Can CBD be Used to Treat Drug Addiction?
How CBD May Works for Drug Addiction Relief
CBD is the one of major active ingredients noticed in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike, marijuana, CBD does not act like a drug it does not cause the same “high” state associated with drug use.
Even with massive research about it, the influence of CBD is not yet entirely recognized. CBD ties to receptors in the brain and it is thought it slows the endocannabinoid system which has receptors all over the brain and the body.
The endocannabinoid system has various roles:
- Regulation of mood
- Managing appetite
- Control memory
- Pain sensation
One of the most overlooked benefits of CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabis compound, is its ability to combat drug and alcohol addiction.
CBD for Opioids Addiction Treatment
According to MarijuanaBreak.com website, the “opioid addiction is one of the most disastrous public health crises of the 21st century. Since the 1990's when pharmaceutical companies first claimed that prescription opioid painkillers were safe and non-addictive, their usage has been on the rise. However, these claims have now proven to be false, with an estimated 11.4 million people admitting to misusing their prescription painkillers and around 8–12% of prescriptions thought to lead to addiction. Between 2016 and 2017, a massive 81,000 Americans used heroin for the first time – a sign that the opioid epidemic is not likely to be over any time soon.”
All opioids are extremely addictive and to stop using it is tough. Studies on CBD for opioid addiction indicate that this natural treatment could help by reducing symptoms such as anxiety and depression while having a beneficial effect on the nervous system and the neurotransmitters which influence addictive behavior.
CBD for Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is the second biggest killer after opioids and is a highly addictive substance. As well as powerful cravings, people trying to come off cocaine report complicated problems of withdraw. Animal studies have shown CBD to be helpful in the treatment of addiction to cocaine and other stimulants such as amphetamines.
One study published in Neuropsychopharmacology magazine studied at rats who were applying cocaine and alcohol daily. The scientists used a topical CBD gel to the rats’ skin every 24 hours for seven days, and the results were astonishing. Although no CBD could be detected in the rodents’ blood three days after the treatment period was over, the rats showed decreased anxiety and impulsivity for a further five months!
CBD for Alcoholism Relief
Alcohol is still one of the most addictive substances out there, and it accounts for almost 40% of admissions to drug treatment centers. Alcohol withdrawal is extremely unpleasant and can cause many nasty symptoms. Some preliminary studies showing that CBD could help recovering alcoholics to cope with some of these symptoms including anxiety and insomnia, as well as decreasing the risk of a relapse.
CBD Against Tobacco Addiction
Tobacco addiction is another widespread problem across the globe. Studies have shown that CBD could help to combat the effects of nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco. One study involving 24 smokers provided half of the subjects with an inhaler containing CBD and the other half with a placebo inhaler. They were instructed to use their inhalers whenever they felt the urge to smoke. In the CBD group, the participants reduced their tobacco intake by around 40%, whereas those in the placebo group continued to smoke as much as before.
Another study asked 30 smokers to abstain from tobacco overnight before the researchers administered 800 mg of oral CBD or a placebo. The participants were then shown images related to cigarettes and smoking, with the intention of inducing cravings. CBD was found to reduce the pleasantness of these images compared to the placebo, although there were no significant differences in cravings between the two groups.
CBD for Marijuana Addiction
It may seem strange to use CBD to treat addiction to cannabis, the plant from which it is extracted. However, this idea is not as crazy as it might sound. It is estimated that around 30% of cannabis users suffer from “marijuana use disorder” to some extent, especially those who pick the habit up at a young age. Marijuana use disorder means that pot-smoking becomes a priority over regular activities and begins to interfere with work or relationships.
When cannabis consumption is stopped, the body takes a bit of time to catch up and restore its endocannabinoids to their normal levels, resulting in the withdrawal effects listed above. The effects of cannabis withdrawal usually begin 24 –48 hours after cessation, peaking at 4–6 days and lasting up to three weeks.
So how exactly could CBD help? The primary compound in cannabis that causes addiction is THC. However, CBD can reduce THC’s addictive effects by binding with CB1 receptors in the body, preventing THC from doing so and blocking some of its activity. CBD can also help with marijuana withdrawal by reducing anxiety and restoring normal sleep patterns. If you are smoking weed with a high THC content, it may be wise to find a strain which is rich in CBD too.