CBD Oil for ADHD in Children and Adults: Does It Work?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects children and adults alike. It is characterized by symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty in focusing and completing tasks. While traditional prescription medications such as Ritalin and Adderall are commonly prescribed to manage ADHD symptoms, some people are turning to alternative remedies such as CBD oil.

CBD oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant that has been gaining popularity as a natural remedy for a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including ADHD. CBD oil contains minimal to no THC, which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives a high. As such, it does not produce the same intoxicating effects associated with marijuana.

Studies are still ongoing on the effectiveness of CBD oil in treating ADHD symptoms, but early research indicates that it may have potential. In this article, we will explore what CBD oil is, how it works, and whether it is a viable option for treating ADHD in both children and adults.

Understanding ADHD

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, and can significantly impact daily activities, relationships, and academic or work performance.

Types of ADHD

There are three subtypes of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. Inattentive ADHD is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty staying focused, forgetfulness, and being easily distracted. Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD involves symptoms such as restlessness, fidgeting, interrupting others, and impulsive behavior. Combined ADHD involves a mix of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.

The Causes of ADHD

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but research suggests that a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors may play a role. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD tend to have differences in certain areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions like decision-making and impulse control. Additionally, factors such as low birth weight, prenatal substance exposure, and childhood trauma have also been associated with an increased risk for developing ADHD.

Diagnosing and Treating ADHD

ADHD is typically diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation that includes a clinical interview, observation, and psychological testing. Treatments for ADHD often involve a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications such as stimulants and non-stimulants can help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity, while behavioral therapy can improve organization, time management, and social skills. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management techniques can also be beneficial for managing ADHD symptoms.

Common ADHD Treatments

Stimulant Medications

Stimulant medications are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD and work by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These medications have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

  • Examples of stimulant medications include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.
  • Side effects may include decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and anxiety.

Non-Stimulant Medications

Non-stimulant medications may be prescribed for individuals who do not respond well to or cannot take stimulant medications. These medications work by increasing levels of norepinephrine in the brain.

  • Examples of non-stimulant medications include Strattera and Intuniv.
  • Side effects may include fatigue, dizziness, and upset stomach.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy can help individuals with ADHD develop skills to manage their symptoms. It can also help parents and teachers learn strategies to support individuals with ADHD.

  • Examples of behavioral therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and parent training.

Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Regular exercise and healthy lifestyle changes, such as a balanced diet and adequate sleep, can also be beneficial in managing symptoms of ADHD.

  • Exercise can help improve focus, decrease impulsivity, and increase mood.
  • A healthy diet can provide necessary nutrients for optimal brain function.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the plant and diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil. Unlike THC, another compound found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a “high” sensation.

How does CBD Oil work?

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes such as mood, appetite, and sleep. It is thought that CBD may help to improve these processes and reduce symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, pain, and inflammation.

Is CBD Oil legal?

The legal status of CBD oil varies by country and state. In some places, it is legal for medical and/or recreational use, while in others it is only legal for medical use with a prescription. It is important to check the laws in your area before using CBD oil.

  • In the United States, the legality of CBD oil varies by state. Some states have legalized both medical and recreational use, while others have only legalized medical use with a prescription. Still, others have strict regulations on the use of CBD oil.
  • In Europe, the laws on CBD oil vary by country. In some countries, it is legal for both medical and recreational use, while others only allow medical use with a prescription.
  • In Canada, CBD oil is legal for both medical and recreational use.

It is important to note that even in places where CBD oil is legal, there may be restrictions on its use, such as age restrictions or restrictions on the amount that can be purchased or possessed.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

Endocannabinoid System

CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is an intricate system of receptors and neurotransmitters that help regulate a wide range of bodily functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, and pain sensation. The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance (homeostasis) within the body, and CBD oil has been shown to have a positive effect on ECS function.

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Neurotransmitter Signaling

CBD oil also works by interacting with neurotransmitter signaling. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that transmit signals between neurons. CBD has been shown to increase the levels of the neurotransmitter anandamide, which is known as the “bliss molecule” because of its positive effects on mood. CBD oil has also been shown to interact with dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that play a role in mood regulation.

