ADHD and Cannabis: What You Need To Know

Aug 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

ADHD and cannabis have an interesting history, some people say when they consume cannabis they don’t feel like doing anything. Other people have said when they take adderall or ritalin (both pharmaceutical drugs doctors prescribe to children and adults suffering from ADD and ADHD) they feel like they’re on speed and it doesn’t help them focus. The reality is that everyone is different and reacts to these drugs differently. We’re going to discuss how when used properly, cannabis can help people who have ADD and ADHD rather than turning to big pharma. 


ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are both the same neurodevelopmental disorder, just referred to as different terms, but they mean the same thing. WebMD says “ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The symptoms differ from person to person.” A person who has ADHD typically finds it hard to focus, fidget frequently, or have a hard time sitting still or staying quiet, even at inappropriate times. This isn’t to say the person isn’t trying, just that they have a harder time focusing on sitting still, or some cases are only focused on sitting still and do nothing else but think about sitting still. 

ADHD affects around 6-9% of children and young adults, and about 5% of adults around the globe. There’s a chance that someone you know lives with this disorder and go on their daily life without noticing a difference. This is mostly because they use stimulants such as adderall or ritalin, which have more side effects than cannabis does. Of course, before starting any new treatment plan be sure to talk with your doctor first so you can stay healthy, but today we’re going to advocate for why you may want to give cannabis a try if you have ADHD.

What’s The Relation Between ADHD and Cannabis

Current scientific studies have reported that individuals suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when treated with medical cannabis, show signs of increased focus through using cannabis. ADHD and cannabis haven’t been studied as much as we usually would prefer, however from personal experience I have stopped taking a stimulant and instead use cannabis to keep my focus.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive and phyto-cannabinoid component of cannabis, stimulates a retrograde signaling, which triggers an inhibition of neuronal synapses. This brain activity is associated with experiencing a powerful calming effect. THC binds to CB1 receptors identified to be connected to serotonin release in presynaptic neurons. Serotonin is our brain’s natural antidepressant agent.

Another phyto-cannabinoid agent of cannabis is CBD, which is known to be an anti-anxiety agent that complements the psychoactive and adverse effects of THC. CBD is primarily present in hashish and hemp.

Cannabis Cultivars For ADHD and Cannabis

Cultivars Pairings For ADHD And Cannabis

What types of cannabis cultivars should you start using to help out with your ADHD? There’s a couple we’d recommend trying out for yourself.


Consuming this cultivar is like drinking a cup of coffee. It feeds into your creativity and helps you get excited about rather mundane tasks. If you’re a bit more sensitive to cannabis and tend to get anxious when overconsuming this might not be the right fit for you because it can make your mind race a bit.

Green Crack

This one is basically all in the name. You’ll definitely feel more energetic when consuming this cannabis. 

True OG

If you’re looking for something a bit more calming, while remaining focused this could be your perfect fit. When dealing with ADHD and cannabis it’s important to realize what type of disorder yours is. For example, some people’s minds race and go a million miles an hour and need something to calm down. For other people their mind is a bit slower, or unable to actually focus on a task so they need something more stimulating. True OG is good for those who need to slow their mind down.


When you want to clear your mind and have a focused head reach for this cultivar. This high-CBD cannabis contains a small amount of THC which can be perfect for some. People even claim that it’s good for relaxing and you don’t get that head high, it’s more of a slight high with a good focus and energy.

My ADHD And Cannabis Treatment Plan

My personal reason for quitting adderall was because I would head splitting headaches if I went even 1 day without taking it. I had been taking adderall practically every single day for 10 years (crazy right?) and as I got older I noticed the connection for my headaches were because of adderall withdrawal. It really freaked me out, I was having withdrawals from something prescribed by my doctor, and decided to quit the adderall and switch to cannabis instead. 

When I started using cannabis it definitely was a different experience, some types worked and others made me not want to do anything. The first cultivar I tried was Green Crack. It had the best reviews online, and my local dispensary had it in stock so it seemed like a good fit. Next I tried Jack Herer, and few other random types. I was smoking them with a joint or blunt and found no matter the type, my eyes always felt heavy, I felt sleepy, and really not motivated. Green crack worked the best for me but it really wasn’t doing it. The next pairing I did for adhd and cannabis was vapes! I found that the vape didn’t get me the same high as smoking flower did, I felt lighter so I tried a few different vape cartridges and have determined the best treatment plan for myself.

It’s a Cookie Glue vape cartridge. I would take 1 puff before I started working and it would take about as long as the adderall did, it came smoothly and left smoothly. I was working just as hard and I did on adderall, and I didn’t have that same comedown as you do with taking a stimulant drug. I found now even after about 6 months being adderall free and using the vape pen, I am still getting those same benefits, I haven’t built up a tolerance that wouldn’t allow it to work.

So you may have to do a lot of testing, but for me personally, it was worth it. I would recommend trying a vape for your first test and saving the flower for when you want to relax.

Do you have ADHD and use cannabis to help your symptoms? What kinds did you find work best for pairing adhd and cannabis types? Let us know in the comments! 

If you have any other questions regarding this topic, please reach out to one of our cannasultants today and we’ll be happy to help!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Courtney Trzos</a>

Courtney Trzos

To Courtney, it’s always 420 somewhere… After attending Michigan State University and working in communications for over 10 years, she took her passion for cannabis, professionally. In 2017, Courtney began freelancing as a writer for cannabis brands across the globe, promoting the therapeutic and recreational use of the plant, while helping her partner cultivate crops full-time, and learning more about the industry from a seed-to-sale perspective. Get in touch with her and follow her journey at