One of the most recently discovered advantages of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound, is its ability to fight against drug abuse, alcoholism, and heroin dependency, a new study says.
"How can you use CBD for addiction?" you may be asking.
And questioning it is absolutely right. At first glance, it looks slightly weird. It seems counterintuitive, and to be frank, some might even interpret this as a way for companies to sell more products. I mean, how could the CBD use to deal with so many different conditions, notably, addiction?
You might not know that many different medical studies actually support the efficacy of using CBD for addiction, but when you think about how CBD works with our endocannabinoid system, the results of these studies make sense.
"Intense desire is a driving force behind drug use," said Yasmin Hurd, a senior researcher, and director of Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai. "If we can have medication that can reduce this desire, it can greatly reduce the risk of recurrence and the risk of overdosing."
Medications for opioid addiction that are available, such as buprenorphine and methadone, work similarly, reducing the desire, but they are still not widely used. Only one-third of American patients with opioid dependence in private treatment centers, receive this type of medical regimen, cites the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
According to the surgeon general's report on addiction published in 2016, only 1 out of 5 people who needed treatment for opioid dependence received any form of therapy that year.
Nearly 400,000 Americans have died due to drug-related causes since 2000, slightly less than the number of American soldiers killed in the Second World War.
"Many people die, and we need to develop drugs," Hurd said.
For her research, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Hurd and her colleagues reviewed 42 adults who had recently used heroin but did not use methadone or buprenorphine.
Employees in social service groups, halfway houses, and treatment centers had been using heroin over an average span of 13 years, most of whom spent less than a month without using heroin. During the trial, they had to refrain from using heroin.
Participants of the study were divided into three groups: one group received 800 milligrams of CBD, another 400 milligrams of CBD, and the other, a placebo. All participants received the doses once daily for three consecutive days and followed the next two weeks.
During these two weeks, during several sessions, participants watched images or videos about natural scenes, as well as pictures of drug use and heroin attractions, such as syringes and pouch bags that looked like heroin. They were then asked to evaluate their desire for heroin and the level of anxiety.
One day after the last CBD application, those who received CBD had a double to three-fold weight reduction compared to the placebo group. Hurd claimed that the difference between the two CBD groups was negligible.
The research team also measured cortisol, a "stress hormone," and found that levels seen in the CBD group were significantly lower than those observed in the placebo group.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is the physical and psychological inability to stop an activity, whether it be a dependence on specific activities, chemicals, drugs, or substances, even if it causes physical and mental injuries.
Addiction is a chronic disease that may also be a consequence of taking addictive medications. Excessive use of prescriptive opioid analgesics, for example, causes 115 deaths per day in the United States.
Society most commonly lumps addicts into groups based on their dependence to specific substances, like alcohol, heroin, or cocaine. However, if you cannot stop taking a particular medicine that was prescribed to you, then you may find yourself addicted to that medicine and are then considered substance dependent.
NOTE: Some addictions also include the inability to stop participating in activities such as playing a game, eating, or even working. In such circumstances, you may be addicted to that behavior.
When you are substance dependent, you are unable to control how you use a substance or how you participate in a particular activity because of the substance and as a result, you become addicted to it to cope with everyday life.
What Causes Addiction?
Addiction and substance-related disorders are complex and can often have significant consequences for sufferers. Biological processes responsible for addiction are caused by the brain releasing pleasurable chemicals throughout the body, creating rewarding pathways each time a substance is consumed.
That is to say, initial drug use may be voluntary but that the development of total addiction occurs when the body develops an impossible desire for a flood of pleasurable chemicals released by consuming the substance.
The human brain experiences physiological changes when consuming the same substances over more extended periods. For addicts, when they take a drug, their brain develops a reward cycle for taking that drug, sometimes the brain does not return to a healthy state before the body wants another dose.
Sufferers with a perpetual brain rewarding cycle as a result of this addictive behavior may not even realize the changes their body is going through, and they may forgo other rewarding actions in exchange for their addiction, such as exercise, being with family or eating delicious foods.
