Cannabis + Focus

Discover Cannabis

Cannabis + Focus

Using cannabis as a treatment for attention-deficit conditions may seem counterintuitive—decades of stereotypes work against the idea of cannabis as something that helps focus. Unfortunately the research in this area is still lacking, but early studies that do exist are encouraging, and cannabis may provide therapeutic uses for some adult ADD and ADHD sufferers


ADD/ADHD is a complicated diagnosis, usually involving difficult-to-measure symptoms like hyperactivity and distractibility. These conditions have most often been treated with stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, which can be effective, but also come with certain negative side effects.

The reason for this is the way cannabinoids interact with the brain, potentially helping people with dopamine deficiencies, which has been linked to ADHD. It's also possible that people who have trouble focusing benefit from the way cannabis can slow down the mind for some. This would help explain why cannabis is popular with ADHD sufferers.

A more recent German study indicated there are focus and concentration benefits with low doses of high-CBD strains. This study ultimately concluded "For adult patients with ADHD, who experience side effects or do not profit from standard medication, cannabis may be an effective and well-tolerated alternative."


Many sufferers have a long, self-reported history of self-medication with cannabis with success. Recent studies indicate there may be therapeutic value for some of the 5% of adults with ADD or ADHD.


A 2013 study indicated CBD can induce anticompulsive-like effects in people with obsessive compulsive disorder. Like the ADHD research, this area still needs more exploration, but early results are positive.


People who suffer from severe post-traumatic stress experience anxiety and nightmares. Cannabis can reduce REM sleep resulting in fewer, less vivid dreams.


With certain cannabis strains people may find the psychoactive effects calming and relaxing. Some studies have shown that using only CBD in oil or capsule form can reduce everyday feelings of anxiety for extended periods, while low-temperature vaporizing with CBD-rich cannabis can relieve panic attacks in a few short minutes.


Cannabis Improves Symptoms of ADHD

Peter Strohbeck-Kuehner, Gisela Skopp and Rainer Mattern

Archiv für Kriminologie, 2008


Association of the Cannabinoid Receptor Gene (CNR1) with ADHD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Ake T. Lu, Matthew N. Ogdie, Marjo-Ritta Järvelin, Irma K. Moilanen, Sandra K. Loo, James T. McCracken, James J. McGough, May H. Yang, Leena Peltonen, Stanley F. Nelson, Rita M. Cantor and Susan L. Smalley

American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2008


Cannabinoid-Induced Conditioned Place Preference In the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat—an Animal Model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Pablo Pandolfo, Leandro F. Vendruscolo, Regina Sordi and Reinaldo N. Takahashi

Psychopharmacology, 2009


Successful Therapy of Treatment Resistant Adult ADHD With Cannabis: Experience From a Medical Practice With 30 Patients

Eva Milz and Franjo Grotenhermen

Medical Practice for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 2016


Cannabidiol Reverses the mCPP-Induced Increase in Marble-Burying Behavior

Mirella Nardo, Plinio C. Casarotto, Felipe V. Gomes and Francisco S. Guimaraes

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 2013


Effect of Illicit Recreational Drugs Upon Sleep: Cocaine, Ecstasy and Marijuana

Thomas Schierenbeck, Dieter Riemann, Mathias Berger and Magdolna Hornyak

Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2008


Dose-Related Effects of Delta-9-THC on Emotional Responses to Acute Psychosocial Stress

Emma Childs, Joseph A. Lutz and Harriet de Wit

Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2017


Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Esther Blessing, Maria Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares and Charles Marmar

Neurotherapeutics: The Journal of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics, 2015