Inflammation and Pain

CBD oil may also work by reducing inflammation and pain. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce inflammation in animal studies. CBD oil has also been shown to be effective in reducing pain in human studies, including studies on chronic pain and neuropathic pain. CBD oil may work by reducing inflammation and pain by interacting with the body’s immune system.

Overall, CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, neurotransmitter signaling, and immune system to help regulate bodily functions and reduce inflammation and pain. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action of CBD oil, early studies suggest that it may be an effective treatment for a wide range of health conditions.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for ADHD

1. Reduced impulsivity and hyperactivity

CBD oil may help to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity associated with ADHD. This is because CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood and behavior. CBD may also help to increase the levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for pleasure and reward, in the brain. This can help to improve focus and attention.

2. Improved sleep

Many people with ADHD experience sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up early. CBD oil may help to improve sleep by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. CBD oil may also help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, which can help to improve the overall quality of sleep.

3. Reduced anxiety and depression

Many people with ADHD also experience anxiety and depression. CBD oil may help to reduce these symptoms by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. CBD oil may also help to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

4. Fewer side effects than traditional ADHD medications

Many traditional ADHD medications have side effects, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, insomnia, and irritability. CBD oil may offer a more natural alternative with fewer side effects. CBD oil is non-addictive and does not produce a high, making it a safer choice for children and adults.

Overall, there is evidence to suggest that CBD oil may offer several benefits for those with ADHD. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD oil on ADHD and to develop effective dosing guidelines. If you are considering using CBD oil for ADHD, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if it is a safe and effective option.

Research on CBD Oil and ADHD

Animal Studies

Several studies on rats have shown that CBD may have a positive effect on hyperactivity and impulsivity, two key symptoms of ADHD. Researchers found that CBD administration reduced hyperactivity in male rats with ADHD-like behaviors. In another study, CBD was found to reduce impulsivity in rats with attention-deficit disorder. While these findings are promising, more research is needed to confirm if CBD can have the same effects in humans with ADHD.

Human Studies

There is limited research on the effectiveness of CBD oil for ADHD in humans. A small study of 30 adults with ADHD found that daily CBD oil capsules improved self-reported hyperactivity, impulsivity, and improved sleep quality. However, this study did not include a control group, and the results should be taken with caution. Another study with a larger sample size is currently underway.

Side Effects

While CBD oil is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, it can cause side effects in some people. These side effects may include dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and changes in appetite. Additionally, CBD oil can interact with certain medications, so anyone considering taking CBD oil for ADHD should consult with their doctor first.


While CBD oil shows promise in animal studies and limited human studies, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness for ADHD in children and adults. Additionally, anyone considering taking CBD oil for ADHD should work with a healthcare provider to monitor for potential side effects and drug interactions.

Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD Oil

1. Interaction with Other Medications

One of the main concerns with using CBD oil is the potential for interactions with other medications. CBD can inhibit the activity of certain enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing many prescription drugs, leading to higher levels of those drugs in the bloodstream. This can increase the risk of side effects and make it difficult to determine the appropriate dosage of medication. It is important to consult with a medical professional before using CBD oil if you are taking any other medications.

2. Adverse Reactions

While CBD is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience adverse reactions such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight. Higher doses of CBD may also cause dry mouth, dizziness, or lightheadedness. In extremely rare cases, CBD may cause liver damage or interact with other medications in a way that leads to liver problems.

3. Quality and Purity Concerns

Another risk associated with CBD oil is the potential for contaminants or impurities in the product. Because the CBD industry is largely unregulated, it can be difficult to determine whether a particular product is of high quality and purity. Look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and potency, and choose a reputable brand that offers transparency about their manufacturing process.

4. Legal Status

While CBD oil is legal in many states, it is still classified as a Schedule I substance at the federal level. This means that it is illegal to transport or sell CBD oil across state lines or to use it in violation of federal law. Before using CBD oil, it is important to familiarize yourself with the legal status of CBD in your state and to comply with any relevant regulations or restrictions.

