ADHD and CBD – How About the Hemp Option?

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Mainstream stories of CBD being used to help people with a long list of serious conditions are making their way across the nation, but could CBD help ADHD children ease their symptoms in similar ways to those with PTSD, anxiety, pain relief, and depression?

Update 4/21/2018: There are no words to describe the touching response we’ve received from this article on the topic of ADHD & CBD since it was originally published on 2/01/2016. We’ve gotten hundreds of emails and calls, and there’s quite a conversation going below it, primarily the voices of ADHD parents who are a) desperate for an alternative to conventional meds, and b) researching CBD to see what potential there may be. Thank you so much to everyone that’s taken part, it’s making a difference!

The 2 most common questions people are asking (all over the country, not just here) in the comments section, and email/call the company about on a regular basis are:

  1. What specific amount of CBD is ideal for my ADHD child, or child who’s recently been diagnosed?
  2. What specific full spectrum hemp product would we recommend?

Unfortunately, we’re not doctors. I’m certainly not. And Hemp for Fitness hasn’t reached a point where Marjan can hire a doctor to clinically answer those questions and understand the nuances of your child’s particular situation, the current meds they may be taking, etc.

Ethically and legally there’s no way I, or Marjan, can give your child a prescription. Besides, we’re not talking about a dangerous pharmaceutical drug here, are we? We’re talking about an organic extract from what’s legally considered a fiber plant – industrial hemp. As for Cannabidiol, again, it’s a widely known and studied plant compound scientifically proven to be non-toxic, non-addictive, and non-psychoactive.

Hopefully soon industrial hemp will be declassified, farmed from sea to shining sea again, and you’ll be able to go pick up a tincture or whatever of this stuff at your nearest whole foods, Safeway etc., just like hemp protein, clothing, milk, seeds…

America imports close to $1 BILLION in hemp products annually, so why are people asking for medical prescriptions for a simple hemp compound? I’ve taken a bunch of the stuff and couldn’t ‘feel’ a high or intoxication of any kind…

When incorporating full spectrum hemp oil or any plant extract into your life, or your child’s life, to improve their health or quality of life in some way…do your homework. Get familiar with the basics of the Human Endocannabinoid System, and what more and more research is showing every month in terms of cannabinoid treatments for a HUGE variety of issues, not just ADHD.

Hope this helps.

Damien.

p.s. My mom has since passed away. She was the greatest woman I’ll ever know, and she stuck with me through everything…no matter what. She never vocally ‘supported’ my use of cannabis, but she never spoke ill of it either. She never looked down on it. Truth be told, she saw the change it brought in me. Love you mom!

 

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Introduction

Now, the first thing you need to know about me as we dive into the question together, is that before I began self-medicating with cannabis around 1992 I was probably a worst case ADHD scenario.

We’re talking epic-level terror child, totally out of control, a miserable emotional train wreck inside, and an abominable son.

Oh my poor mom… to this day I occasionally call her up and plead for forgiveness.

Imagining what she must’ve gone through brings tears to my eyes. How hard it was for us! She had me much later in life, at 48, so she was in her late 50’s doing the best she could as a single mother with no idea how to help.

Makes me wonder what they did with kids like me in the 18 or 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s…(hint: put me to work on the homestead or farm)

We tried Ritalin of course, my whole school was awash with it, but I stopped within a couple months (she discovered I was collecting/hiding them in my room). She did her best to convince me to give it more time but I was unflinching. Unless she hired a team to hold me down and force those disgusting methamphetamine-tasting pills down my throat…it wasn’t happening.

Standing there in my big glasses looking up like a tiny man, foot stomped in front, I flat out refused because I hated the way they made me feel more than the ADHD (although I was a good little robot at school while on them I admit). She actually broke into tears once she realized this was the case. She must’ve felt so helpless and completely out of options, backed into a corner.

All she wanted was for me to enjoy a normal life, to fit in at school, and while the pills seemed like the only possibility, she could see in my eyes that I wouldn’t take them.

Apparently, and I don’t remember this, what the school decided to do was once in the mornings and once after lunch they would let me leave class and run around until I got tired.

I’m not kidding.

This was the early 90’s though. The corners ADHD parents are forced into by the school/pharmaceutical system these days are more severe.

Anyhow, everything changed immediately the second I took my first puff on a joint up in my backyard treehouse. The kid at the roller skating rink sold it to me for $5 (I told my mom I spent it on soda, a hotdog, and arcade games) and told me it was “creeper” weed.

Whatever, all I knew is that like a switch went off, over the coming years…

  • I was much easier for my mom to handle. Perfect angel? No, but better.
  • I could concentrate and actually think instead of being lost in a haze-bombardment of sensory data.
  • I no longer got into trouble at school. I went from being Thee problem child living almost exclusively in detention to barely showing up on the radar.
  • My grades began to improve, I got out of the “special” school, graduated high school, got top of my class in a fire fighting program for a year, went to community college, and on to get my BA…and 85-90% of the time I had cannabinoids in my system.

