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Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder

"Why would anyone want to give their child an expensive pill... with unacceptable side effects, when he or she could just go into the backyard, pick a few leaves off a plant and make tea for him or her instead? Cannabinoids are a very viable alternative to treating adolescents with ADD and ADHD"

WASHINGTON - As a California pediatrician and 49-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, Claudia Jensen says pot might prove to be the preferred medical treatment for attention deficit disorder - even in adolescents.

While some wonder whether Jensen was smoking some wacky weed herself, the clinician for low-income patients and professor to first-year medical students at the University of Southern California said her beliefs are very grounded: The drug helps ease the symptomatic mood swings, lack of focus, anxiety and irritability in people suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders like ADD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

"Cannabinoids are a very viable alternative to treating adolescents with ADD and ADHD.I have a lot of adult patients who swear by it."

Under California state law, physicians are allowed to recommend to patients the use of cannabis to treat illnesses, although the federal government has maintained that any use of marijuana - medicinal or otherwise - is illegal. The federal courts have ruled that physicians like Jensen cannot be prosecuted for making such recommendations.

Jensen said she regularly writes prescriptions recommending the use of cannabis for patients -particularly those suffering pain and nausea from chronic illnesses, such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and arthritis.
She has also worked with one family of a 15-year-old - whose family had tried every drug available to help their son, who by age 13 had become a problem student diagnosed as suffering from ADHD. Under Jensen’s supervision, he began cannabis treatment, settling it on in food and candy form, and he has since found equilibrium and regularly attends school.

But not everyone is so high on the idea of pot for students with neurological illnesses. Subcommittee Chairman Mark Souder, R-Ind., who invited Jensen to testify after reading about her ideas in the newspaper, was hardly convinced by her testimony.

"I do believe that Dr. Jensen really wants to help her patients, but I think she is deeply misguided when she recommends cannabis to teenagers with attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity," he told Foxnews.com. "There is no serious scientific basis for using marijuana to treat those conditions, and Dr. Jensen didn’t even try to present one."

Dr. Tom O’Connell, a retired chest surgeon who now works with patients at a Bay Area clinic for patients seeking medical marijuana recommendations, is working on it. He said cannabis not only helps pain, but also can treat psychological disorders. He is currently conducting a study of hundreds of his patients, whom he said he believes have been self-medicating with pot and other drugs for years, and he hopes to publish a paper on the subject soon.

"My work with cannabis patients is certainly not definitive at this point, but it strongly suggests that the precepts upon which cannabis prohibition have been based are completely spurious," O’Connell said. Worse yet, he added, the prohibition has successfully kept certain adolescents away from pot who now turn to tobacco and alcohol instead.

Jensen, who said she believes Souder invited her to testify to "humiliate me and incriminate me in some way," suggested that a growing body of evidence is being developed to back medical cannabis chiefly for chronic pain and nausea. She said it is difficult, however, for advocates like herself to get the funding and permission to conduct government-recognized tests on ADD/ADHD patients.

"Unfortunately, no pharmaceutical companies are motivated to spend the money on research, and the United States government has a monopoly on the available cannabis and research permits," she told Congress. Studies done on behalf of the government, including the 1999 Institute of Medicine’s "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," found that cannabis delivers effective THC and other cannabinoids that serve as pain relief and nausea-control agents. But these same studies warn against the dangers of smoking cannabis and suggest other FDA-approved drugs are preferable.

"We know all too well the dangerous health risks that accompany (smoking)," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member on the subcommittee, who like Souder, was not impressed by Jensen’s arguments. "It flies in the face of responsible medicine to advocate a drug that had been known to have over 300 carcinogens and has proven to be as damaging to the lungs as cigarette smoking," added Jennifer Devallance, spokeswoman for the White House Office of Drug Control Policy.

The government points to Food and Drug Administration-approved Marinol, a THC-derived pill that acts as a stand-in for marijuana. But many critics say there are nasty side effects, and it’s too expensive for the average patient.

On the other hand, Jensen and others say cannabinoids can be made into candy form, baked into food or boiled into tea. They say that despite the FDA blessing, giving kids amphetamines like Ritalin for ADD and other behavioral disorders might be more dangerous.