CBD Oil Dosage for ADHD

Consultation with a Healthcare Professional

Before starting CBD oil treatment for ADHD, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage. The recommended dosage may vary based on many factors, including age, weight, severity of ADHD symptoms, and previous experience with CBD oil.

Starting Dosage for ADHD Treatment

The starting CBD oil dosage for ADHD may range from 5mg to 10mg, taken once or twice a day. The dosage can then be increased gradually every week by 5mg to 10mg until the desired results are achieved. However, it is still important to monitor the effects and consult a healthcare professional before increasing the dosage.

Dosage Guidelines for Children

Children with ADHD require special attention when it comes to CBD oil dosage. The recommended starting dosage for children is 2.5mg to 5mg, taken once or twice a day. This dosage can be increased gradually up to a maximum of 20mg per day, depending on the child’s age, weight, and response.

Effect of Other Medications

If a patient with ADHD is also taking other medications, including prescribed medication, it is crucial to inform the healthcare professional. The dosage of CBD oil may need to be adjusted due to potential interactions with other medications.

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CBD oil has shown promise as a potential treatment for ADHD. However, it is important to follow dosage guidelines and consult a healthcare professional to ensure that the treatment is safe and effective. With appropriate dosing and monitoring, CBD oil can be an effective treatment option for ADHD symptoms.

Ways to Take CBD Oil for ADHD

1. Sublingual Application

Sublingual application involves placing a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue and holding it there for about 30 seconds before swallowing. This method is popular because CBD is rapidly absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue and bypasses digestion, which may reduce the time it takes for the effects of CBD to be felt. However, the taste of CBD oil can be unpleasant for some people.

2. Capsules

CBD oil capsules are a convenient way to take CBD without the taste of oil. The capsules can be swallowed with water, and the CBD is absorbed through the digestive system. This method may take longer to feel the effects of CBD because it has to go through the digestive process.

3. Edibles

Edibles infused with CBD oil, such as gummies, chocolates, or baked goods, are a tasty way to consume CBD. However, edibles require time to take effect because the CBD must pass through the digestive system. It’s important to note that consuming too many edibles can result in an overdose, so it’s best to start with a small serving size.

4. Topicals

Topical CBD products are applied directly to the skin and are intended to be absorbed through the skin. They are often used for localized pain or inflammation and may not be as effective for ADHD symptoms. However, some people find that they provide relief for symptoms such as anxiety and stress.

5. Inhalation

Vaping or smoking CBD oil is another option, but it’s not recommended for children with ADHD. It’s important to note that inhaling CBD oil can have health risks and long-term effects are not yet known.


When it comes to choosing the right method of taking CBD oil for ADHD, it’s important to consider the individual’s preferences and needs. Sublingual application may be the most effective method, but capsules or edibles may be more convenient for some. It’s essential to talk to a healthcare provider before trying CBD oil for ADHD, especially in children, and to start with low doses and gradually increase over time.

Choosing the Right CBD Oil for ADHD

Consider the Source:

When choosing a CBD oil for ADHD, it’s essential to consider the source. Look for CBD oils derived from high-quality organic hemp plants that are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful contaminants. Check the manufacturer’s website and product label for information about the source of the hemp and the extraction method used to produce the oil.

Check the THC Content:

THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and it can cause side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and mood changes. While CBD oil is not supposed to contain high levels of THC, it’s still essential to check the THC content before purchasing. Look for products that contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal limit in the United States.

Ask for Third-Party Lab Results:

Third-party lab testing is necessary to ensure that a CBD oil contains the claimed amount of CBD and is free from contaminants. Many reputable manufacturers provide lab results on their website or upon request, so don’t hesitate to ask for them. Look for products that have been tested for potency, purity, and contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides.

Consider Delivery Methods:

CBD oil is available in various delivery methods such as tinctures, capsules, and topicals. When treating ADHD symptoms, consider the delivery method that works best for you or your child. Tinctures provide fast-acting relief, but some people may prefer capsules for convenience and precise dosing. Topicals can be applied directly to affected areas for localized relief, which may be beneficial for individuals with ADHD-related skin conditions.

