Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for ADD?

Rick Green Photo

Many people from my generation smoked weed… not me, but lots did

Remember when you were at that age where everyone smoked weed?

You hear that a lot from my generation.

Not everyone did.  But almost everyone.  I was one of the rare exceptions.  All of my friends did, though.

Of course they’d seen the hilariously melodramatic ‘anti-cannabis’ film, Reefer Madness, made way back in the Stone Age, that warned that smoking marijuana would lead to crime, addiction, and insanity.

I smoke every day before school. It actually helps me, I swear. That film is total bull roar, man.

We roared at Cheech and Chong, “Dave’s not here, man.

So, yeah, although I didn’t smoke anything, legal or otherwise, because I would cough up a lung.  But most, if not all of my friends did. (I wasn’t in the jock-clique, in case you were wondering.)


Fast forward to a recent gathering of psychiatrists.  We interview Doctor Sam Chang, who runs an a Substance Abuse Clinic for young people.  And by young, he means age 15, 14, 13, 12…

Three quotes stand out vividly in my mind.

One, right at the top of the video, Dr. Chang said, “The studies have shown approximately 50% of substance abusing adolescents have ADHD

That’s kind of the group that I have. And actually my staff calls it euphemistically the untreated ADHD clinic.

50%?!  The general rate of ADHD amongst kids is 5% to 7%. So 5% to 7% should be heavy users.  Fifty percent means we are way over represented. It’s 8 to 10 times above what you’d expect.

Dr. Chang explained why so many ADD adults smoke up. 

As did a dozen other experts we spoke to after that.  You can hear all the reasons for why hash, grass, and other cannabis drugs seem to work for ADHD people, in our  video  Is Marijuana an effective treatment for ADHD?


The next quote which even Dr. Chang admitted was ‘very scary’, came near the end of our half hour together.  

“They start hearing voices, or seeing things”.

Dr. Chang said that when a young person arrives in the emergency room…

“with first onset psychosis… in other words the first time that they start hearing voices, or seeing things… so out of touch with reality… When that’s their first presentation, they’ve never had it before, the first thing we do is we do a urine drug abuse screen.  And I can tell you, invariably it is positive for cannabinoids.”


I was stunned.  Because I know a lot of adults who are ‘treating’ their ADHD with marijuana. 

For some it’s just a toke or two to help them face work.  For others, it’s several joints. 

And not because they like the feeling. 

It’s because they cannot write, draw, make sales calls, or whatever, unless they do.  It’s not a social thing.  It’s not casual. It’s a requirement.


If you, or someone you know, is using marijuana to minimize their ADHD symptoms, you need to hear the facts.

And hey, if you’re ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, gambling, risky behavior… anything with a big downside, you should consider watching this video.

And to my friends who are still smoking three, four, five joints a day, but too terrified to try ADHD medication, I have zero judgement. 

What you do is your business.  But all of the reasons you’ve told me as to why ‘Cannabis is a better choice for me,’ are wrong.

Listen, I thought I was well informed. But as we made our video on ADHD and Marijuana, I was constantly being shocked. In fact, some of the doctors said, “I’m shocked at how…”

This isn’t about morality.  Or legalities. It’s about protecting a brain that’s already working at a disadvantage.  It’s about you. And the people you love.


Rick Green

ADHD Community

For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee a month you can take part in live Patreon community discussions with Rick Green + see our new videos first + other perks

ADHD Video

TotallyADD.com is an independent website created & owned by Big Brain Productions Inc. (Rick Green).  We tell you this because so many people ask if pharmaceutical companies paid for any of this and the answer is absolutely not.  Purchases in our shop, and our Patreon community pays for content creation.

Shop Amazon Affiliate Button
Suggested Posts


  1. shadd32 October 30, 2013 at 12:58 am

    I never ever experienced drugs when I was a teenager. I was from a strict childhood. But I have heard of some who have experience smoking cigarettes and weed. Not for me. I like to think I am too smart for that…..lol!

