Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Doses are Associated with Adult ADHD Status of Medical Cannabis Patients

By Jeffrey Y. Hergenrather, M.D., Joshua Aviram, Ph.D., Yelena Vysotski, B.Sc., Salvatore Campisi-Pinto, Ph.D., Gil M. Lewitus, Ph.D., and David Meiri, Ph.D.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was to identify associations between the doses of cannabinoids and terpenes administered, and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHODS:

Participants were adult patients licensed for medical cannabis (MC) treatment who also reported a diagnosis of ADHD by a physician. Data on demographics, ADHD, sleep, and anxiety were collected using self-report questionnaires. Data collected on MC treatment included administration route, cultivator, cultivar name, and monthly dose. Comparison statistics were used to evaluate differences in reported parameters between low (20-30 g, n=18) and high (40-70 g, n=35) MC monthly dose and low adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS, 0-5) score (i.e. ≤3.17 score, n=30) or high ASRS score (i.e. ≥3.18 score, n=29) subgroups.

RESULTS:

From the 59 patients that answered the questionnaire, MC chemovar could be calculated for 27 (45%) of them. The high MC monthly dose group consumed higher levels of most phyto-cannabinoids and terpenes, but that was not the case for all of the cannabis components. The high dose consumers and the ones with lower ASRS score reported a higher occurrence of stopping all ADHD medications. Moreover, there was an association between lower ASRS score subgroup and lower anxiety scores. In addition, we found an association between lower ASRS score and consumption of high doses of cannabinol (CBN), but not with Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CONCLUSION:

These findings reveal that the higher-dose consumption of MC components (phyto-cannabinoids and terpenes) is associated with ADHD medication reduction. In addition, high dosage of CBN was associated with a lower ASRS score. However, more studies are needed in order to fully understand if cannabis and its constituents can be used for management of ADHD.

Citation: Hergenrather JY, Aviram J, Vysotski Y, Campisi-Pinto S., Lewitus GM, Meiri D. “Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Doses are Associated with Adult ADHD Status of Medical Cannabis Patients.” Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2020 Jan 30;11(1). doi: 10.5041/RMMJ.10384

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