  • Consider the concentration:
  • When selecting a CBD oil for treating ADHD symptoms, it’s essential to consider the concentration or strength of the product. A higher concentration of CBD does not necessarily mean better results, as each person’s body chemistry and condition is different. Start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects.


Choosing the right CBD oil for ADHD can be challenging, but with proper research and due diligence, you can find a product that works best for you or your loved one. Always consider the source, THC content, and third-party lab results for a high-quality, safe, and effective product. Experiment with different delivery methods and concentrations until you find the right one for your needs.

Legal Status of CBD Oil

Federal Law

CBD oil derived from hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC is legal under federal law in the United States. However, CBD oil derived from marijuana plants with higher THC content is still illegal at the federal level.

State Laws

Despite federal legalization of hemp-derived CBD oil, state laws may vary. Some states have legalized both hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD oil for medical or recreational use, while others only allow medical use.

International Laws

The legality of CBD oil varies widely across the globe. Some countries, such as Canada and Uruguay, have fully legalized both medical and recreational marijuana use, including CBD oil. Meanwhile, other countries, such as Japan and Saudi Arabia, have strict laws against any form of marijuana use, including CBD oil.


While CBD oil derived from hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC is legal under federal law in the United States, state and international laws can vary. It is important to research and understand the legal status of CBD oil in your location before making any purchases or using it for medical purposes.

Availability of CBD Oil for ADHD

Legal Status

CBD oil, which is derived from hemp, has been legalized in many countries around the world for medical use, including the United States. However, it’s important to note that the legal status of CBD oil varies by state in the U.S. and by country globally. Therefore, it’s essential to check the local laws before purchasing CBD oil.

Purchasing Options

CBD oil is widely available for purchase in the form of tinctures, capsules, gummies, and other products. It can be found in health food stores, pharmacies, and online retailers. However, it’s important to do thorough research before purchasing CBD oil, as many products may not contain high-quality ingredients or may not provide the desired effect.


The price of CBD oil varies depending on the product’s potency, purity, and volume. Generally, the higher the quality of the product, the more expensive it will be. However, it’s important to note that some companies may charge more for CBD oil simply due to the current trend in the market. Therefore, it’s essential to do thorough research and compare prices before purchasing CBD oil.

Insurance Coverage

As of now, insurance companies do not cover CBD oil for ADHD treatment. Therefore, individuals must pay out of pocket for any CBD oil products they purchase. However, as the research on CBD oil for ADHD continues to grow, it’s possible that insurance companies may cover it in the future.

Availability for Children

While CBD oil is generally considered safe, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider before giving it to children. Some products may contain THC, which can be harmful for children. Additionally, the dosing for children may differ from adults. Therefore, it’s important to find a high-quality and reputable product and consult with a healthcare provider before giving CBD oil to children.

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How to Talk to Your Doctor About CBD Oil?

How to Talk to Your Doctor About CBD Oil?

Know the Risks and Benefits

Before bringing up the topic of CBD oil with your doctor, it’s important to educate yourself about its potential benefits and risks. While some studies suggest that CBD oil can provide relief for symptoms of ADHD, there is still limited research on its use in children and adults. Additionally, CBD oil can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to discuss any potential risks with your doctor.

Ask for Their Opinion

When discussing CBD oil with your doctor, ask for their opinion on its use for ADHD symptoms. They may have more information about current research and be able to offer insights on how it could interact with any other medications you or your child are currently taking. Additionally, your doctor may be able to recommend a specific dosage or product that is best suited for your needs.

Be Open and Honest

It’s important to be open and honest with your doctor about why you are considering CBD oil for ADHD symptoms. Talk about your current treatments and any side effects you may be experiencing. This will help your doctor understand your perspective and make informed recommendations. Additionally, it’s important to disclose any previous or current substance abuse issues, as CBD oil can be habit-forming for some people.

Discuss a Care Plan

After discussing the potential benefits and risks of CBD oil, work with your doctor to develop a care plan. This may include trying a low dose of CBD oil and monitoring its effects on symptoms over time. Your doctor may also recommend regular check-ins to ensure that the CBD oil is effectively managing symptoms without causing any adverse effects.


