The Best Cannabis Strains for ADD/ADHD
Let’s face it – sometimes we can all use a little help focusing. Whether or not you’ve been to a doctor and were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), entire industries have sprung up to help us extend our attention spans. The marijuana industry is no exception to this. As research continues to delve deeper into medical cannabis, a growing number of people are turning toweed for ADD and other attention issues.
What are ADD and ADHD?
ADD and ADHD are both medical diagnoses given to people who have a hard time focusing or paying attention to specific tasks. The former refers to people who struggle with a frequently wandering mind, while the latter covers people whose attention issues manifest physically in the form of hyperactivity. Both diagnoses are generally associated with children and young people, but as technology, jobs, media, and more pull our attention in a million directions at once, adults of all age ranges are also struggling to stay focused.
Does Weed Help You Focus?
One of the best things about cannabis is how versatile the plant is. And while people typically turn to pharmaceuticals like Adderall to treat attention deficit, cannabis has shown to help increase focus as well. Although clinical research into the topic has been significantly hindered by federal prohibition, years of anecdotal evidence have spawned a new nickname for certain strains of hyperfocus bud – green Adderall.
So if you’ve had a hard time staying on topic and you’re wondering how to focus with ADHD or spend more time wondering “how can I focus with ADD?” than actually doing your work, it might be time to try weed. When it comes to buying cannabis, there are four general classifications: indica, sativa, hybrid, and CBD. When it comes to the question of Sativa or Indica for ADHD or ADD, each category of bud comes with unique benefits.
Just like traditional attention-deficit drugs use amphetamines to help people focus, sativas have been known to keep the mind active and at attention. On the other end of the spectrum, indicas tend to have a relaxing body effect that can help some people slow down and focus on the task at hand. And in the middle, hybrid strains contain characteristics from both sides of the spectrum, often resulting in the most effective medical marijuana experience.
5 of the Best Strains to Focus
A strictly Sativa crossbreed of Tangie and Sour Diesel, Sour Tangie is a mentally-stimulating strain that is great for focus. Sour Diesel is known for its popularity in busy East Coast cities like New York precisely because it is a perfect strain to smoke all day without going into a stoned stupor. Combining those effects with the bright, citrus-heavy terpenes in Tangie, Sour Tangie is one of the best strains for studying.
A legacy Sativa strain named after one of California’s most legendary pot pioneers, Jack is one of the best strains for ADD. Jack Herer is a combination of Haze, Skunk, and Northern Lights, and is well-regarded as one of the industry’s bedrock Sativa strains. The earthy bud has a smell and taste of spicy pine and is perfect for people looking for a strain that feels like an all-natural blend of Adderall and weed.
If a smoothie is great brain food, weed that smells like a smoothie must be great brain bud, right? Strawberry Banana is a relatively new hybrid strain, but it packs a serious punch that will keep experienced smokers engaged for hours. So whether you’re sitting down to write an essay or settling in for a three-hour movie, Strawnana is a delightful strain for any time of the day.
While Sativas tend to go to your head, Indicas like Do-Si-Dos tend to relax and calm the body. So if you’re struggling with ADHD and have trouble staying still, the best weed to focus on is likely a strong Indica. And if you’re looking for couchlock without the sleepy side effects, Do-Si-Dos is a perfect option.
OG Kush might be the most popular Indica strain of all time, and the potent pot is perfect for holding your attention. OG strains probably aren’t the best for novices, but if you want a strain that will glue you to your seat and keep your focus on even the most monotonous tasks, it’s time to fire up the Kush.
CBD For Focus
CBD won’t get you high, but if full-strength indicas, sativas, and hybrids are too strong to help your focus, cannabidiol is a great option. Whether it’s smoking CBD flower or finding the best CBD oil for focus, cannabidiol has an amazing ability to calm the body and mind without the sometimes overwhelming feelings of THC intoxication. If you want to improve your focus without getting stoned, look for strains like Ringo’s Gift, Harlequin, and Charlotte’s Web. And if smoking and vaping aren’t your thing, most CBD strains are also made into tinctures, offering some of the best CBD oil for ADHD and other attention issues without the potential to agitate your lungs.
Have you used cannabis to combat problems with focus? What type of strains have been the most helpful? Give us a shout in the comments and let us know what works best for you!
