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Marijuana Abuse and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)

ADHD and Marijuana abuse is a double-edged sword for those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to studies published in the journal Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, those with ADHD who are also habitually Marijuana abusers are very likely to suffer from cognitive and executive deficits, which may have to do with how they receive their medications. This study also shows that those with ADHD are more likely to smoke Marijuana than those without the disorder, and they even most likely start at a younger age

When ADHD occurs together with addiction or marijuana abuse, the individual struggles with a dual diagnosis, frequently, people diagnosed with two or more mental health disorders will seek out rehab treatment from clinics that can provide extensive treatment for the two disorders at the same time.

ADHD is quite common, and it affects nine per cent of children between the ages of 13 and 18 in America’s united states. It sometimes carries on even when the person reaches adulthood, as is evident because 4,1% of adults are affected. Marijuana abuse is very common in America, among all widely abused drugs marijuana it is the most commonly used illegal drug. Using them together can lead to severe results.

The research was carried out by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It was discovered that while 7% of teenagers in the United States with an average age of 17 use marijuana, an even greater 13% of teenagers with ADHD and Marijuana abuse. Marijuana can be used as a self-treatment, a temporary remission for some of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Those who advocate for Marijuana as an ADHD treatment claim it can help those with the disorder manage some of its more severe symptoms, including anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and depression. On the other hand, medical marijuana is known to have fewer side effects than traditional ADHD medications.

ADHD Symptoms

ADHD is classified as a childhood condition since signs typically appear about the age of seven, and it is usually diagnosed before the age of twelve. ADHD is described as a behaviour pattern that includes both inattention and hyperactivity and disrupts normal development and functioning in two settings: at home and school. At least six of the following symptoms are required for an ADHD diagnosis:


  • fidgeting and squirming
  • Talking excessively
  • Climbing or running around inappropriately
  • Unrest
  • Problems of quiet tasks
  • remaining seated


  • Having difficulty taking or waiting for a turn.
  • Interrupts frequently.
  • Doesn’t wait for questions to be completed before responding.
  • Frequently interrupts other people’s events or sports.


  • Organizational issues.
  • When talked to, he does not seem to be paying attention.
  • Distracted easily.
  • There’s a problem with information.
  • He is prone to misplacing his belongings.
  • ineffective follow-up.
  • Instructions are difficult to execute.

When an ADHD diagnosis is being made, six symptoms need to be present and constant for six months or more for an ADHD diagnosis was indeed made. People with ADHD can be hyperactive, impulsive, or inattentive. Marijuana Abuse symptoms are overt, which is why parents and medical professionals can readily distinguish them from those associated with autism.

Marijuana Abuse Signs

Marijuana abuse is very tricky to detect; Marijuana is gotten from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. The seeds, flowers, and dried leaves contain THC levels, a psychoactive chemical. Marijuana may be smoked or turned into edibles or baked goods. It alters the brain’s chemistry by stimulating cannabinoid receptors, many of which are involved in pleasure, giving users a “high” sensation. Marijuana abusers are often defined as having the following characteristics:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased appetite or cravings
  • Redness or Irritation of the eyes
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Random actions or thoughts

SAMHSA reports that 18.9 million Americans are using marijuana, 7.3% of the population and 2.1 million battle Marijuana abuse

People with ADHD Turning to Marijuana for Relief

It’s no wonder that ADHD is one of the most common conditions in childhood, and Marijuana abuse is widely common. People with ADHD, on the other hand, could be attracted to marijuana use. This may be because of their propensity for rash actions and impulsive acts. ADHD and Marijuana abuse may have hereditary origins, and environmental factors may play a role.

Teenagers are prone to peer pressure, impulsivity, and making negative or risky decisions and are likely to have issues with Marijuana abuse. ADHD-affected adolescents are also more vulnerable. These teenagers may be affected differently than their peers by tension and stressful environments, making drugs and alcohol more attractive. Marijuana has a relaxing or calming effect, which is why many people use it to relieve restlessness or to treat ADHD symptoms. This also prompts marijuana abuse

Marijuana works by stimulating some of the brain’s receptors, increasing pleasure in very similar ways to ADHD medications.

Ritalin, a popular ADHD drug, boosts dopamine levels throughout the brain, boosting good feelings. People with ADHD can use marijuana to self-medicate and improve positive feelings while decreasing anxiety

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What are the Benefits of using Marijuana for ADHD?

There are many comments from people on online forums claiming that they treated symptoms of ADHD with marijuana. People who have ADHD also claim to have few or no additional issues with marijuana abuse, so they claim I can’t entirely agree with that statement. However, they aren’t showing the study on adolescent use of Marijuana and Marijuana abuse. Additionally, there is concern regarding the development of a brain and its capacity to learn and remember new information.

According to McCue Jack, FACP, MD, physician, resigned professor of medicine at the University of California, and an author, San Francisco, “many teenagers and adults with ADHD are convinced that cannabis helps them and it has little or no side effects and Marijuana abuse (compared to medications).” “It’s possible that they, rather than their physicians, are right.”

