Opinion by Jake Crossman
Addiction is one of the worst diseases that a person can go through – this is why we at USA Medical are asking ourselves can CBD can treat addiction. Addiction can tear families and lives apart – It is an extremely powerful disease that causes horrible discomfort and withdrawal symptoms.
Fortunately, there is help. Those struggling with addiction are able to pull themselves through the disease under the right circumstances. With the rising popularity of phytocannabinoids and their incredible healing power, they might be able to treat some of those who are struggling the most in combating addiction. CBD has been proven to help in so many areas of people’s lives so why not be able to help people who are going through a difficult time?
USA Medical wants to explore the possibility of using CBD to treat a person who is experiencing an addiction to something. Research points to CBD being able to drastically help with withdrawal symptoms, and since CBD has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety some of those triggers are able to be treated. Let’s take a look at the research and ask, can cbd treat addiction?
Can CBD Treat Addiction?: What is CBD
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is an extract that comes from hemp plants; it is a non-psychoactive, non-addictive, therapeutic, phytocannabinoid. These types of cannabinoids called phytocannabinoids which are derived from hemp plants are used for a variety of different health reasons and their use dates back to Ancient China, where CBD was utilized in traditional medicine practices.
CBD interacts with a system in our body called the endocannabinoid system or the ECS. This is a vast system of chemical signals and receptors that interacts with all of the major organs in the body primarily, the use of CB1 and CB2 receptors. The reason taking CBD works so well for so many people is because once it enters your body the ECS takes the cannabinoid and applies the effects of the CBD where it is needed through CB1 and CB2 receptors.
There are several other extracts that come from hemp plants that can be extremely useful in treating different health-related issues. One of the most common, and newly discovered, is CBG. CBG is considered the “stem cell” of hemp extracts and is much more potent than CBD. CBG is being researched as a way to treat diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. USA Medical sells CBD+CBG, combining the two phytocannabinoids because of a phenomenon called “the entourage effect” which states that combining more than one part of hemp extracts will adversely increase their power and effectiveness.
Benefits Of Taking CBD To Treat Addiction
According to Webster’s Dictionary definition: “Addiction is a neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to use a drug, despite substantial harm and other negative consequences. Repetitive drug use often alters brain function in ways that perpetuate craving and weakens self-control.”
There has been a lot of research done in the past couple of years on CBD and how it can help to treat drug and alcohol addictions. The reason CBD might be so effective in treatment is that it acts like a drug, but does not cause the same effects or harm that a drug does.
“It is thought CBD is effective in targeting risk states of drug use relapse by reducing anxiety and stress related to drug cues and mediating anti-depressant activity. In addition to that, CBD has an impact on the brain circuitry that is responsible for drug craving and seeking behaviours triggered by drug-related context and stress (medical).”
There was recently a study done, that was published by the American Journal of Psychiatry, in which 42 patients all of whom were struggling to maintain sobriety from heroin were shown videos with drug-related cues that would purposefully induce a neurological response. The patients of the study were divided into three separate groups: the placebo group, 400mg of CBD, and 800mg of CBD. This was also a double-blinded study, meaning that neither the patients nor the researchers knew what any of the other participants were taking.
After the study was finished the results showed that those who were taking the CBD did have a neurological response to the videos but it was quickly overcome, as CBD helps to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. Comparatively, those who did not take the CBD had a much more difficult time fighting those urges to want to relapse. This was a simple, yet powerful study that shows the incredible capabilities that CBD has on those suffering from addiction.
For the longest time addiction was looked at as a lost cause or something that could not be treated effectively. Recently, with new breakthroughs in scientific advancement researchers have learned more about what addiction actually is, and how it affects the brain and psychological impulses. When CBD is introduced to the body the ECS plays a large role in limiting drug-seeking behaviors through its involvement in reward and brain plasticity. The CB1 receptor is especially vital to inhibiting behaviors related to addiction due to the way the cannabinoids bind with this receptor (NIH).
Another reason that CBD can be an alternative to traditional ways of treating addiction is that it can act as a dose substitution. Because CBD interacts with our bodies in a very similar way as a drug would, the user is able to ingest CBD instead of a drug or alcohol under the same pretenses as they normally would. CBD is non-addictive and does not get you high, which is why this is being looked at as a treatment replacement, as well as being added to existing recovery programs.
“CBD has several therapeutic properties on its own that could indirectly be useful in the treatment of addiction disorders, such as its protective effect on stress vulnerability and neurotoxicity (NIH).”
Can CBD Treat Addiction?: Final Thoughts
CBD has the potential to be such an incredible life-changing medicine. While there is a lot that CBD can help with already such as stress and anxiety, the uses for this cannabinoid are endless. Looking at the research on CBD and addiction and seeing how effective it is only furthers the evidence of the amazing power that CBD has naturally over your body. The more research that scientists do on these phytocannabinoids and how they interact with the body, ECS, and with each other – the fewer people have to live lives filled with chronic pain and suffering.
USA Medical is committed to ensuring we are totally transparent with all of our products, and are dedicated to providing the best quality hemp extracts at the lowest price point we can offer. CBD is changing the world, and USA Medical is right there alongside it helping people live healthier more fulfilling lives every single day.
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Mihaela DimitrovaReviewed by Dr. Mary Cooke. “Can CBD Be Used to Treat Drug Addiction?” News, 22 Aug. 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Can-CBD-be-Used-to-Treat-Drug-Addiction.aspx.
Prud’homme, Mélissa, et al. “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.” Substance Abuse : Research and Treatment, Libertas Academica, 21 May 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/.
What Do Substance Use Disorder and Addiction Mean? – Goodrx. https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/substance-use-disorder.