Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana prescription. However, one study shows that up to 25% of marijuana users with ADHD report cannabis positively affecting their symptoms.
But what are the best strains for ADHD? Which type of marijuana should you ask for if you walk into a dispensary to buy some?
Let us offer some recommendations.
If you’re interested in using marijuana to treat the symptoms of ADHD, we recommend starting with a strain called ACDC. This strain is the best place to start.
ACDC contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects. Strains with high THC content can cause anxiety and paranoia, so many people with ADHD prefer to avoid those side effects.
ACDC, on the other hand, has such low levels of THC that it’s often labeled as “THC-free” in dispensaries.
We’ll talk more about this strain — as well as some other recommendations — in the sections below.
As we discussed above, people with ADHD tend to enjoy strains that contain low levels of THC. Instead, what you want to look for if you have ADHD are strains with more cannabidiol, or CBD, than tetrahydrocannabinol.
That said, here’s a quick list of some other strains that may work well for you if you have ADHD:
We’ll walk through each of these strains below to explain why they can be good for people with hyperactivity disorders. But first, let’s talk about a few important points regarding cannabis use and ADHD.
Think you might benefit from medical marijuana? Connect with a prescribing doctor here!
ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Specifically, the ADHD brain has an imbalance of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters that play a role in regulating our focus and impulse responses.
Cannabis may help with ADHD because it is believed to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. However, there are many different types of cannabis products, and some of them may make ADHD symptoms worse.
Remember, cannabis contains many different chemical compounds, the two primary ones being THC and CBD.
THC, which is known for its psychoactive effects, can enhance creativity and focus in some individuals. However, it can also lead to anxiety and paranoia in others, making it a less predictable option.
CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, is known for its potential to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive function.
This is why many people with ADHD (though certainly not all of them) tend to enjoy marijuana strains with a higher CBD content.
Short answer: neither type of cannabis is “better” or “worse” for people with ADHD.
Both indica and sativa have unique characteristics that can potentially help to alleviate some ADHD symptoms. However, each comes with its own set of considerations.
Sativa strains are often associated with uplifting and energizing effects. However, they typically contain higher levels of THC than their indica counterparts.
On the other hand, indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedating effects. They typically have high CBD content, which can help to reduce hyperactivity and promote a sense of calm in some people.
Many people with ADHD enjoy indica’s relaxing effects. Others find that they experience a “couch-lock” sensation that’s not conducive to productivity or daytime functioning.
At the same time, some people enjoy the creative energy they feel from using sativa strains. While it can exacerbate anxiety and restlessness in some people, others find that it reduces their distractibility and impulsivity.
Ultimately, it depends on the individual’s preferences.
Alright, now back to some of the best strains for ADHD. Here are a few strains that people with ADHD tend to like, along with a bit of info about each one:
As we discussed above, we believe that ACDC is the best strain to start with if you want to start using cannabis products to manage ADHD. This is a high-CBD cannabis strain with a CBD-to-THC ratio as high as 20:1 or more.
This strain is known for having minimal psychoactive effects and for providing a calming and clear-headed experience. There’s a low risk of a “bad trip,” so you can experiment with its effects without experiencing intoxication.
Most strains have a bit more THC than ACDC, which many people enjoy. For instance, Harlequin has a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. This mixture allows a sense of relaxation along with mild euphoria.
Cannatonic is another strain with a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio. It’s often said to provide mental clarity and an overall sense of well-being.
Sour Tsunami also has a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio. It offers relief from anxiety and restlessness without the same level of impairment as some high-THC weed strains.
If you want your marijuana to make you feel a bit more elated, you might consider Blue Dream. It’s a sativa-dominant strain that often contains more THC than CBD, but it’s known to provide a sense of mental clarity and motivation.
Keep in mind that it’s essential to be cautious with higher-THC strains, as they can worsen anxiety in some people.
Green Crack is another sativa-heavy strain in which the amount of THC usually outweighs the amount of CBD. It’s not recommended for those sensitive to THC, but it can provide an energetic and clear-headed high that some people with ADHD find therapeutic.
Similar to Green Crack, this strain usually has more THC than CBD. However, it can be stimulating and conducive to concentration, making it popular among some people with ADHD.
Cannabis medicine can help treat various ailments, including mental health disorders. Learn about all of them in our list of treatable conditions.
We have more information about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder — and how medical marijuana may help to treat it — on our ADD/ADHD page.