The Effects Of Marijuana Treatment For ADHD And ADD

Written by Mike Smith HTGB Staff Posted on The Bud Forums

Im 28 years old and I was diagnosed with ADHD when i was 8 years old in the mid 80s.
In the 80s ADHD was a fairly new diagnosis and many doctors didn’t know much about the disorder. The doctors wanted to try me on a new drug called Ritalin. My mom didn’t want me to start on such strong drugs so she tried a number of alternate methods to deal with my ADHD. She went out and bought some ill guided books on the subject and started me on special diets, and of course none of them worked, with the exception of coffee. One of the books she read recommended that you give coffee without sugar to children with ADHD, the logic behind that was if you give someone with ADHD a stimulant it will calm them down. well that logic is on the right track but there is some side effects that make the coffee trick not work. Its true that people with ADHD react differently to stimulants than others like for instance, large amounts of caffeine do enable me to sit for longer and concentrate a bit harder but i still get the same bad side effects that normal people who drink coffee get like the jitters and headaches and most of all the addiction, coffee is not an answer.
When i was about 12 my mom decided to start me on ADHD medications. We went to the doctor and he prescribed me Adderall. Adderall is basically just an amphetamine (What they make speed out of) and its amazing, when im under its influence i am able to concentrate for a very long time and it seems to enable me to think before i act a little better. The problem is that people with ADHD have more problems than just not being able to concentrate. Personally i dont mind being scatter brained I can think about many things at once, the other symptom’s are the main problem for me, like for instance i only sleep between 3 and 5 hours a night since i was a little kid, i would like to sleep longer but i have way to much energy, also I pase back and forth constantly and i can never sit down long enough to watch a movie and i talk so fast that people think im a crack head when they first meet me. All of these issues made it extremly hard to be socially accepted by my peers. And then i found Marijuana.
When i was almost 15 I smoked my first joint with a friend from school and i fell in love. I sat down and watched a movie with out getting up once and that had never happened before. Everybody takes for granted there ability to sit down and feel comfortable, people with ADHD do not have this luxury and never will with out the assistance from drugs. From that point on i smoke marijuana quite often.
After a few months of smoking weed i found my self with lots of friends and felt more comfortable in social situations. I know what your thinking (I was using marijuana to get accepted socially), your wrong, something had changed in me. I was finally able to have a reciprocating conversation with someone without interrupting them mid sentence and life slowed down so much that i was able to be aware of my surroundings with greater detail. It is almost as if when you have ADHD your driving through life in a realy fast car and its hard to see everything you pass along the way. When im on marijuana the car slows way down and i can better enjoy the things i see out of the window.
When i turned 19 I joined the army. In the army you obviously cant smoke weed so i didn’t for 6 years. The military is actually perfect for people with ADHD, you do so much physical labor that your actually able to get a full nigh sleep and your energy has some place to go. But my social problems came back, I had trouble making friend and people thought i was a spaz.
The day i got out of the army i started smoking marijuana again. It was like visiting an old friend, immediately i felt like I should feel if i was a person without ADHD. This time was different though because i was a mature adult who already learned a few life lessons in the army. I started thinking about marijuana as medicine and decided that im going to do it for the rest of my life. I had to see if that was even possible first so I i started smoking before work and being high at work all day and what i found was pretty interesting. People at work couldn’t even tell that i was high actually i started noticing how the bosses liked me better and i was getting socially accepted easier than i ever had before. People really liked the high me and so did I.
I have been married for 7 years and I have  a 19 month old son and i smoke marijuana several times a day. No one in my big religuos family has try to do an intervention on me because there is no reason for it, im an educated veteran and a highly productive member of society who takes care of his family.
I found an iteresteting  article  It talks about the difference between ADD, without hyperactivity, and ADHD, which is WITH hyperactivity. It says that regular ADD, is different than ADHD, in that ADHD is caused by an over-stimulation in the frontal lobe, and ADD is more of a problem of the parietal lobe. So, this got me thinking…I match most of the descriptions of normal ADHD… so I did a Google search for marijuana’s effects on the parietal lobe and i found this article. If you read it, you’ll see this:Scientists have studied electrical activity in the frontal lobes of the brain in Marijuana users using event-related potential measurements (ERP). activity). However with increasing frequency of use there was a growing problem in the parietal area of the brain with slower speed of information processing.
Its interesting. AND it makes sense. If ADHD people have overactive parietal lobes, then it makes sense, that something that can calm that lobe, like marijuana, would actually help them.