Addictive substances produce a sense of euphoria by driving massive amounts of dopamine throughout your body whenever a substance is consumed. Addiction happens when the intake of substance takes over their circuits and increases the need for consuming more and more of that substance to achieve the same rewarding effect.
Treatment Options for Addiction
The options for treating drug addiction depend on many factors, including the type of addiction, duration, and rate of drug consumption, and its specific effects on the individual.
A doctor is needed to treat or recommend treatment in the event any physical complications that occur, such as liver disease in a person with alcoholism or respiratory problems in those who are addicted to substances which have been smoked.
There are several available treatment options, and most addicts get a combination of treatments. No single treatment plan for addiction works for everyone.
While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™
When coming off of a substance, many times the body will undergo a substance withdrawal where immense pain or anguish may result from the lack of the addictive substance.
Detoxification is a delicate process for many so it is recommended that if you are addicted to a substance and are looking for help with your addiction, it is highly recommended to see a physician who can assist you in developing a treatment plan for your specific case.
There have been cases where patients must permanently take another less harmful drug to cope with addiction symptoms and prevent relapse. In most instances of a recovery plan, psychotherapy is a recommended treatment in addition to these weaning drugs.
Other forms of treatment include drug counseling and behavioral therapies (cognitive-behavioral therapy, multi-dimensional family therapy, and motivational interviewing and incentives), involving in rehabilitation programs, and self-help groups.
Research has shown cannabidiol (CBD) to have a wide variety of benefits from treating anxiety to physical pain and may be a good option for your withdrawal symptoms. According to researchers, incorporating CBD could also help reduce the craving associated with addiction.
CBD products come in many forms. No matter how you need to apply this cannabinoid to your body, there is an application available. From edible gummies to topical creams; from capsules to inhalants.
CBD dosing recommendations vary based on the symptoms you are experiencing, but it is generally recommended to start with a full or broad spectrum product at a low dose and increase your dosage until you achieve your desired results.
How CBD can Treat Addiction Symptoms
The leading indicators of addiction are:
- uncontrolled drug seeking
- to be involved uncontrollably in a harmful level of habit-forming behaviors
- neglect or loss of interest in activities that do not include the substance or destructive behavior
- the inability to stop taking medications even at the expense of employment or personal relationships
- hiding substances or actions and, in this case, maintaining confidentiality, for example by refusing to explain injuries that have occurred under the influence
- profound changes in appearance, including a significant decrease in personal hygiene.
When using CBD as a medication, make sure you know where your supplier sources their ingredients. Most manufacturers will display a 3rd party lab test results on their website or on their product packaging to certify and notate what ingredients are within their products.
Do not buy products that do not provide 3rd party lab testing!
Reputable brands like Mana Artisan Botanics™ also offer their lab test results right on their website.
That's why we are proud to endorse their products.
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What's the CBD Dosage for Addiction?
Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.
We've built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below:
The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.
Addiction is a severe and chronic dependence on substances or activity. Addiction sufferers may not be able to stop taking the substance or may behave in a manner that negatively affects their daily life.
Addiction treatment can be painful but is necessary to break behavioral problems that perpetuate the addictive behavior.
If you think CBD might provide relief for your symptoms, consider checking out our extensive selection of articles, loaded with tons of resources aimed to help equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about CBD and its benefits. Also, please consult your physician before self-medicating.
Drugabuse.gov. (2016). Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction. [online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
Mathews Burwell, S. (2016). FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. [online] Addiction.surgeongeneral.gov. Available at: https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-generals-report.pdf [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
Drugabuse.gov. (2019). Opioid Overdose Crisis. [online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].
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Álvaro-Bartolomé, M. and García-Sevilla, J. (2013). Dysregulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor and associated signaling networks in brains of cocaine addicts and cocaine-treated rodents. Neuroscience, 247, pp.294-308.
Hamelink, C., Hampson, A., Wink, D., Eiden, L. and Eskay, R. (2005). Comparison of Cannabidiol, Antioxidants, and Diuretics in Reversing Binge Ethanol-Induced Neurotoxicity. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 314(2), pp.780-788.