Talking to your doctor about CBD oil can be an important step in managing symptoms of ADHD. By being informed, asking for their opinion, being open and honest, and creating a care plan, you can work together to determine whether CBD oil is a viable treatment option for you or your child. Remember, always seek medical advice before making any changes to your or your child’s medication regimen.

User Experiences and Reviews

Positive Reviews

Many users of CBD oil for ADHD have reported positive experiences with the treatment. They have found that it helps with focus, reduces impulsivity, and helps with anxiety and sleep. One user stated that CBD oil has “been a life-changing experience” for their child with ADHD. Another user reported that “CBD oil has been a game-changer for me. It helps me to focus and stay calm throughout the day.”

Negative Reviews

Not all users have reported positive experiences with CBD oil for ADHD. Some have found that it has little to no effect on their symptoms or that it causes unwanted side effects such as drowsiness or anxiety. One user reported that “CBD oil did not work for my child with ADHD. It seemed to make them more agitated and hyperactive.” Another user reported experiencing headaches after using CBD oil for ADHD.

Factors That May Affect User Experiences

It’s important to note that individual experiences with CBD oil for ADHD can vary widely. Factors such as dosage, the quality of the product, and individual biochemistry can all play a role in how effective CBD oil is for managing ADHD symptoms. Additionally, some users may find that CBD oil is more effective when used in conjunction with other treatments or lifestyle changes, such as therapy or exercise.


User experiences and reviews of CBD oil for ADHD are mixed, with some reporting significant symptom relief and others experiencing little to no effect or unwanted side effects. As with any treatment, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting CBD oil and to closely monitor any changes in symptoms or side effects. Additionally, it’s important to rely on high-quality products from reputable sources to ensure safety and efficacy.

Questions and Answers:

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a medical condition that affects attention and self-control. It is typically diagnosed in childhood but can also persist into adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

What are some traditional treatments for ADHD?

Traditional treatments for ADHD may include medication, behavioral therapy, and educational interventions. Stimulant medication such as Ritalin or Adderall is often prescribed to help manage symptoms, while behavioral therapy may focus on teaching coping strategies and improving social skills.

Can CBD oil be used to treat ADHD?

The use of CBD oil to treat ADHD is still a topic of much debate and research. Some studies suggest that CBD may help improve attention and reduce hyperactivity, while others have found no significant benefits. It is important to note that CBD oil is not approved by the FDA for treating ADHD, and more research is needed to determine its effectiveness and safety.


Simon Lee

As a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, I have often sought out alternative treatments to medication. CBD oil has gained popularity in recent years for its potential to help with various ailments, including ADHD. However, before jumping on the bandwagon, it’s essential to do your research and consult with a medical professional. While there is anecdotal evidence of CBD oil helping individuals with ADHD, there is not enough scientific data to support it. Plus, every person’s experience with ADHD is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Although it’s tempting to turn to natural remedies, it’s imperative to proceed with caution when treating children with ADHD. In summary, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of CBD for ADHD, and until then, consult with a medical professional and weigh the risks and benefits before trying anything new.

Julian Green

As a concerned parent of a child with ADHD, I am always looking for alternative treatments to traditional medications. The idea of using CBD oil sounds promising, but I am skeptical about its effectiveness. It would be helpful to have more research and studies to support the use of CBD oil for ADHD in both children and adults. I also have concerns about the potential side effects and dosing of CBD oil. Overall, while I am open to the idea of using CBD oil as a treatment option, I would like to see more concrete evidence before committing to it.

David Chang

As a concerned parent of a child with ADHD, I was intrigued by the idea of using CBD oil as a possible treatment option. However, after reading this article, I’m left with mixed feelings. It’s great to hear that there are studies showing some potential benefits to using CBD oil. But at the same time, there are still so many unknowns about CBD’s long-term effects on children. I appreciate the author’s balanced approach in presenting the pros and cons of using CBD oil for ADHD in children. I think for now, I’ll stick to the more traditional treatment options until there is more conclusive evidence that CBD oil is safe and effective for children. But as an adult with ADHD myself, I may consider trying CBD oil as a complementary therapy to my current treatment plan. Overall, this article was informative and well-written.