Dr. McCue says he has seen patients with the typical symptoms and benefits of marijuana use. For example, they report intoxication (or “high”), appetite stimulation, sleeping or anxiety relief, and pain relief. According to Dr. McCue, these individuals also experience side effects that are common with traditional ADHD treatments.

“According to the limited literature on how cannabis helps people with ADHD symptoms, it is most effective for hyperactivity and impulsivity. It can be less beneficial in the case of inattention, “According to Dr. McCue.

Any of these online threads or forums were investigated by Trusted Source in 2016. Twenty-five per cent of the 286 lines examined by the researchers came from people who said that cannabis use was therapeutic. Just 8% of posts mentioned adverse effects like marijuana abuse, 5% mentioned both positive and negative effects, and 2% said marijuana has no impact on their symptoms. This recognition is essential, as the comments and forums are not clinically meaningful. These studies are not without evidence, however. Furthermore, they should not be considered medical advice regarding marijuana abuse.

“There are narrative accounts and various demographic surveys that indicate that individuals with ADHD use marijuana as a treatment as if they are losing their attention, concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity,” says Elizabeth Evans, MD, psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr Evans adds, however, “there is no sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that marijuana is a safe or effective treatment for ADHD and few individuals might be at a risk of Marijuana abuse.”

Risks of Marijuana Abuse

Two states have already legalized marijuana for commercial use, sparking a nationwide debate. Many people believe that since medical marijuana is becoming more common, it must not be harmful or addictive. The National Institute of Drug Abuse says that 9% of marijuana abuse patients become addicted, and that number rises to 17% if they start using it late in life. The number is anywhere between 25 and 50% for regular users.

Some of The Side Effects of Marijuana Abuse Are:

  • Blood pressure and heart problems
  • Breathing issues.
  • Migraine.
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or throwing up
  • dryness of the mouth
  • Convulsions
  • Weak immune system,
  • diminished mental abilities
  • Marijuana abuse

Those are just a few of the issues that marijuana abusers can encounter. An individual with ADHD and a comorbid condition is said to have a comorbid disorder, and they are more likely to experience negative side effects. ADHD can exacerbate inattentiveness and memory loss on its own. When the disease is combined with Marijuana, which has similar products, brain chemistry is altered, making school and work even more complicated. Marijuana abuse could worsen ADHD symptoms and complicate care.

Some researchers believe that marijuana abuse, specifically among children, may exacerbate ADHD symptoms. Since those who have ADHD have trouble thinking through their decisions, they are at risk of marijuana abuse without knowing the implications.

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What can I do to Assist?

It’s also unclear if stimulant use contributes to existing marijuana abuse in ADHD patients. Other courses of treatment include non-stimulants or extended-release stimulants(they are not as misused by patients). Immediate-release motivations can deliver faster and more potent high. Therefore they have a higher abuse rate.

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If you or somebody you care for struggles with marijuana abuse and ADHD, you should seek therapy. Many facilities only treat the specific condition, but people with this syndrome need Dual Diagnosis care. This form of therapy concentrates on the advanced treatment required to treat both conditions simultaneously.

Marijuana abuse or addiction cannot be treated independently from the ADHD, and relapse chances are higher if they are both not treated together. Dual Diagnosis care helps understand the unique pressures and issues those with comorbid disorders face.

Individual and group therapy may help people move through personal triggers and learn to cope in new and successful ways. Professionals are uniquely qualified to simultaneously assist with both ADHD and marijuana abuse problems, so an individualized treatment plan is essential. Families who work together have a higher success rate.

If you’d like to learn more about how Dual Diagnosis care can help you or your loved one recover from ADHD and marijuana abuse, please contact us.

Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Student Profile: Franz Carranza Applying Undergraduate CBD Research to Opening Beltline Business

Carranza (second from left)

ChBE Undergraduate Franz Arturo Carranza is applying the expertise he’s gained working with cannibidiol (CBD) as an undergraduate researcher at Georgia Tech to opening his own store on Atlanta’s trendy, burgeoning Beltline development.

Carranza, 22, started his company, TheraSolv Botanicals, in 2017 as an online CBD-focused retailer. Now his brick-and-mortar location is due to open in early 2020 near Piedmont Park, offering a variety of CBD oil products (the market for which could reach $20 billion in sales by 2024, according to research reported in Forbes).

Due to the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018, CBD is legal as long as its level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not exceed 0.3 percent. THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, but consumption of CBD oil produces no “high.”

While Carranza is careful to adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules prohibiting unsubstantiated medical claims for CBD in his marketing of TheraSolv’s products, industry reports show that use of CBD oil ingested in various forms has exploded in recent years as users seek alternative methods to alleviate a variety of physical and mental conditions.

According a review of the latest CBD research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a growing body of pre-clinical and clinical evidence indicates that CBD oil could be effective in treating chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, opioid addiction, and other afflictions. But more research is needed to establish efficacy and safety, researchers say.