Only now, after helping Marjan build HempforFitness.com for the last couple years and really studying cannabinoid science, do I understand why I’ve been privately using cannabis all these years.

And I’ve also learned I’m not alone.

Because of the cannabis revolution taking place from coast to coast in America, throngs of people are coming out of the shadows online every month and admitting they’ve been self-medicating with cannabis to treat ADD/ADHD symptoms.

States are beginning to consider adding ADHD to acceptable “Medical Marijuana” conditions and hordes of people/doctors are essentially forcing big government to begin allocating research money so we can get more medical science to confirm what myself and countless others already know experimentally.

You can find people of all ages and from all walks of life speaking out on social media platforms, within the blogosphere, and on forums. More importantly though, it’s thanks to this 21st century cannabis movement that modern society is discovering THC’s cousin, a phytocannabinoid named Cannabidiol.

Or CBD.

And this they say ladies and gents, is where things get interesting.

The Hemp-Derived CBD Option for ADHD

So let’s pretend you’ve gone online already and done all the research I have and 100% agree whole-plant cannabinoids are a safe and potentially effective method of addressing ADD/ADHD symptoms.

Great!

But, by the numbers, the vast majority of ADHD parents simply don’t have access to Medical Marijuana because of the fact THC is psychoactive (so are all the meds Big Pharma produces).

Even if they do, administering it to their child could have serious consequences in terms of legal action instigated by schools. And it won’t matter if the marijuana strain is extremely low in THC, simply because it’s from a plant called “Marijuana” which is federally illegal and brimming with stigma after decades of false propaganda.

Do keep in mind folks, CBD has been put into the same federal drug category as heroin…yes…heroin. Yet…CBD is non-psychoactive. Think about that for a second.

Then look at what’s happening to parent’s in different states who choose to give cannabinoid-rich marijuana oils and THC-free hemp extracts to their children for such serious conditions as cancer and epilepsy.

Thanks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed documentaries that aired on CNN, they’ve being named “Marijuana Refugees” and it’s a downright shame upon our nation.

We should be calling them Cannabinoid Refugees.

Enter Hemp-Based Extracts

Wait though, what about industrial hemp concentrates like those sold on HempforFitness.com in pure paste syringe, vape oil, or capsule form? They’re cannabis sativa plant extracts from industrial hemp, the stalks to be specific, and only contain legal amounts of THC – meaning they can’t get you “stoned.”

Instead, the products are high in CBD – the most active phytocannabinoid in hemp.

  • CBD has been demonstrated in medical studies to reduce cortisol levels in the brain which then naturally causes an increase in dopamine levels. THC does this as well, but in a psychoactive way.
  • CBD is non-toxic, you can’t overdose on it, it’s non-psychoactive, and non-habit forming or addictive.
  • In established animal studies (along with all the anecdotal evidence from people like me) CBD helps to normalize social behavior. In human terms, countless people claim it helps them with social anxiety.
  • CBD is the plant substance that’s primarily responsible for the many wonders we’re seeing across the country. Is it more effective when a part of a natural whole plant array of terpenes and cannabinoids? Yes. Hemp provides these as well, just in a different way than marijuana.

All those years I was clueless that what I’ve really been doing is providing myself with a steady stream of small amounts of CBD. Too much THC isn’t something I enjoy and it doesn’t help with my ADHD.

CBD does, as does CBN.

The benefit I’m looking for only happens when THC in my blood drops to lower levels where I’m not stoned.

I like a steady stream of CBD/THC, because together they really help me stay balanced, and I honestly don’t care what ignorant people have to say about it.

Problem is, the only way for someone like me to get much higher levels of CBD legally which I can buy online is through specialty cultivars of industrial hemp, or extracts, with high CBD saturation like those offered on HempforFitness.com.

Instead of whole plant marijuana, it’s hemp.

My goodness, I hope that makes sense. Sometimes it still confuses me though. And that’s before we get to this part…

Are CBD-Rich Hemp Products Legal?

This is so hard to answer! No one seems to ultimately know. And the people who seem like they should know, once you get them right to the core of it…typically mention a ‘grey area’ which is only being made greyer as more states defy current contradictory federal laws/acts, more research comes out, and so on.

Need an example?

How is it possible that under the 2014 Farm Bill states can legally begin farming hemp like in Oregon and Kentucky, and hemp products have ALWAYS been legal to POSSESS (just not farm and manufacture), but then the DEA can call simple elements of the plant on-par with Heroin?

You and I could smoke a field of hemp, and not get high.

We could sit and enjoy a full cup of full spectrum hemp concentrate and not get high…at all.

So right now, if I’ve interpreted things correctly (I’m not a lawyer!), as long as hemp products are sold to you as food, or as dietary supplements, then yes, technically they’re legal because they’re non-psychoactive. Which is why many companies like HempforFitness are able to sell them online without issue.