"Ritalin is an amphetamine - we have all of these youngsters running around on speed," said Keith Stroup, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

"Although it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, it’s nevertheless true that cannabis is far safer and more effective than the prescription agents currently advocated for treatment of ADD-ADHD," O’Connell said.

Stroup said if Souder’s intention was to harangue Jensen, he was unsuccessful in the face of her solid and articulate testimony on April 1."It was a good day for her, and a good day for medical marijuana in Congress," he said.

Nick Coleman, a subcommittee spokesman, said Souder doesn’t "try to humiliate people.

"But to promote medical cannabis for teenagers with ADD... he does not feel that is a sound and scientific medical practice," Coleman said. While the issue of treating adolescents with medical marijuana is fairly new, the idea of using pot to treat chronically and terminally ill patients is not. Nine states currently have laws allowing such practices. A number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have added that they want the states to decide for themselves whether to pursue medical marijuana laws.

Among those lawmakers are Reps. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a physician; Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.; and Barney Frank, D-Mass. "(Rep. Paul) believes there are some legitimate applications," like for pain and nausea, said spokesman Jeff Deist. "But the real issue is that states should decide for themselves."

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
www.foxnews.com 04/20/2004
Update Wednesday 19 January 2005 13:28, published Wednesday 19 January 2005 13:17

forum of the article

Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I have a 5 year old boy who just won’t sit still or focus on his school work, its hard for him to concentrate and focus on anything,he just cant do it, i try to help him with his home work but he just starts messing around with his pencil or starts talking and or wiggling in his chair and wont focus , im pretty sure he has ADD and ADHD ,and i dont want to take him to the doctor because i know there gunna put him on pills ,and i dont want that, ive seen some kids and adults on it and it changes them. I love my son and i dont want to change him, i just want him to succeed in life i dont know what to do, ive been reading about hemp oil , but its not legal in Texas,which it should be, because i really think it can help him. I dont know what to do anymore,ive been having alot of problems with him at home or school

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9 October 2014 by jlopez9269
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
Sorry, I’m French, my English is poor. Go see a doctor at a cannabis dispensary in Colorado to determine if treatment is his case and to test its effectiveness. For children, there are also varieties rich in CBD without THC but I am not a doctor and I can not advise you. I am a Christian and I pray for you both. I am sure there is a solution for you! Greetings.

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  9 10 2014 by Bouvarel JL
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
As a long term patient of Fibromyalgia, all I can say is, that medical marijuana gives me much more relief of my pain, than all the medicaments I have to take on a daily basis.
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Some might be reluctant to believe, that Mail Order Marijuana works, but it does. I am glad to see, that sites, as yours, gives a lot of information for people same as me. thank you all and stay healthy at all times.

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26 July 2014 by Cheech
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
This makes so much sense to me know. I was diagnosed with add at the age of 12. I switched from one medicine to the next as the years went on trying to find the perfect medicine that didn’t throw my body/mind for a loop. I eventually discontinued use of all add/adhd medicines and thought because I was 18 and an "adult" I would be able to control this condition. Wrong. It has lead to lost jobs, showing up late, many in-consistencies etc. Some say this is laziness, lack of motivation, etc, etc. Anyone who knows anything about this condition knows that is completely false. I began using cannabis; at first it was recreational, but after maybe a week or so I could clearly tell an enormous difference in my life. I felt motivated. Energized. Focused on tasks; at home and at work. In general just a complete 180. I have always told my friends that I am an extremely productive "high" individual. In lesser words; I get work done. After reading this article and tons more articles on the internet I completely understand why I feel that way. I am not a band wagon cannabis user. It really and truly has helped me get things back on track with my life. Im not a doctor my any means and have no background in this subject besides my own personal experience. But on that note I do feel like it is an amazing alternative to all of the rx drugs on the market. I dont lose my appetite as I would with almost all other prescribed drugs. I also don’t feel drowsy or just unmotivated in general like most prescribed drugs do. Although this alternative may not be for everyone I do strongly believe that it is worth looking into and finding out as much as you can and making an educated decision based on your own findings and information. Thank you for y’alls time, I know it was a lot to read.

