ADHD & Marijuana


Q: Hey Doc. First time using this so bear with me. I am a 20 year old male. 5'6 140lbs. I have pretty severe, un-diagnosed ADHD (I display almost every symptom and they aren't psychosomatic because my behaviors existed throughout childhood) and I use marijuana to calm down my mind.

The behaviors, or symptoms, for me honestly feel like I'm on Adderall or Ritalin or some other amphetamine or even strong coffee, minus the increased heart rate. I constantly find myself starting and stopping activities unless it's something I'm truly invested in, such as composing a song or writing a letter to a friend or reading a really interesting article or something. I feel like my mind is in hyperdrive. Because of this, I finished high school with a low GPA but really high SAT/ACT scores (with the help of Ritalin, I was never prescribed any ADHD medication because my family couldn't afford the testing). I'm really intelligent but I just can't sit and focus and do the work that I usually feel is monotonous and irrelevant. It sucks and it's extremely frustrating.

However, since I've moved to Seattle about a year ago, I became a medical marijuana patient and it has helped me out a lot in terms of abating the ADHD behaviors but obviously constant medication has its drawbacks in terms of my overall functioning. I used to smoke recreationally more than average during high school but now I'm smoking multiple times a day. I'm able to hold a job and take care of business while high but It would be nice to do things clear headed. Not to mention the tolerance build up from daily medicating.

I'm taking a tolerance break that began today until Friday but I'm wondering if there is something I can do to make this a non issue. Marijuana is not a chemically or physically addictive substance like some harder drugs but there is a bit of dependency I can feel in myself. For instance, I love candy but I don't crave it. I've been craving a couple bong rips all day. Do you recommend anything I can do to deal with the ADHD?

Symptoms:  restlessness, anxiety, inability to focus

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