But no one is supposed to actually tell you hemp extract can provide health benefits.

Confused yet?

Let’s say you buy CBD-rich hemp capsules or a syringe of CBD-rich hemp paste and give some to your ADHD child. This of course, by the letter of the law, as long as you’re giving it to the child as a food/dietary supplement (not to treat ADHD) is legal.

No different than giving them any other dietary supplement with the, “These statements haven’t been reviewed by the FDA…” disclaimer sold legally in retail establishments all over the nation. Then let’s say like so many other people across the country are experiencing, including children currently being prescribed cannabinoids by doctors for ADHD in states like California, your child begins to stop taking their conventional medications and their ADHD symptoms improve.

School officials notice, start asking questions, and hear the word ‘hemp’ or ‘CBD’…

What then?

Well, to be perfectly frank, we can’t answer that.

All the focus is being put on marijuana these days, and marijuana-based products. Barely anyone’s drumming up conversation about the other cannabis sativa plant, hemp, despite the fact it can provide high amounts of CBD and close to zero THC.

There’s just enough THC to provide a smidgen of the “entourage effect” everyone’s talking about but not enough to make the plant psychoactive.

The child isn’t getting high. The child isn’t intoxicated. Obviously, if the child is seeing benefits in terms of lessening ADHD symptoms it’s because of how their Endocannabinoid System is utilizing the CBD…in the same way their skeletal system utilizes calcium, or their immune system utilizes plant-based minerals.

Would there be trouble? We don’t know.

It depends on where you live and the particular school. The best thing you can do as a parent is talk to your doctor about it first and go from there. Call the county sheriff. Talk to the D.A.

Whatever it takes, right?

Make sure your doctor understands hemp-based products contain extremely low, federally legal levels of THC which providers like Marjan have lab-tests to prove. She offers industrial hemp food essentially, high in CBD and other hemp compounds the way many vegan foods are high in fat, not anything related to Medical Marijuana.

Marijuana is just in the same plant family, so obviously it has similar compounds, just in COMPLETELY different ratios with different plant terpenes.

Your doctor then can look into the research, or they may already be aware. But the schools are a different story depending on where you live. With that said, the decision rests with you.

It rests with all of us, one by one.

Who owns our children? Who owns their futures? Who owns their minds?

Adult Onset ADHD

Simply put, CBD helps my ADHD as an adult without question. But, I don’t mind and like a bit of THC in my cannabis.

If you’re above the age of 21 and you don’t like or can’t have THC, and you don’t have access to new specialized marijuana strains only in certain states with high CBD and almost no THC…then full spectrum hemp extracts are the only other option.

Again, we can’t tell you they’re medicinal. If you ask me, they’re NOT. Industrial hemp isn’t what lawyers and the medical establishment want to call ‘medicine’ so only they can control it or it’s compounds.

In my mind it’s like coconut oil. Is coconut oil a medicine? No. Can it get you high? No. Can it provide health benefits? YES!

What if the U.S government wants to dictate we can’t use coconut oil unless it’s prescribed by a doctor?

It’s JUST as ridiculous with hemp once you get to know the plant.

Again, the industrial hemp products on this site come from the stalks of highly-tested industrial hemp plants and they’re to be used as a food or dietary supplement. Not a drug of any kind. But, again, don’t take my word on any of this. Please, simply do a Google search for “ADHD and CBD” and begin reading. It’ll only take you about 3 to 5 hours to read through everything on the first couple pages of results.

Here are some fabulous resources to get you started as:

Let us know if we can be of any further assistance in helping you investigate the potential of ADHD and CBD and using hemp-based dietary supplements with high levels of CBD as an alternative to marijuana products as well.

Wrapping Up

If you’re an ADHD parent, or an individual dealing with ADHD, then you likely already know what’s down the road of conventional treatments – the side effects, the moving from one medication/dosage to another, the headaches, worry, and everything else.

On the other hand, is industrial hemp extracts. I say go for it, or continue your research until you’re comfortable. But here’s the most…important…thing…

If you do use a CBD-rich hemp product with your child, leave a review or testimonial about it!!!!

In fact, try to purchase from web-stores like the one on this site in that they have a place you can. Then, when you post a review or share your story publically, and you don’t have to share your identity…remember to include these specifics for other ADHD parents to learn from:

  • How old your child is and how much they weigh.
  • What kinds of meds/dosages your child took before, during, and after hemp-CBD usage.
  • Short and more longer-term results. Don’t post after three days…way a few months!
  • The exact regimen you choose or find through experimentation – how much and how often per day.

Same goes for you adults. In my opinion, I say take the leap. Give it a shot. And if you do, tell the world what you experience (like a few people in the comments below). You can change lives.

Thanks for your time.

Damien & The Hemp for Fitness Team