cbd for impulse control

December 15, 2021 By admin Off

Impulsive behaviors are commonly associated with psychiatric and neurological disorders. For example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse disorders are all associated with maladaptive levels of impulsivity.

As noted by Wiskerke and Pattij, cannabinoid signaling in these areas of the brain can modify the activity of several neurotransmitter systems, including the dopamine, glutamate, and GABA systems. In one study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Spanish scientists examined the actions of two cannabinoid drugs that affect the CB2 receptor in a particular mouse breed that displays high levels of impulsivity. Their results indicated that modulating the CB2 receptor reduced impulsive behavior in the mice. In addition, chronic administration of the drug tended to modify the genetic expression of CB2 levels such that they resembled breeds that had normal levels of impulsivity.

Frieling H, Albrecht H, Jedtberg S, Gozner A, et al. Elevated cannabinoid 1 receptor mRNA is linked to eating disorder related behavior and attitudes in females with eating disorders. Psychoneuroendocrinology . 2009 May;34(4):620-4.

CB1 and CB2 Receptors’ Role in Moderating Impulsivity.

So, can manipulating the ECS with cannabidiol (CBD) and other phytocannabinoids reduce the severity of impulsive behaviors? Given the known polymorphisms in cannabinoid-related genes that affect impulsivity and impulse control disorders, as well as inter-individual differences in responses to phytocannabinoid administration, time and more research will tell. That said, to say we are cautiously optimistic would be an understatement. Modulating the endocannabinoid system’s tone via lifestyle change, nutrition, exercise, and use of phytocannabinoid CBD-rich hemp extract could all be potential tools in the wellness toolbox used to address impulsive behavior.

Conversely, activation and overexpression of CB1 receptors have been linked to increased impulse control problems, including eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Animal studies have also demonstrated that blocking CB1 receptor signaling leads to improvements in impulse control and nicotine- or alcohol-seeking behavior.

Broadly speaking, the endocannabinoid system comprises two receptors (CB1 and CB2), two endogenous compounds that activate these receptors (endocannabinoids N -arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]), and two metabolic enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase) that control the synthesis and breakdown of these endocannabinoids. Over the past decade, research in rats and mice along with supportive evidence in cannabis users has shown that CB1 and CB receptors located in the prefrontal cortex or the ventral tegmental area play key roles in regulating impulsive behaviors.

Even those of us without a documented psychiatric or neurological disorder can be negatively affected by impulsive behaviors. Compulsive gambling and shopping, overeating, and regular participation in high-risk activities can lead to serious financial loss, legal difficulties, excessive weight gain, and even physical injury. It stands to reason that impulse control leads to improved executive planning, letting us evaluate alternative actions, anticipate negative consequences from poor choices, and ultimately direct our attention to achieve an ideal outcome.

Wiskerke and Pattij (2015). The cannabinoid system and impulsive behavior (pp. 343-364). In Cannabinoids in Neurologic and Mental Disease . Elsevier Inc.

Francisco Navarrete, José M, Pérez-Ortiz y Jorge Manzanares. “Regulación de la conducta de tipo impulsivo mediada por el receptor cannabinoide CB2 en ratones DBA/2”. British Journal of Pharmacology 165:260-273, Jan 2012.

Potential Effects of CBD on Impulsive Behaviors.

This article is sponsored by PlusCBD Oil , a product line from CV Sciences (formerly CannaVest). CV Sciences is one of the leading suppliers and manufacturers of agricultural hemp-derived CBD bulk and finished products.

de Bruin NM, Lange JH, Kruse CG, Herremans AH, Schoffelmeer AN, van Drimmelen M, De Vries TJ. SLV330, a cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, attenuates ethanol and nicotine seeking and improves inhibitory response control in rats. Behav Brain Res . 2011 Mar 1;217(2):408-15.

CBD has shown promise as a potential treatment for a number of mental health conditions, so it might be helpful for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in people who also have ADHD.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different compounds. The best known of these is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and it is the most abundant. It is also the substance responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. In other words, THC is what causes people to experience the euphoric high associated with marijuana use.

Further Research Is Needed.

Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz.

When it comes to ADHD, people who are thinking of trying CBD oil need to understand that there is a major lack of research on the topic. There are no randomized controlled trials that indicate whether it is effective or ineffective. There is also no research comparing CBD oil to other treatments for ADHD.

While such results suggest that cannabis and cannabinoid compounds have promise as treatments for ADHD, they don’t indicate that CBD oil on its own might have an impact on the symptoms of the condition. Further research is also needed to determine the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

While CBD oil does not have psychoactive properties, it may also contain small amounts of THC, which could potentially exacerbate some ADHD symptoms.

A 2020 study found that higher doses of medical cannabis were associated with a decreased use of ADHD medication in adults.   The products containing a higher dosage of CBD were associated with lower ADHD scores.

Whether the use of CBD oil might contribute to later marijuana use remains unknown. However, marijuana can potentially have negative effects on things like attention and motivation. Young people who smoke marijuana can also experience lasting detriments to cognitive ability and IQ.

The memory and attention impairments that are associated with the use of cannabis are one potential concern.

What Is CBD Oil?

Before you decide to try it, it is important to learn more about what CBD oil is, what the research says about what it can do, and what benefits and side effects it might have for alleviating symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is most often diagnosed during childhood. It can cause symptoms including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

The Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits manufacturers from claiming that a product can prevent, treat, or cure a disease unless such claims are backed by reliable scientific studies.

If you decide to try CBD oil for ADHD or other reasons, it is important to purchase it from reputable sources. Products containing CBD are frequently mislabeled, and since there is no federal regulation over these products, it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting.

In addition to the most common side effects, there are also concerns about the potential worsening of some ADHD symptoms. Some of the effects associated with marijuana use are also common symptoms of ADHD.


One small 2017 randomized controlled trial found that adults with ADHD treated with the cannabinoid medication Sativex (which contains THC and CBD) showed a minor reduction in ADHD symptoms with no cognitive impairments.   However, it is important to note that these improvements were small and were not enough to demonstrate that cannabinoids were significantly more effective than treatment with a placebo.

In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine , Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), points out many of the potential negative side effects of marijuana use.   Among these are impaired attention and memory, problems that can be long-term and become worse with chronic cannabis use.

Some people who advocate for the use of CBD oil for ADHD suggest that:

It is important to be aware that much of this research is still in the early stages. More work needs to be done to explore the effects of CBD, what conditions it may treat, and what doses may be the most effective.

CBD oil may cause a number of side effects. Although many of these symptoms are mild, it's important to note some of the common complaints:

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis that is purported to have a number of mental health effects. This has led many people to speculate that it might also have potential uses in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).