Carranza personally believes that CBD has been highly effective in helping with his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which he’d taken the prescription drugs Ritalin and Concerta since age six. “They made me feel like a zombie,” he says. But CBD has helped him greatly ease off from those drugs. “CBD helps reduce my anxiety to point where I have the mental and emotional capacity to focus on my studies.”

Undergraduate Research

Carranza’s interest in exploring healing alternatives in nature grew while working as an undergraduate researcher on an algae-related study in Biological Sciences Professor Julie Kubanek’s Research Lab. There he helped discover certain bioactive compounds, which earned him a co-author credit on a study, “Iodinated Meroditerpenes from a Reg Alga Callophycus sp.,”published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

That accomplishment brought Carranza to the attention of Peter Ludovice, an associate professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, who began research into medical cannabis about five years ago and recently co-organized the “Hemp: Plant for the Planet” conference at Georgia Tech, focusing on the therapeutic, agricultural, processing, economic, and materials aspects of this rapidly growing field.

As an undergraduate research assistant, Carranza is now helping Ludovice on improving methods to extract CBD from the hundreds of other cannabinoids present in hemp plants (varieties of cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less THC content).

Carranza explains that they want to improve the supercritical CO2 extraction technique that has been used for years in the food and beverage industry (e.g. decaffeinating coffee) by using a co-solvent that would increase the CBD yield. Other CBD extraction methods are more cost effective than supercritical CO2 but involve solvents that pose toxicity and safety hazards that could also damage remaining parts of the plant, which could be repurposed into other useful products such as particle board.

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At TheraSolv, Carranza is already able to repurpose remaining hemp into products such as facial scrubs and soaps. The company’s main product line includes tinctures, lip balm, salves, and rice crispies.

Growing the Business

Carranza credits Ludovice for really pushing him to start the company two years ago, and it has evolved into a family business as he continues his studies part-time at Tech.

A junior by credit hours, Carranza started at Tech in 2015 but withdrew two years later after the deaths of an uncle and a couple of classmates led him into deep depression that resulted in his first D grade in a class, Numerical Methods.

That near failure shook his confidence about returning to Tech, so he channeled his energy into developing TheraSolv with the paid help of a business major and a few chemical engineering students from Tech. He says he’s likes ChBE students working on the extraction and packaging processes because of their lab skills and dedication to cleanliness and safety (goggles, gloves, etc.).

We make everything in-house” he explains. “Every product we have is handmade by us and tested by a third-party lab. We are not a white-label. We don’t purchase our product from a major corporation and then stick our label on it. We personally hand pick our hemp from our farm partner Unique Botanicals in Oregon. I have shadowed the farmer and seen the nutrients he uses.”

Returning to Tech

To help take his business to the next level, Carranza enlisted his initially wary mother and father. They agreed, but only on the condition that he complete his degree at Tech, which he is doing two courses per semester.

Shaken by his earlier struggle with Numerical Methods, Carranza was relieved to find that his mentor Ludovice was the teacher upon returning to Tech and repeating the course. They resumed working together in Ludovice’s lab again as well.

After he re-enrolled, his mother, Michelle Bishara, began supervising legal and operational issues for TheraSolv. Meanwhile, his father, Nami Bishara (retired from the construction industry), is focused on the build out of the store as well as outfitting a trailer dedicated for CBD extraction on a 10-acre family farm in Ball Ground, Georgia.

Until now, they have done most of the processing in the huge industrial kitchen of his mother, who used to run a Mediterranean bistro. With the farm, they hope to expand into growing their own crop. Medical cannabis dispensaries will become legal in Georgia in 2020, and that is also an opportunity they might pursue, but the cost of entry will be high.

For the time being, a CBD dispensary offers them much more flexibility, Carranza says. The TheraSolv store will be on Monroe Avenue, near the Virginia Avenue intersection, with nearby neighbors such as Midtown Butcher, Mint Salon Atlanta, and Arden’s Garden.

His mother is taking the lead on store display while his fiancé, Catherine Allen (who earned her BS in computational media from Tech in 2017), contributes graphic design.

In addition to CBD, they plan to sell local art and a greater variety of products, such as coffee imported from plantations in El Salvador, where he has family and spent the first few years of his life soon after his birth in Miami, Florida.

They also plan to host DIY classes and events. “We want to educate and empower people to understand what they’re putting into their bodies and make the best decision.”

Carranza hopes he can inspire more chemical engineering students to explore the possibilities of hemp, now that it is legal in all 50 states, because it reduces our carbon footprint. It grows much more quickly than timber and can be processed into paper, insulation, textiles, biodegradable plastics, and biofuel, among many other uses.

Because the CBD market is currently unregulated, consumers can’t always be sure what exactly they’re getting. Therefore, Professor Ludovice says the involvement of chemical engineers like Carranza is “exactly the right thing” to ensure quality standards. “More chemical engineers should get involved with this industry,” he says.