Can CBD help With Symptoms of ADD/ADHD?

People often ask me if CBD can help a child with ADD/ADHD and my answer is - maybe 

ADD or ADHD affects 1 in 10 boys, and many experience negative effects from pharmaceutical medications

ADD or ADHD affects 1 in 10 boys, and many experience negative effects from pharmaceutical medications

My experience comes from dealing with my now 18-year-old son who is diagnosed with ADD and anxiety and was prescribed Concerta to help him focus.  He used Concerta on and off from about 6th grade – 11th grade and while it did seem to help him focus and get his school work done, he also experienced a lack of appetite and complained that he “didn’t like how it made him feel”.  Meal times were battles to get him to eat and our compromise was he didn’t have to take his “concentration pill” on weekends or during school vacations.  We tried a few other ADD meds, but came back to Concerta because the others made him feel worse.

 When my son started his senior year in high school, he flat out refused to take his medicine, he hated the way it made him feel.  The result was he had trouble keeping up in school.  He was feeling overwhelmed and his anxiety often got the best of him which made matters worse.  I suggested he try CBD. He took a 15mg capsule of hemp-derived CBD every morning and after a few weeks, I asked if it was helping him.  He explained that it didn’t give him the focus he felt with the Concerta, but his anxiety seemed much more manageable.  He could remind himself to refocus on his school work when his mind wandered.  He also said, with CBD he didn’t have the uncomfortable heart racing and palpitations he felt with his other medication and liked that his appetite was back to normal and he looked forward to eating again.

He finished high school and is now almost done with his first year of college, all while still taking the same 15mg CBD capsule once a day. 

 So, my feeling is that CBD may not necessarily help a person focus better, but it can be very effective in managing anxiety which often accompanies diagnoses like ADD/ADHD, which can in turn manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.  CBD was well tolerated by my son without the negative side effects he experienced with his other medication, which improved his compliance in taking it daily. 

Hemp derived CBD (cannabidiol) is now sold in California in health food stores and online without the 21 and over age restriction that comes with CBD derived from marijuana, unless someone has a marijuana “Letter of Recommendation” from a doctor.  However, just because it is widely available, doesn’t mean every hemp CBD product is safe and beneficial.  Parents should speak to their child’s doctor and research a reputable manufacturer that does third party lab testing on all their products. 

Last month, The U.S. Hemp Authority recognized 13 hemp companies (growers and processors) who met stringent quality and safety standards in the industry.  Among them were CV Sciences from San Diego, which is the brand my son uses.  Note, the U.S. Hemp Authority is a self regulating trade organization, not a government agency, similar to the non-GMO certification process.


Written By:

Nurse Sue Feldmeth

About Sue:

Sue Feldmeth provides educational presentations to groups who want to learn more about the use of medical cannabis as well as one on one consultations and guidance for those who want to use cannabis to treat their particular condition.  She is located in Pasadena, California and can be reached at suefeldmethrn@gmail.com.