STUDY: ADHD makes you more likely to use Marijuana

The latest study, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, suggests that some adults may be using marijuana to help manage hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.

While the study was the first to show this in humans, Mallory Loflin, a Ph.D student from the University at Albany’s Department of Psychology and co-author of the study, says research in animals also lends support to the findings. 
Although it’s common for ADHD sufferers to report using marijuana to relieve their symptoms, scientists have been skeptical up until now.

According to Loflin, that’s because most people think of problems with attention when they think of ADHD, forgetting about the other symptoms. But ADHD consists of three different subtypes, two of which include symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

And while researchers have yet to link cannabis use with improvements in attention, there is support for a role in impulse control.

Based on this hypothesis, Loflin and her colleagues looked at self-reports from 2,800 adult marijuana users and divided them into groups based on ADHD-related symptoms and how often they used cannabis.

What they found was that people who used cannabis on a daily basis – a pattern scientists refer to as self-medicating – were more likely to match the criteria for hyperactive subtypes.

Symptoms were assessed according to the adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS) – an 18-item criteria often used in epidemiological studies as an indicator of the disorder. Participants were asked to complete the ASRS based on symptoms that occurred only when they weren’t using cannabis.

Because of this, Loflin believes the study provides support for a role of marijuana in helping those who suffer from hyperactive forms of ADHD.

Read More: Leaf Science

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