A study published last month in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal suggests that cannabis patients with ADHD are likely to use fewer prescription drugs, including psychostimulant medications such as methylphenidate and amphetamine derivatives which are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD symptoms.
Study participants included 59 adult medical cannabis patients in Israel who had received a diagnosis of ADHD from a physician and had a standing medical cannabis license for the treatment of any approved condition.
Participants were asked to answer a questionnaire detailing their conditions and medical cannabis use. Unlike previous research investigating medical cannabis as a potential ADHD treatment, however, this study sought to understand the role of cannabis’ phytocannabinoid and terpenoid compounds, as opposed to just the plant as a whole.
The study authors found that the consumption of cannabis containing high quantities of phytocannabinoids and terpenes was associated with the reduction of ADHD medication; specifically, the cannabinoid cannabinol (CBN) was associated with scoring lower on the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS).
“We demonstrated that patients treated with [medical cannabis] stopped their ADHD medications, especially in the high [medical cannabis] dose and in the low ADHD symptoms frequency subgroups.” — Excerpt from the study
The authors note that their study may have been limited by its small sample pool and the potential for biased patient reporting. “More studies are needed in order to fully understand if cannabis and its constituents can be used for management of ADHD,” they wrote.