ADHD: Pediatric Anxiety CBD project

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This article is adapted from Smoke Signals: The Social History of Marijuana: Medical, Recreational, and Scientific by Martin A. Lee

The increase in the popularity of marijuana among young Americans since the late 1960s coincided with an increase in diagnosed cases of attention deficit disorder and its overactive variant. ADHD, a condition that Dr. Tom O’Connell compared it to a “pediatric anxiety syndrome.” A retired thoracic surgeon and former captain in the WE Army medical corps, O’Connell had treated hundreds of American soldiers wounded during the Vietnam War. He retired in 2000 and began seeing medical cannabis applicants in Oakland.

Along the years, O’Connell would compile a database and analyze usage patterns of six thousand patients. Their findings will challenge both prohibitionists and drug policy reformers who agreed that the reservation should be a no-no for under-21s. “Every side of the modern pot debate is tied to its own fairy tale,” O’Connell wrote. He lamented that reform leaders “were almost as clueless as the federals – and that they were equally susceptible to doctrinal thinking regarding the initiation and use of drugs for adolescents.”

Why do some young people who experiment with cannabis become daily users? Are your claims for medical use credible? Dr. O’Connell found that the vast majority of medical marijuana applicants were already chronic users before entering through the dispensary door. (People who try marijuana and have an unpleasant experience generally do not go to doctors to receive letters of recommendation.) The daily smokers he interviewed had very similar medical and social histories. O’Connell determined that the main reason young people smoke cannabis regularly is that it is a safe and effective way to relieve anxiety and other mood disorders associated with insecurity and low self-esteem.

According to O’Connell, repetitive drug use has a more serious purpose than mere recreation, which since the 1960s young Americans have adopted marijuana en masse to alleviate the same “emotional symptoms” they did. that anxiolytics, mood stabilizers and antidepressants are the most important in Big Pharma. lucrative products. ” “The need to self-medicate the symptoms of adolescent anxiety is far more important than simple juvenile hedonism,” O’Connell concluded.

For young Americans, cannabis is like a cat to a cat, a little-understood but effective herbal medium for navigating the environmental anxiety and frantic complexity of modern life. The emergence of marijuana as a chosen anxiolytic drug and its enduring popularity among tense adolescents and anxious adults makes sense in light of scientific research that has documented the stress-cushioning function of the endocannabinoid system.

While activating the body’s innate response to stress (“fight or flight”) is essential for responding to and adapting to acute survival threats, excess stress can damage an organism in the long run. the endocannabinoid tone. A compromised endocannabinoid system sets the stage for a myriad of disease symptoms and increases the risk of premature death. Chronically elevated stress levels increase anxiety and significantly accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s dementia. Emotional stress has been shown to accelerate the spread of cancer. Stress modifies the way we assimilate fats.

At the cellular level, stress is the body’s response to any changes generated by a physiological demand. When a person is stressed, the brain generates cortisol and other steroid hormones which in turn trigger the release of natural marijuana-like compounds: anandamide and 2-AG. These endogenous cannabinoids bind to primary cell receptors that restore homeostasis by down-regulating the production of stress hormones. Marijuana, an herbal adaptogen, does essentially the same thing.


Martin A. Lee is the Project Director CBD and the author of Smoke Signals: The Social History of Marijuana: Medical, Recreational, and Scientific.

Copyright, project CBD. Cannot reprint without permission.



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