Marijuana and ADHD, and… Oh, look! Cows!

There are many myths swirling around marijuana and ADHD, such as it being a helpful treatment. If you or someone you love is using marijuana to “cope” with ADHD, however, it’s time to learn the facts.

Sometimes a video is worth a thousand (or more) printed words. And, this informative, highly watchable piece from Rick Green at TotallyADD.com hits all the major points on a sometimes sensitive subject: People with ADHD using marijuana. I highly recommend it.

Here is the YouTube trailer, with more information below.

You can purchase the full video here at the TotallyADD website ($18.95 is the price posted right now, and that’s a bargain when you consider how many therapists or psychiatrists you might have to go through in order to get the same information, if you ever found a professional knowledge enough).

From the page:

By adulthood everyone with ADHD is ‘medicating’ themselves.

Whether they have been diagnosed with ADHD or not.

They’re self-medicating with nicotine, caffeine, overwork, drama, chaos, constant change, novelty seeking, risk taking, and addictions to gambling, food, sex, shopping, or exercise.

But perhaps the most common, and least recognized choice for self-medicating is marijuana.

It takes the edge off. I can focus.

It allows me to relax so I can do my job.

It calms me down so that I can sleep.

It shuts off the noise and chatter. I’m not anxious.

In this video ADHD experts reveal why Cannabis does help some ADHD symptoms. In the short term.

Hear from the experts in this video: Dr Lily Hechtman,  Dr David Teplin, Dr Allan Donsky, Dr David Pomeroy, Dr Umesh Jain, Gina Pera, and ADHD & Addiction specialist Dr. Sam Chang.

They also outline the costs, risks, and dangers, both to the body and mind. Science is showing that Marijuana impacts memory, IQ, motivation, and leads to higher rates of psychosis and even Schizophrenia. The latest scientific studies are revealing a shocking reality that the media is reluctant to talk about.

Featuring our ADHD poster boy, Bill, and his wife Constance, this video brims with humanity. And some shocking information. Prepare to have your beliefs challenged. This isn’t scare mongering. This is simply what’s so.

If you, or someone you love, is using Cannabis to cope, this video is a must-see.

17 thoughts on “Marijuana and ADHD, and… Oh, look! Cows!”

  1. Totally understand Gina. People will certainly not be able to “use it thoughtfully” with out legalization, access, and information made readily available. Thats been the sad story for this incredible plant since the 1920s and 30s. I highly (ha) recommend watching the documentary: the union (it’s on netflix).

    There are actually so many incredible resources and information about marijuana in general and pertaining to adhd. But, you gotta dig.

    Here’s a great video on Medical Marijuana as treatment for adhd : http://youtu.be/TTeagW1XONI

    Again, thank you for this blog. It’s inspiring. I have began writing my own personal one about my experience with my ADHD. It is in the infant stages. I am in no way a blogger, or know what i am doing- but.. I’m doing it! 🙂 if you would like to read a very personal, casual style blog with terrible sentence structure and grammar, all about my story w/adhd (i even touch on the marijuana stuff) give it a read!

    http://hocusfocused.blogspot.com

    thanks again for your site, we certainly need more like it. best, jb

    1. You are doing a great job, JB!

      A digression of sorts: Recently, I spoke at an ADHD conference in Mexico City.

      I took the opportunity to visit the house of Leon Trotsky. (He’d fled to Mexico, but Stalin ended up having him killed anyway.)

      There on a display of his family tree, I saw a photo of Nora Volkow, his great-grand-daughter and our U.S. NIDA chief (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

      I’d known of this connection for at least a decade. But coming to know Dr. Volkow, I was particularly interested in the history.

      In a sense, she is a “revolutionary,” too. Far from taking a “just say no” approach to drug abuse, Dr. Volkow operates from a base of empathy. She wants to know the “why” of people who become addicted to various substances, and she wants to find ways to help them.

      Her work with neuroimaging is among the most clear in demonstrating the neurochemical underpinnings of ADHD, the effect of cocaine on the brain, and much more.

      I share her belief in never shaming people who are addicted but instead trying to understand what need they are trying to meet, and help them find better ways to meet it.

      I can’t speak for her, of course, but I’m thinking that if she had her druthers, we’d be more seriously and extensively studying marijuana now. Instead, it remains another sad political football.

      Thanks for writing,
      g

  2. This video and the comments to follow are very concerning, but not surprising. While i appreciate any information and experiences from adults with adhd, self medicating, and the use of pharm medications in comparison to natural remedies.. the information in this video about marijuana directly for adhd is very vague. It actually comes off very biased. While the theme is primarily for ADHD+marijuana, over all- the information is unbelievably one sided. I encourage you and all of these commenters to do some digging and research marijuana and medical marijuana in general. Seriously in general. The “i’m not condoning recreational or medical use”-commenter. is a great example of the lack of information provided on this subject. Marijuana is not always taken by someone who “self medicates”. It’s actually be prescribed by a doctor now, for ADHD and a ton of other things. We aren’t talking about fish oil or zinc. There are incredible amounts of information on marijuana used medically, that are full of integrity from longevity -that completely debunk these premature studies.
    I do love your website. i am thankful for anyone who is trying to help people and build a community for ADHD.

    1. sorry about that “be” typo 🙂 “is” should have been typed (and i’m on adderall right now, not weed- so don’t blame it on that ya’ll. hehe)

    2. Thanks, JB.

      I wouldn’t dare to jump into the marijuana fray “in general” — too much we don’t know, too many variables with various products and the conditions for which people find some types of mj helpful.

      What I mean to focus upon is the problem of self-medicating among people with ADHD. It really can exacerbate their problems.