  2. InTheMoment November 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am struggling based on your trailer to the marijuana video (no I have not bought the full version but get the drift) and accompanying articles how TotallyADD might suggest that cannabis is negative for ALL people with ADHD or that marijuana only helps for busy heads and anxiety. And please come on with the links with schizophrenia and psychosis – these are correlated but not necessarily causal and scientists/doctors should know better. We do not know whether dope causes psychosis or is more likely to be chosen by latent psychotics to help them feel better. This lazy causal perspective would suggest that the 80% of schizophrenics who smoke cigarettes are victims of nicotine psychosis, just silly.
    There is so little understanding of the specific issues with dopamine in the ADHD brain, that I am sure today’s ADHD medications will be looked back upon in 20 years time as extremely rough, crude and poor global attempts to “fix” a varied disorder, with many presentations and different underlying “issues”. I am sure in 2033, we will see that ADHD is not one issue but multiple related yet different, developmental and genetic issues that affect dopamine and nor-epinephrine – we will no longer lump them all together for convenience, nor treat them with the same medications.
    Today our prescription medications are pretty approximate solutions to our ADHD neurology and life issues. The doctors and pharmaceutical companies are big on ADHD meds “success” rates, stating often they are 80% effective but for what measures? I am sure when the pharmaceuticals “achieved” these results, in studies of hyper-active male children that they did see hyperactivity reduce and focus improve but what about the adult issues with mood lability, procrastination, relationships and work problems. Are there statistics on avoiding parking/speeding fines, enjoying bureaucracy, happiness at work, taking holidays, calling friends, going to bed early?!? Who determines these “success” criteria, they certainly are not my success criteria. The 80% statistic is really an absurd one and not evidenced in the real world, not by the hundreds of ADHD adults that I have coached, nor of the hundreds of other ADHD adults I have met at support group and conferences.
    The reality is that the ADHD meds help many, but by no means all people with ADHD and usually only partly. Success varies from “quite a bit”, to “somewhat” or “a little”, sadly seldom “a lot”. The side effects are usually listed as reduced appetite, sleep, and mild increase in BP/HR but increases in anxiety, mood instability, increased anger/stress, effectiveness wearing off over time, loss of “self” or creativity etc, are the more usual reasons I hear – but are seldom given as side-effects by the medical profession because they don’t ask the right questions and rarely follow up patients over the long term, most of the “success” results are based on studies involving less than 3 months use. There must be a reason studies show that up to 50% of ADHD adults stop taking their medication within the first year of use?
    So to return to cannabis: it has 400 active cannabinoids that amazingly seem to affect a dedicated cannabinoid neural network in the brain. Some specific cannabinoids do indeed worsen the effects of ADHD – short term memory loss, excessive sleep, task avoidance yet the same drug (perhaps different cannabinoids) can also lessen the effects of ADHD – not just reducing anxiety and busy heads but also activating, engaging, anti-depressing and inspiring many people with ADHD too. There must be good reasons besides recreation why cannabis is the #1 drug of choice for ADHDers.
    So whilst I applaud TotallyADDs somewhat open-minded view on this topic, I really feel you are sadly following the medical “party line” on this. Where is the research in using Cannabis as a medication for ADHD? Why is it so rare to hear of any research of this complex yet extremely safe narcotic (no known dose is toxic), to validate the effectiveness for ADHD? How come we seem so happy for ADHD people to be on “speed” (Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvance are regular amphetamines or speed) rather than on “dope”? For cancer sufferers they have isolated the specific “munchies” cannabinoids to help with reduced appetite, shouldn’t we be pushing for similar research for ADHD benefits rather than simplistically lumping marijuana together with other street drugs and creating fear stories about lacing it with meth??
    Come on TotallyADD, aren’t you ADHD big-picture seeing, mavericks? Please campaign for research into isolating the beneficial effects of specific cannabinoids in marijuana rather than simplistically and naively condemning it completely – it just doesn’t wash. Couldn’t you ask “if so many ADHD adults use cannabis, maybe there are complex reasons for this”. The only way we will know the answer is to demand the research studies, so we know whether cannabis is 5% successful for ADHD or 90% successful, whatever the hell successful means!!

  3. Rick December 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Dear ‘In The Moment’
    Thanks for your long posting. It’s clear that you’re passionate about this issue. And it is a big issue. After all, Cannabis is used far more often than ADHD medication amongst adults.
    As Dr. Tepplin notes in the video Cannabis does make one feel good. And who doesn’t want to feel good. But… well, I suggest you watch the whole video.
    It’s a bit risky to condemn something based on assumptions. I always recall the many British clerics and religious leaders who condemned Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ before it had even been released, or before they had seen it.
    If you watch the video through I think most of your concerns would be addressed.
    I’m a bit confused by some of what you write. I’m not sure where we said that 80% of schizophrenics who smoke cigarettes are victims of nicotine psychosis. Again, watch the video.
    As for more research, there has been lots done. Watch the video. Hear the doctors who are dealing with this first hand. If you disagree with what the experts are saying, and you have studies or figures that disprove the many studies that have already been done, we would love to see them.
    Get that there is no judgment from the experts, no moral high ground. Just the combined experience of a lot of very dedicated people. And of the 60 experts we have interviewed, not one has said anything different from what the dozen or so experts in the video say. (I usually ask, “Talk about ADHD and Cannabis.” And away they go.
    So again, I get your commitment to helping people. But like much of what I thought I knew about ADHD when I first started on this journey, I was shocked. And I have a lot of friends who use cannabis.
    But the fact is… Well, watch the whole video. It’s shocking.
    Best, Rick

Leave A Comment