magic mushrooms for ADHD
magic mushrooms for ADHD

Can Magic Mushrooms Help with ADHD? - Here is What the Latest Medical Studies Say!

Can psilocybin mushrooms help treat ADHD is adults?

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Tuesday Jun 25, 2024

psilocybin mushrooms for adhd

Magic Mushrooms and ADHD: What The Research Says


With over 366 million adults around the world (as of 2020) still struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it’s clear that we still have a long way to go in terms of treating this neuro-developmental disorder.


The primary markers of ADHD are persistent hyperactivity and a chronic inability to focus, so much so that it interferes with an adult or child’s ability to function normally. There are several other ADHD symptoms, though they usually fall under either inattention or impulsivity. These can make it difficult to succeed academically and professionally, as well as in social settings and in personal relationships.  


Given how common ADHD is, there have been many different types of medications that have been developed to help patients manage and reduce symptoms in all stages of life. Typically, a combination of medicines, lifestyle changes, and various types of therapy have been found to be effective for patients though there is no one-size fits-all solution. When it comes to medications, various stimulants and non-stimulants may be prescribed to patients.

Recently, cannabis or cannabis oil has also been shown to be effective as an adjunct therapy for ADHD, complimenting existing treatments given to patients. Cannabis, being all natural and non-addictive, helping to activate the reward system in the brain – thereby enabling the production of more dopamine than usual. Both THC and CBD have been shown to offer benefits for individuals with ADHD, acting in different ways within the body.

Now, thanks to the current psychedelic revolution, we’re discovering that magic mushrooms may just be among the psychedelic drugs that can also help with ADHD.


What New Studies Say


According to a recent study published in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, microdosing magic mushrooms can help with focus and concentration, benefiting patients with ADHD. After all, disassociating and spacing out are some of the most common symptoms of ADHD.


For the study, the investigators analyzed 233 adults who were either diagnosed with ADHD or had symptoms similar to the condition; all of them expressed curiosity in microdosing. Eline C. H. M. Haijen, the study’s author and a PhD candidate at the Maastricht University’s Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology explains to PsyPost that some 3% of adults have ADHD and its hallmark symptoms are debilitating. “Some studies even suggest that emotion regulation should be considered a core component of ADHD, as it is experienced by up to 70% by adults with ADHD. Emotion regulation involves all attempts to influence emotional experience and responses. For example, it may involve the ability to reinterpret an emotion-eliciting situation (i.e., cognitive reappraisal), but also the inhibiting strong positive and negative emotional responses (i.e., expressive suppression),” she adds.

Empathy, says Haijen, is related to emotion regulation. When emotional regulation, and/or empathy are affected, individuals’ social and emotional functions will also be affected.

Not one but two studies were thereby conducted to best determine if microdosing psychedelics had an impact on adults who were struggling with severe ADHD symptoms. They found that after 4 weeks of microdosing, the first study participants reported drastic improvements when it came to emotional regulation as well as empathy. Their scores for cognitive reappraisal also saw improvements, which suggested that the participants had better tools for dealing with tense or emotional situations that helped them reduce their negative impact. In addition, they saw a reduction in expressive suppression, which suggests that the participants weren’t trying to withhold their emotional response,  which is a much healthier way to deal with one’s emotions.

Interestingly, the researchers also noted better perspective-taking scores.


Meanwhile, the second study used a control group for a more thorough analysis. They studied individuals with ADHD who were using their standard ADHD medications though they weren’t microdosing. This was done in order to give them a better idea of how traditional ADHD medications fared compared to microdosing. They found that the group who was microdosing reported more dramatic improvements in ADHD symptoms especially in terms of emotional regulation, but there were no significant differences between the two when they assessed cognitive reappraisal.


“We compared individuals with ADHD who were microdosing to individuals with ADHD who were using conventional ADHD medication,” explained Haijen to PsyPost. “We found that microdosing, compared to conventional ADHD medication, induced positive effects on core ADHD symptoms and one aspect of emotional regulation, expressive suppression, which might indicate improved emotion regulation after four weeks of microdosing compared to baseline,” she said.



Why We Need More ADHD Drugs In The Market

Breakthroughs such as the use of magic mushrooms or marijuana for ADHD are important, and always will be.


Just because some medications that work in the market doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. Keep in mind that patients can actually develop resistance to treatment over time, which will inevitably reduce the effectiveness of any medicine. New treatments and medications being developed are essential so that ADHD patients can be offered alternative therapeutics if they are no longer responding to their current medicines. 


We specifically need more natural and plant-based medications for ADHD, just like magic mushrooms and cannabis. That’s because stimulants and other conventional treatments for ADHD have questionable safety when it comes to long-term use. Meanwhile, cannabis and mushrooms are safer for use in the long run.


It also needs to be said that the side effects of common ADHD prescription drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, can often be so horrible that they patients taking them from living a normal quality of life – on top of ADHD symptoms at that. For example, Ritalin’s side effects include headaches, nervousness, anxiety, appetite loss, dizziness, and stomach pain among others. Meanwhile, Adderall is known to cause insomnia, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, dizziness, heart problems, mental health problems, and much more.



While we need more studies delving deep into the benefits of magic mushrooms and psychedelics for ADHD, it’s clear that this is a promising therapeutic alternative to traditional ADHD drugs. While this condition may be notoriously hard to treat, there’s now more hope than ever.





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