Let’s face it – sometimes we can all use a little help focusing. Whether or not you’ve been to a doctor and were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), entire industries have sprung up to help us extend our attention spans. The marijuana industry is no exception to this. As research continu
Best Strains for ADHD
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Best Strains for ADHD
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/06/2019 in Ailments and Conditions
Updated on August 26, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that can have a marked impact on mental health. It can affect memory, ability to focus on a specific task, and overall emotional well-being. Common symptoms, which are often first observed in childhood, include ongoing patterns of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Children with ADHD often can’t seem to sit still in school, for example, or don’t seem to be paying attention.
In the United States, ADHD affects about 11% of all children between the ages of 4-17 years and nearly 5% of all adults. But contrary to some perceptions, ADHD is not a behavior problem, but a complex disorder that impairs the brain’s self-management system and executive functions.
Unfortunately, ADHD isn’t always something that you outgrow, and for at least one-third of children, it follows them into adulthood. The symptoms are similar, and manifest as problems managing time, being organized, maintaining structure in your life, or even holding down a job. In addition, ADHD can affect relationships, family life, and academic and career success. As many as 10 million adults living in the US have ADHD, which can also be associated with mental health issues such as depression, mood or conduct disorders and substance abuse.
The causes of ADHD remain unclear, although it does appear to run in families, suggesting a genetic origin. A head injury could trigger symptoms. Smoking, drinking alcohol or poor nutrition during pregnancy may also be linked to ADHD in the child. Some research suggests children exposed to tobacco smoke in the womb are 2.4 times as likely to have ADHD.
There isn’t a “one size fits all” when it comes to ADHD treatment, which, depending on a person’s age, can include medication, psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments. Many people rely on medications for ADHD, and there are dozens of drugs on the market, some of which have been in use for decades. But while these medications are effective, they can have side effects including weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, and appetite los. Not surprisingly, there is interest in alternative therapies for ADHD.
Interest in marijuana has grown as a potential treatment for ADHD, but research is really still in its formative stages. Anecdotally, individuals say marijuana does help them deal with their ADHD, minus the side effects of prescription drugs, but the scientific evidence is not there yet. A 2016 study conducted by researchers from Duke University of 268 ADHD-related internet threads, for example, found that a quarter included postings from a person stating that cannabis was effective for ADHD. Other views were mixed, including 8% of threads with a post saying it was harmful, 5% reporting mixed results, and 2% saying it had no effect.
The interest in cannabis as a remedy appears to be three-fold. Individuals with ADHD tend to have problems processing the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Cannabinoids are believed to help correct dopamine deficiency if dosed correctly, and THC increases dopamine concentrations and activates dopamine neurons. A 2017 study conducted in the UK found that adults who used a cannabinoid medication experienced some relief in their hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms as compared to patients who used a placebo. The group using the cannabinoid medication also showed more appropriate inhibition of activity and better attention depth.
In its raw form, cannabis may be able to slow down the mental processes in people with ADHD, which in turn may allow for improved focus and concentration. It may also help relieve the side effects of stimulant drugs by reducing stress and nausea and improving appetite and sleep. Medical marijuana and stimulant medication may work synergistically, with the drugs helping with ADHD symptoms and cannabis easing drug side effects.
Even though there isn’t much research yet, anecdotally, users have pinpointed several strains said to help with common ADHD symptoms. These include:
Sour Diesel: One of the most popular cannabis strains, it is also known as known as Sour D, or Sour Deez, and contains 26% THC and 2% CBD. It is known for giving users an uplifting creative high and has been used for a broad range of medical conditions including anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.
Green Crack: Another strain recommended for ADHD by users. With a THC content as high as 24%, this strain is also used to treat PTSD, migraines, and other health conditions.
Blue Dream: Users say this strain delivers a strong jolt of energy, leaving them focused and motivated. This strain is useful for easing ADHD medication side effects and can also help with chronic pain.
True OG: This lesser-known strain has a calming effect, allowing users to focus on simple tasks, and is also known for helping to relieve stress and reduce distraction.
About the author
Roxanne Nelson is a registered nurse who has written for a wide range of publications for healthcare professionals and consumers, including Medscape, The Lancet, Prevention, Scientific American, WebMD, American Journal of Nursing, Frontline, National Geographic, Hematology Adviser, American Journal of Medical Genetics and the Washington Post, among others.
Interest in marijuana has grown as a potential treatment for ADHD, but research is really still in its formative stages. However, more is being explored.