also have to seek out a psychiatrist and go through a screening to determine if you have ADHD. If it's determined you do have ADHD, then you get the medication. But you would likely have to go through different medications and dosages until you find one that suits you. That can take a while. And more and more states and allowing the use of marijuana recreationally. 

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Right now, Colorado and California are the only two states that allow the prescription of medical marijuana to treat ADHD. With any luck, more studies like this one will move more states to allow treatment.


It soon could lead to more states allowing treatment as more research comes out on the positive effects of marijuana, and not just to treat illness. This could be a great way for people to find natural, holistic ways to helo with their symptoms, instead of relying on prescription medication. 

Higher Perspective is a YourTango partner.