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13 Responses

  1. daivd knowles says:


    I’m doing an article on treating ADHD with marijuana. Would it be possible to interview you?

    -David Knowles

  2. Colleen Fish says:

    ADD is not due to overactivity of any part of the brain but rather low activity. The prefrontal cortex doesn’t activite leading to not being able to think, plan, and serious lack of impulse control.

    I highly recommend you read the books from Dr. Amen and Dr. Gabor Mate on ADD.

    I too have ADD and was just diagnosed in May 2010. I have been told my whole life I was bipolar but no I am not, my brain scans prove it as my prefrontal cortex isn’t active and needs stimulation which ironically is what the weed is doing in our brains for the ADD.

    I use cannabis for both my ADD and PTSD but one day I hope not to need medicine for either one due to healing my brain. It can change. I learned that over ten years ago in my neuroscience classes in university. Today I am a consultant for lawyers on helping their clients through the courts. I even have a case currently that involves a young child with ADD.

    Secondly, ADD is not a learning disability but rather a neurodevelopmental disability. It isn’t that we can’t learn it is that we dont’ pay attention to do that. This article you mentioned had many things that were incorrect about ADD. Please ADD/ADHD are being joined into a communal ADD with actually 6 different types being shown through brain scans.

    We need to activate our prefrontal cortex which is what both stimulants and cannabis are being shown to do.

    I finally know what a proper organized day with things being completed feels like. WOW! Hope you have a great day!!

    • Mike says:

      Its hard to say what ADHD is or is NOT because there are hundreds of books out there that say many different things.
      about a year ago i signed up to do a couple different drug trials for adults with ADHD and two of the three trials required a gene test to prove you have ADHD, they said they were looking for a duplicate gene (i forget the exact name). So why would they do an expensive gene test if they could just do a brain scan to see if your frontal lobe is inactive. Interesting reply thankyou

  3. I found ur artical very interesting , i am ADHD/ADD/ and use cannabis for 20yr,s , i helps me so much , Thankyou for this artical

  4. ryan says:

    I have self medicated for the past 34 years with Marijuana but only knew why I could not stop smoking it three years ago when I was diagnosed. The Dr.s want to prescribe other synthetic drugs to me but when I read the possible side effects refused to take them !!! I doubt I would have taken them in any case as I don’t like taking any drugs not even paracetamol. The Dr`s are pissed off with me because I told them the truth what am I supposed to do LIE !!! They would like that even less

  5. ryan says:

    Yes David, with pleasure !!!

  6. nyguy says:

    I would like to chat with david knowles about his research on all of this. Please email me when you get a free min.

  7. juan says:

    I was diagnosed with adhd and I smoke weed. I’m 16 and latino. My parents think I’m lying about having adhd just to smoke weed and are making me go to rehab where I’ll be tested on a weekly basis…

  8. Flo says:

    i’m 16 and have major adhd. I have been the odd kid out for about 15 years and when I came for an exchange year to the US my parents made me take concerta and i have to say it works for me… but about 1 hour ago i was extremly hyper doing some artwork, extremely excited and happy. then i was done and i just crashed and couldn’t handle it anymore and that wasn’t the only time … could anyone send an email to tell me if marijuana helps with that? THANKS

  9. Jeremy says:

    I have had adhd all my life, but I have never told anyone. I failed highschool, and dropped out. I was socially awkward. I went through an emo/goth phase, because I had no friends. I started smoking cannabis last year and it changed me. I got my g.e.d and am now in college. My family doesn’t understand how hard it is to focus in class for me. My teacher told me to go to my adviser and talk with her but I am embarrassed. can someone give me some advice… I am trying so hard it’s killing me.

  1. July 9, 2010

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