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4 April 2011 by Ty
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I am 70 years old and was not diagnosed with ADHD until about 3 years ago at which time i was put on ritalin 5mg which did help but about 3 mos. ago the pharmacy could not get it anymore. medical cannabis works even better but is too expensive for more than occasional use. it produces a feeling of wellbeing that ritalin does not and really helps me to focus.

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  6 03 2012 by MOJOTIKI
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I am a 49 yr old female I have adhd and have been self medicating for years with cannabis,not knowing why it made me feel normal, I have a uni degree that I could not have acheived with out the use of pot
I dont want to smoke anymore as I have a child and it is not acceptable and I can not afford it anyway.I would love to try the medical cannibis as now I am all over the shop and depressed as I can not focus on anything, I have even become reclusive in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing,I live in Australia so the chances of getting medical canibus is nill.
bring it on ASAP.PLEASE

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10 June 2009 by Jenny
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I have had ADD forever and have taken medicines that help but it always has some kind of side effect. I started smoking cannabis recreationally after I left the military. I was surprised at how easily I could focus on one thing and think it out rather than being frustrated because to many other things were drawing my attention. For the government to deny the people such an inexpensive and easily grown medicine shows you how much greed influences their decisions.

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12 February 2009 by Kenneth Ryan
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
After being tossed out by two high schools I took it upon myself to finish my high school degree online, which during this time I also became a regular cannabis user. Smoking cannabis helped me focus entirely on my work and even other aspects of my life where otherwise I would become distracted and lose concentration. The list of ailments cannabis has helped me overcome is virtually unfathomable and no other pharmaceutical proved itself to be even remotely as effective, not to mention the countless side-effects I endured consequently just to medicate myself legally.

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22 September 2008
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I too have Adhd and am a frequent user of marijuana....i started smoking at 15 my freshman year and now 2 years later at 17 have graduated high school a year early ... My whole life i had to deal with the problems and side effects that come along with standard stimulant treament and after smoking marijuana i was able to focus just as good was happier and did not have the come downs of these so called safe drugs ... anyone who thinks marijuana doesn’t help adhd either don’t have adhd or have never smoked

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5 September 2008 by Auston Arellano
Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
this sort of things pisses me right off,people dont like pot. so the stupid people say it cant be the cure but i believe it is. i have a brother and another sister all with add and adhd. out of all of us i am the one who smokes pot, and i say to you it works, i failed all throught school. i could never concentrate, as soon as i was out of high school i began smokeing pot and i saw so many changes things actually felt real i could focus and think through things. recently i went back to classes to get my ged, and much to my suprise i understand everything after being told how its down what never stuck before in school works for me now, i dont think this is coincidental. weed is the cure

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4 June 2008 by John
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
did you use commercial grade or high potency grade ?

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  14 02 2014 by papa d
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
If you want to ask me about the dosage (potency) then I can not answer you.
It is certain that only organically grown hemp with sun and earth is good enough.

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  16 02 2014 by André Fürst
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I am really happy to read your words. I am ADD two and self medicate since 14 years, diagnose since 6 months. Cannabis saved my life. I have been able to graduate a master degree. Since january I am involved in IACM ( http://www.acmed.org). I am pushing up to create an interest group in the IACM .... so I recommand, if you want to involve yourself in the cause, to join us (me and another lux patient) .... The more we will be, the more we will be able to make things moving :-) Also I recommand evrerybody who would be interested in ADD/ADHD and cannabis to join IACM, and presenting as interest in ADD/ADHD. You will be welcome :-)I will be reachable by the IACM.
Best to all and peace.

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  12 07 2008 by Ludozz
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
Same here. I am not even a pot-crusader myself. I just try and apprehend issues with an open mind. And I also feel like I’ve been self-medicating for my vicious ADD for a long time. Weed seems to work... Now, a couple of things I have noticed: Don’t smoke weed, but blend it in a juice, or a tea, or a cake or whatever you want, but ingest it. Here’s why, I think:

Smoking weed (which usually means 2/3 joints a day to feel the effect long enough) will knock you out, and in time depress you (does that to me anyway). Or it will simply make you unable to continue growing in your life, go places, be tight and all. After a while all those lost opportunities because you were too spaced out to seize them are gonna catch up with you, and you won’t be much happier for it.

