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Cannabis Associated With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Improvements

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One of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders that people are diagnosed with around the world is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The symptoms of the condition can look different from patient to patient, and diagnosis typically occurs early in life.

According to the results of a prior study, “the prevalence of persistent adult ADHD was 2.58% and that of symptomatic adult ADHD was 6.76%, translating to 139.84 million and 366.33 million affected adults in 2020 globally.”

A team of investigators associated with various academic institutions in the United Kingdom recently explored how the use of medical cannabis interacts with ADHD. They specifically looked at cannabis use’s potential impact on the quality of life among ADHD patients. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit sustained improvements in their symptoms following the use of cannabis products, according to data published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology Reports.

British investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of plant-derived cannabis products (either oils, flower, or a combination of both) in a cohort of 68 patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Participants possessed a doctor’s authorization to access cannabis products. (Since 2018, specialists have been permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to patients unresponsive to conventional medications.) Authors assessed the efficacy of cannabis at one, three, six, and twelve months.

Researchers reported improvements in patients’ anxiety, sleep quality, and overall health-related quality of life following cannabis treatment. Over one-third of patients ceased taking at least one ADHD prescription drug medication over the course of the study.

The study’s authors concluded: “This case series is the first of its kind in assessing the clinical outcome of patients from the UKMCR with a primary diagnosis of ADHD prescribed CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products] for up to 12 months. This study reports that treatment with CBMPs was associated with improvements in general HRQoL [health-related quality of life] after 1, 3, and 6, months, in addition to anxiety and sleep quality after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. These results suggest that CBMPs may play a role in alleviating symptoms and co-morbid anxiety and sleep disruption associated with ADHD.”

Prior studies assessing the use of cannabis products in patients enrolled in the UK registry have reported them to be effective for those suffering from chronic painpost-traumatic stressdepressiongeneralized anxietymigraineinflammatory bowel disease, and other afflictions.

Full text of the study, “An analysis of clinical outcomes of medicinal cannabis therapy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,” appears in Neuropsychopharmacology Reports. 

United Kingdom