      In my experience, most of these people are not using it “thoughtfully” or with much discernment. They are simply, desperately seeking relief from the anxiety (especially when the doc prescribes a stimulant only, such as Adderall, without noticing that there is accompanying anxiety/depression, made worse by monotherapy with the stimulant).

      I’m glad you like my blog, and I appreciate your tolerance. 🙂

      Gina

  3. I am wary of purchasing this video (even though it is currently on sale for only $15.16) because I am concerned that the “science” behind the opinions expressed may not be very good. This is a common problem with almost all mainstream marijuana-related information. One reason I have concerns about this particular video is that I know researchers at Harvard Medical School have already proven that cannabis use does NOT cause schizophrenia–which is listed among the “dangers” discussed on this video. Have any of you cross-checked the claims made in this video against the best and latest research? Could it be that this video is simply now outdated? Does anyone know when it was produced? I am not attempting here to promote the use of cannabis (either for self-medication or recreational use,) but to promote the dissemination of information based on objective quality research as opposed to pop-info dressed up as quality information–the former being hard to come by when it comes to the issue of cannabis.

    1. Hi Erica,

      I appreciate your concerns.

      The thing is, this DVD is not claiming to be the comprehensive, definitive word on all that is marijuana.

      Rather, it’s focus is on marijuana and ADHD, and the specific risks therein.

      As for marijuana and schizophrenia, I’ve never heard serious researchers claim that marijuana alone causes schizophrenia. Rather, it has been posed that marijuana can act as a catalyst for an underlying genetic propensity for schizophrenia.

      Perhaps this is the Harvard study you are referring to?
      http://www.schres-journal.com/article/S0920-9964%2813%2900610-5/abstract

      Please note part of the discussion:

      “The current study, however, is not able to address whether cannabis can interact with a genetic predisposition to cause schizophrenia. In order to test this hypothesis, future longitudinal studies examining individuals at high familial risk for schizophrenia who do and do not abuse cannabis are needed. If when essentially controlling for genetic risk, those who use cannabis are significantly more likely to develop a schizophrenia-like illness than those who do not, a gene–cannabis abuse interaction is likely.”

      Also, note this limitation to the study: “One other important limitation to our study is that cannabis/marijuana as purchased on the streets of Boston and New York City has great variation in the amount of THC (Tetrohydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) contained in each unit of purchase. The amount of THC is particularly of concern, whereas CBD is the component that is thought to have medicinal value even in schizophrenia (Deiana, 2013). Unfortunately what proportions were of use in both cities at that time is not known.”

      So, you see, we must be very careful when referring to studies as “proof” of certain things. All studies have limitations, and an unreplicated study is simply one study.

      The bottom line is that some researchers have found a link between marijuana use and schizophrenia. Until a study can be designed and executed to tell us more about that risk, we cannot make any claims that “marijuana does not cause schizophrenia.”

      The risks to ADHD are well-known in terms of working-memory impairments and lack of motivation. Adding marijuana’s risks in these areas to “treat” ADHD is an experiment one undertakes at one’s own risk. Moreover, given ADHD comorbidity with other neurogenetic conditions, one is throwing the dice indeed.

      So, Erica, I’d have to say if there’s any “pop-info dressed up as quality information” here, it’s the idea that one study can be summarized with the simplistic “marijuana does not cause schizophrenia.”

      Best,
      g

  4. Yikes! I suspect if I watch this it will confirm what I already know. I grew up in the country and felt like the only one of my social group in high school who did not regularly smoke marijuana. I tried it once with said friends when we were in college, and that was more than enough. Wow. The effects on my cognitive abilities the following day were truly scary. I had terrible memory issues and was afraid I’d permanently untethered what few useful connections my brain had to begin with. Luckily, all was back to the status quo before long, but I’m not interested in repeating that experience ever again.

    1. Wow, how wonderful that you had the ability to notice the difference, Jaclyn. I imagine some people don’t.
      g

  5. Hi,
    The only reason I am not 100% ADHD is because I don’t have pre … you know, those women pre problems because I’m a man but I garantee 98% 🙂 of pure ADHD and I am not a teen any more for such a long time (around 340 years : ) ) . Depending on how you use it, it might be a real natural medicine. If you exagerate , you might have problems . Perhaps the secret of success in this case is in the balance; to do but not to pass over the fence…
    🙂

  6. Hi Gina

    We’re always thrilled when you like our videos. It means a lot to us to get feedback and yours is always especially treasured. Thanks for posting the Marijuana video in your excellent blog!

    To celebrate, we’ve just put it on sale!

    It’s now 20% off, so it’s $15.16.

    And, your blog followers can get an extra 10% off (until Oct 15) using the Coupon Code: GINA

    Thanks so much!
    Ava

    1. That’s very generous of you, Ava! Imagine how many visits with mental-health professionals it might take to glean a quarter of this information. I shudder to think!

      I’ll share the code in the post.

      Keep up the great work!
      g

  7. Thanks Gina,
    Absolutely an essential video for the DIY, do-it-yourselfer’s out there. Don’t know if the video hits this point, but it bears repeating nevertheless: Using the principle we use everyday for dialing in stimulant meds effectively – the half life – many of us support the first choice of time release medications to forestall abuse and increase compliance. That notorious drug release pk [pharmacokinetic] curve does flatten out with time release meds so the peak, the high, the inefficient excess often experienced by IR meds does diminish.

    On the marijuana side of half-life the DOE *duration of effectiveness* is worse than any stimulant meds. At about 2 – 3 hours one has to smoke all day to achieve a measure of symptom relief, and then the side effects accumulate, as you point out, and they forget basic details – like where is the bathroom?

    From a self medication point of view marijuana not only causes decreased cognitive function, but creates marked inefficiency on half life alone.
    cp

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