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 http://www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm 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. http://www.globalchange.com/drugs/TADChapter5.htm 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.