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CBD oil for ADHD – Will it treat symptoms safely?

Both children and the adults they mature into can be affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD and we want to look at how CBD can help. In fact, 5% of the UK public and their families cope with it on a daily basis. We look at if CBD oil for ADHD.

Stimulants, non-stimulants and antidepressants are used to treat symptoms but often the negative side effects outweigh the benefits and as a result, more and more people are looking into CBD oil as a potential alternative.

Does CBD oil help ADHD symptoms?

CBD has been shown to have potential in treating certain symptoms such as:


A study using Sativex (CBD & THC) as a treatment showed a nominally significant improvement in impulsiveness and hyperactivity.


CBD may improve organisational skills by inhibiting the chemical domperidone which is a dopamine antagonist (dopamine is required for attention).

Low frustration tolerance

CBD may help improve frustration by activating serotonin receptors which can improve mood and potentially reduce depression.

Problems focusing

Dopamine production is essential for concentration and CBD may improve focus levels by inhibiting a chemical known as domperidone which is a dopamine antagonist.

Is CBD legal?

Yes CBD is completely legal in the UK because manufacturers only produce the oil from CBD-rich hemp that was grown from hemp that contains less than 0.2% of THC and has less than 1mg in the product. Pet CBD is legal in many regions but may need a script from a vet in the UK.

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Side effects

In some rare cases, there have been side effects that were described by researchers as being mild to moderate in nature.

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They were:

  • Drug on drug interactions
  • Tiredness
  • Weight Change
  • Diarrhoea

Drug on drug interactions

CBD behaves in much the same way as common grapefruit juice in that it can affect pharmaceutical drug levels in the body. It does this by interacting with enzymes in the liver and so anyone on medication should seek advice prior to beginning CBD oil.


A common side effect is an insomnolence (tiredness). In small doses, CBD has been actually been shown to increase alertness but in higher doses, it may cause drowsiness – of course, this can make it very handy for those who have trouble sleeping. This may be part of the reason CBD oils and capsules helps with insomnia.

Weight change

16% of participants in the epidiolex trials reported reduced appetite and 2% reported weight loss.


In trials where epileptic patients took epidiolex 10% of participants reported diarrhoea. In other human studies using pure CBD, particularly anxiety cases, there were no such reports.

In comparison to existing pharmaceutical medication whose potential side effects include possible addiction, depression and more, CBD side effects are negligible. But is it still safe to consume?

Is CBD oil safe to consume?

CBD has been shown in numerous human studies to be completely safe and was documented by the world health organisation as “being well tolerated by humans.”

CBD is non-toxic and as a result, it is impossible to overdose. In fact, scientists have documented it’s incredible safety profile when looking at the long term effects of cannabidiol on epilepsy patients. Many people also use CBD for other conditions from helping with their sex life using CBD lube to helping them sleep using CBD oil…

How to use CBD oil for ADHD

The popularity of CBD for adhd and vast range of products in the UK is continuing to grow as sufferers of ADHD and their families look for a safer, more natural alternative.

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Different Forms Of CBD

The taste of pure CBD oil is not to everyone's liking and for this reason manufacturers are infusing it into all manner of products:


CBD Topicals come in a wide variety of products including balms, salves, and creams. Apply directly to the site of pain or infection and it will work on that specific area. CBD is ideal for numerous skin conditions, joint aches and muscular pains.

Smoking or vaping

For people looking for immediate relief why not try smoking or, even better, vaping CBD. The lungs have a wide surface area which allows for a rapid onset of effects via pulmonary absorption. Thanks to the lack of nicotine there is no risk of addiction.


Tinctures are familiar to everyone and have been around for centuries. CBD oil is placed under the tongue using a pipette for precise dosage. the tinctures range from 250mg to 4000mg in the UK. The most popular tincture strength for ADHD is 500mg and 1,000mg in 10ml.


CBD edibles are a great way of getting CBD into the diet without having to actually taste CBD oil. Choose from chocolates to gummy bears and more, or even make you own!

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Capsules and gelcaps offer a precise dosing method with simple, easy to swallow capsules. Different manufacturers will provide a range of strength options.

What does the research say?

While clinical trials into CBD oil use for people with ADHD are lacking, there is some research on its potential for children with autism. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD often go hand-in-hand, so there is hope that if it works for one it will work for the other.

Pathophysiology – Studies show people with ASD have a lower level of Anandamide, an endocannabinoid thought to be involved in pathophysiology. The enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) degrades anandamide but CBD has been shown to inhibit FAAH.

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Social skills – Anandamide signals oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for social bonding. CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide thus prolonging its effects.

Anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, pro-cognitive effects – CBD has agonistic activity at 5-HT1a receptors, an effect believed to mediate potential pharmacological antidepressant, anxiolytic and procognitive effects.

Sleep problems – Studies using CBD in Parkinson's treatment showed an improvement in the quality of sleep.

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Anecdotal evidence

Nicole Emanuel has 3 children, 2 of whom have ADHD. Her eldest son is taking Adderall but after starting him on CBD oil she has begun to wean him off this drug. Her youngest child was showing signs of ADHD and so rather than put him on medication she began CBD oil treatment and she is seeing positive changes in both children.

Marian’s son Arthur was displaying signs of ADHD symptoms. After starting him on a small dose of CBD oil and removing white bread from his diet she “noticed a big improvement” in his mood and behaviour.

CBD dosage guide for ADHD

There is no official dosage guide for CBD as it is currently viewed as a health supplement in the UK. That being said, anecdotal evidence suggests a “start small and slow” approach. Patients and families should consider the Dr Sulak method. CBD oil for ADHD is idea and a dosage starting low is always best, 2-3 drops for 10 seconds is often recommended.

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What exactly is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid (compound) from the cannabis plant known for its many medicinal properties. However, unlike THC it is non-intoxicating and as such, consumption will never result in any euphoric high-like feeling.

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CBD works by either activating a cell receptor by binding to it, blocking a receptor from activating or stimulating other chemicals into action.


CBD has the potential to help manage some of the more tiresome ADHD symptoms. More research is needed to fully determine its potential but it is believed that the ability of CBD to stabilise endocannabinoids is instrumental in how it works.

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