Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children and many of those children have a comorbid diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. Multiple studies have investigated the benefits of stimulant medication for ADHD and many show favorable effects on ADHD symptom reduction. However, the impact of long-term treatment of a stimulant on such a young population is not known. Interest in CBD as a potential treatment for a wide range of childhood disorders has peaked within the last few years, however few clinical studies of CBD exist. The Spontaneously hypertensive-rat is a good animal model of ADHD and presents the opportunity to determine if CBD can help improve hyperactive behavior and anxiety-like behavior in these rats. This study used 12 female SHRs in the open field and marble burying with all rats treated with a low (678mg/kg) dose and high (2712mg/kg) dose of CBD oil. CBD did not alter distance traveled in the open field. However, CBD did positively impact anxiety-like behaviors, with increasing doses decreasing the number of rears and boluses in the open field and decreasing the number of marbles buried in the marble burying task. The results indicate that CBD has potential properties that could reduce anxiety-like symptoms, which would make it a good candidate as an effective treatment for ADHD. These findings were of particular interest as alternative treatment options are crucial for the development of a young ADHD brain.


Stavnezer, Amy Jo




ADHD, hyperactivity, comorbidity, anxiety, anxiolytic-like, cannabinoid, CBD

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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