Smoking it will make for a strong "spike" in effect, but a quick disappearance. Like first you’re out of it, and then the buzz is gone, to caricature. Better to ingest some, the release is a lot smoother, softer and lasts all through the day.

Finally I believe that there are a fair few cancerigens produced by the combustion of weed, when you inhale it in your lungs, it is detrimental to your respiratory system. Seems intuitively to be much healthier to ingest it for that too.

I guess we all have different reactions to it, but here is, for what it’s worth, what my investigations have yielded...

Also, multi-vitamin (including lots of magnesium which is too often missing in our diet), and vigorous exercise work best for me. I think it’s important to treat it by using all means available, at all levels at the same time. It’s a whole, holistic issue...

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  23 07 2008 by Stephane
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
After smoking for most of my collegiate career I have to agree that it has helped me. I can also say that anything is easily abused whether it is the conventional treatments for add or other things.... I am more curious about ingesting this wonderful plant. I read the last post and agree with the affect of smoking except when I smoke there is probably 1-3 hours of "highness" and then I actually feel great and get alot done and am more social...basically all aspects of my life seem to come together at once. With the conventional treatments at least in the stimulant form I definitely got things done but felt the come down and felt like I needed them. I also noticed my social life suffered and found it hard to express myself. Now I am currently trying out strattera (however you spell it) and I get almost all of the side effects (I am still in the 1st month of the drug) I get nauseous, depressed, mood swings, etc. most of which have been treated by smoking. I could not say which is most effective the smoking or the prescription drug, becuase in my state I cannot legally have a prescription for marijuana. However, If I knew a reliable way to ingest I think it would help alot. I have tried brownies but I try to eat healthy and wouldnt consider eating a bunch of butter and sugar everyday. Also the dosage was way out of wack and I was "messed up" for a couple days. Hence I would like to know what im doing before I do that again...
Any help would be appreciated.

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  14 09 2008 by duckmn56
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I likes you comments on ingering the plant. Here is my ADHD experience to date.
I have tried ingering with cookies (butter) and caps (after curing 140°C in hoven) in the day ... because it is easier for work. But in my case, it is not the best for the moment. By ingering, I feel that is is not calming me down enough. I feel relax but don’t have the kick i like. If I increase the dose in the cookies, I get dizzy.
I guess that I have to opitimze, maybe the cooking process and strain selection.
Main issue is the price of cannabis because it needs a lot for cooking :-)

A word on our project in Europe : a little group of patients are working to explain medicinal cannabis to european psychiatrist. We want to be representative at the second internationnal Congress on ADHD , Vienna in May 2009. We have support of a few organisation, iACM is part. You are welcome to come, join us or just send us a mail. We work on a possibility to register .... but we are beginners and look for an ADHD webmaster to take care of the web site :-)

==== http://mcforadhd.free.fr ====

Very best to all ..... it’s real pleasure to share with you from FrAnce.

A. Jeffrey
IACM Member
ENCOD Member

Strasbourg, France

Answer to this message
  visit web site : Medicinal Cannabis for ADHD - European Patients Action - JOIN US ... : http://mcforadhd.free.fr
  21 11 2008 by Alexandre Jeffrey
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I have ADHD and I know from watching videos in america that medical cannibis works and its dosed I could probably go to uni and study medical science and psychology so I am going to fight this my doctor can percribe it to me he just needs the information to do so
the facts are there how cant they give it to us?


there is 3 parts

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  5 04 2010 by killerbee
  Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
I have had add/ADHD since I was around 9 years of age. I could never focus and was always on edge and very hyper. I started smoking herb at around 12 years of age. It has helped me through middle and high school. I truly believe that if I did not start smoking herb that I would not have been able to make it
through school. I’m 20 now, so after 9 years straight of smoking herb, I decided to
stop smoking, and test it out to see if it really has an effect of me as pertaining to my add/ADHD. I didn’t smoke it for a month....my productivity at my job went down. My school work was starting to suffer. Then I went back to my "regular smoking scedule" and everything is doing just fine as it was before I stopped. No, I was not thinking about it or dreaming I was smoking it. I just went along everyday like it was just another day. Cannabis has helped my life tremendously. I know for sure it has an effect on people with add/ADHD and in my expierence, it was a helpful effect.

Tony. Florida.

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  24 10 2014 by Mrs Ellen Bates