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Is CBD Right for Your ADHD Child?

School is just around the corner and it is time to get ready. Your kids are going to need school supplies, new clothes and shoes. But what about the kids who need just a little bit more? Children who have learning disabilities or cognitive differences will need a little more than pencils and new shoes to start off the new school year if they want to be successful. As the parent of such a child, you want to provide that for them. If your child struggles with ADHD, there may be something that you can do. 

What is ADHD? 

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder of the brain that can make it difficult for children (and adults) with the disorder to focus. They may have difficulty paying attention, staying seated or getting organized. There are three different subtypes to this disorder. A child with the hyperactive subtype might have difficulty with impulse control, taking turns or staying in his seat. Children with the inattentive subtype are generally quieter and less likely to draw attention to themselves but are often “lost in space.” They may not remember a set of directions or stay on task and can easily fall behind on school work. The third subtype includes symptoms of both the first two subtypes. 


Treatment for ADHD  

Drugs are among the most prescribed treatment for ADHD. Commonly prescribed drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants. Some of the drugs used to treat ADHD are even classified as amphetamines. Possible side effects of these drugs can include anxiety, agitation, sleep loss, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, increased blood pressure and in some cases even psychosis. While these medications may help to show some improvements in symptoms, it is no wonder many parents are hesitant to jump on the medication bandwagon. 


One Drug-Free Solution 

CBD oil has been gaining traction as a possible treatment for ADHD. Among the many benefits that can potentially be derived from cannabis oil, is the possibility for easing the symptoms of ADHD. It is believed that the difficulty with memory and concentration found in ADHD is the result of lower levels of hormones such as dopamine and norepinephrine which regulate most cognitive functions and alertness, respectively. CBD can activate receptors in the brain that manage things like anxiety and depression, both of which affect the symptoms of ADHD. 


Isn’t CBD Oil Derived From Pot?  

CBD is only one of the 104 compounds derived from the cannabis plant. The manufacturing process can exclude THC, the compound associated with the sensation commonly known as “getting high.” A good quality CBD oil can be used as any other nutritional supplement without the risk of euphoric side effects. 


Does CBD Oil Work?  

While research is ongoing, there is reason to hope. Many people who suffer from ADHD and have not responded well to conventional medications, have reported better focus and concentration. They also report feeling calmer and having better, more restful sleep. 

One study in Germany in 2014 found that participants experienced an easing of symptoms such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. Other studies indicate that CBD can help patients sleep better– a difficulty that is often reported by sufferers of ADHD. Other trials suggest that CBD can be helpful in dealing with anxiety— another disorder associated with ADHD.  

Should You Give CBD Oil to Your Child? 

Unlike many psychiatric medications, CBD does not have a history of dependency formation. And while anything can have side effects, CBD oil is generally considered safe as side effects are rare. Many parents who were concerned about giving their child powerful stimulants have considered CBD as an alternative to medication. CBD is known to react with certain medications, however, so always consult your doctor before giving your child any supplement. 

When preparing to send children back to school, most parents want to do whatever they can to ensure that their children are successful in the coming school year. If you have a child struggling with ADHD, that might mean more than getting them a new backpack. Before you give your child a powerful medication, explore all of the alternatives. CBD may be the best, drug-free option for your child. 

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