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This project will provide a comprehensive review of the neurochemical effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent in medical marijuana, in order to determine the potential efficacy of medical marijuana as a treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A need exists to determine if such treatment is feasible given its advocacy by medical marijuana doctors in states where it is legal to prescribe marijuana. In addition, examining the potential efficacy of medical marijuana may help to determine if alternative medications exist that produce few acute adverse side effects and exhibit low toxicity. This project will examine the pharmacology of methylphenidate, the most common pharmacological treatment for ADHD, to compare and contrast to the neurochemical effects of medical marijuana. In addition, the project will provide an overview on the theories of the etiology of ADHD in order to provide a rationale of how THC could positively affect the symptoms attributed to ADHD. The goal of this research is to provide insight into potential, alternative treatments for ADHD with the hopes that this will encourage further studies on the etiology of ADHD, the pharmacodynamics of methylphenidate, the mechanisms of action of THC, and potential mechanisms of medical marijuana. Following analysis on ADHD and treatment models, a study is proposed to test oral administration of THC as treatment for children and adolescents with ADHD. This study follows guidelines similar to clinical trials of methylphenidate to test the effects of THC on memory and learning.
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Vance, Alexandra C., "Determining the Efficacy of Medical Marijuana for Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with ADHD" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 412.