ADHD: The life-changing benefits of medical cannabis for patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

In a healthcare landscape grappling with record waiting lists and an overwhelming demand for healthcare, concerns are growing over the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

We spoke to Sky News about the surge of people in the UK turning to cannabis to manage misdiagnosed or undiagnosed symptoms of ADHD in a desperate attempt to manage their symptoms.

Watch our interview here and read this blog to discover the benefits of medical cannabis for patients with symptoms of ADHD.

This neurodivergent condition – characterised by symptoms such as difficulty focusing, restless behaviour, and impulsivity – affects around 2.6 million people in the UK. However, only 8.2% of diagnosed individuals are receiving prescriptions, leaving a vast majority without treatment which has led to an influx of Brits self-medicating with cannabis.

Join us as we delve into this and explore the potential for safe cannabis-based prescription medicines (CBPMs) that have the potential to revolutionise ADHD treatment.

Waiting times for ADHD up to five years - Patient - Mamedica the medical cannabis clinic is supporting ADHD patients

Why are people self-medicating with cannabis?

Data from ADHD UK suggests that an estimated 2 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed ADHD. As the healthcare system struggles to provide timely diagnoses, patients are left to grapple with their symptoms without proper support.

Stats reveal that the number of people self-medicating with cannabis has surged by 29% since 2019. Brits are now spending approximately £3.57 billion annually on cannabis for health reasons, with some individuals shelling out over £250 per month.

Mamedica patient Kris Witham had been self-medicating with cannabis sourced on the illicit market for just under 15 years prior to his ADHD diagnosis. However, the impact of cannabis on his condition was “life-changing”.

After his ADHD diagnosis, he tried four traditional treatment methods: Ritalin, Elvanse, Melatonin and talking therapy – none of these proved to be effective. After becoming a patient with Mamedica, Kris obtained a safe and legal medical cannabis prescription which he says helps him to sleep, focus and relax.

Medical cannabis plant - UK clinic Mamedica for ADHD patients

How is Mamedica plugging the healthcare gap?

The wait list for an ADHD assessment in the UK is currently up to five years. A senior consultant in the Guardian stated this is potentially due to a breakdown of doctors’ autonomy, inadequate training among healthcare professionals, and misconceptions surrounding ADHD.

Medical cannabis clinics like Mamedica offer a natural, holistic approach to symptom management amidst rising wait times.

While traditional meds like Adderall and Ritalin are frequently prescribed, they often come with undesirable side effects, including loss of appetite and sleep disturbances.

Medical cannabis, on the other hand, offers a patient-centric alternative for those who have found traditional medication to be ineffective.

Patient - Medical cannabis clinic for ADHD patients Mamedica

What ADHD symptoms can medical cannabis help to manage?

Research into the impact of medical cannabis on symptoms of ADHD indicates a reduction in hyperactivity, self-mutilation, anger, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and depression – all of which are commonly experienced by neurodivergent people.

Mamedica underlined the public desire for increased availability of alternative prescriptions with over a third (34%) of respondents saying that the treatment they are receiving is not personal to their condition.

Meet Charlotte Franklin, a 50-year-old ADHD patient who has seen life-changing benefits since moving away from traditional meds to medical cannabis:

“Before Mamedica, I was prescribed Ritalin and Adderall, which helped me crack through my work but by the end of the day I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Once I moved to medical cannabis, I was able to slow down and get things done without the background noise.

I got in touch with Mamedica and within a couple of weeks, I had a prescription.”

If you can relate to Charlotte’s experience, check your eligibility for medical cannabis here.

Medical cannabis plant - UK clinic Mamedica

Mamedica’s approach to bespoke medical cannabis treatment for ADHD

We specialise in cannabis-based prescription medicines (CBPMs) that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Our linked pharmacy offers prescriptions (from oil to cannabis flower), for patients who have not found satisfactory results for their conditions with their existing medications across pain, psychiatry, neurology, palliative care and cancer.

To learn more about the transformative potential of cannabis-based treatments for ADHD, watch our full interview with Sky News here or check your eligibility for medical cannabis today.