Drug addiction is a major problem affecting many people worldwide, especially the youth. This article focuses on how CBD works, whether CBD can treat drug addiction, and other uses of CBD for treatments.
As the number of people addicted to drugs and substances continues to rise, more research is being carried out to resolve this issue. Scientists are researching CBD as a potential remedy for drug addiction. CBD has become beneficial in many ways, including relieving stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and other conditions treated using prescription medication. Prescription medications tend to cause side effects making people opt for other alternatives or ways to relieve the side. In the UK, you can find CBD products in physical or online stores.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many compounds of the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds are called cannabinoids. Though CBD and THC are compounds of the same plant, they are different. THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not. Taking high doses of CBD has the potential to cause sedation. CBD is used to make different products including gels, lotions and creams, gummies, oils, and capsules.
How CBD Works
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for managing various body organ systems. CBD causes the production of natural endocannabinoids that attach to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other body parts. CBD enhances the performance of the endocannabinoid system that regulates mood, appetite, memory, and other functions. According to IbeasBih et al. (2015), CBD binds with receptors such as serotonin and adenosine to influence inflammation and pain. Since CBD does not attach to CB1 and CBD2 in the brain, it does not cause a high.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction can be defined as a chronically relapsing disorder that causes a compulsive desire to take the drug without control over consumption.
Whether CBD Can Be Used For Treating Drug Addiction
Some of the medication drugs used in the treatment of addictions have temporary effectiveness since they have the potential to cause addiction themselves. CBD is seen as an alternative treatment for drug addiction that does not cause further addiction. However, there is limited evidence to show whether CBD effectively treats drug addiction. Most pre-clinical trials are conducted on animals, while few human studies have been conducted to give conclusive evidence. Though trials on humans are continuing, it will be necessary to determine the long-term effects of CBD on patients struggling with drug addictions, not just the effect within a week of trial.
Rodrigues et al. (2020) explained how rats conditioned with alcohol or cocaine addiction was given topical gel that contained CBD every week before being tested to see how they react to addiction relapse triggers. The test showed that the rats passed the test without any signs of relapse. They also displayed reduced anxiety; which is a sign of addiction. This research shows that CBD effectively deals with addiction and related symptoms.
According to Hurd et al. (2015), CBD has shown positive signs in reducing carving for people addicted to heroin.
What Can CBD Effectively Treat?
CBD is effective in relieving various medical and mental health disorders that, include:
CBD has shown positive effects in the treatment of epilepsy. Epidiolex is a drug made from CBD and approved to treat epilepsy. CBD has been effective in dealing with seizures in children.
Anxiety And Depression
Though no CBD medication is approved to treat anxiety and depression, using CBD has shown relief for people experiencing these conditions.
Baswan et al. (2020) noted that CBD oil helps provide anti-inflammatory properties in treating certain skin conditions like eczema, wounds, and irritations. However, there is insufficient evidence to prove its effectiveness in treating the root problem.
Benefits Of Using CBD In The Treatment Of Addiction
CBD is a great counter against relapse by reducing cravings for addicts. CBD has helped many patients recovering from opioid and alcohol addictions by reducing their withdrawal symptoms.
CBD has also shown effectiveness in reducing anxiety levels in opioid addicts because of its therapeutic effects. The fact that CBD is not addictive, it is seen as a great option, unlike other medications.
The Reason Why You May Prefer CBD For The Treatment Of Addiction
Most people prefer to use CBD for addiction treatment because it is non-psychotropic. This means that it helps you without the euphoric feeling such as the one caused by THC. CBD helps to modify the neural pathways in the addict's brain to help reduce cravings. This lowers the risk of relapse.
Side Effects Of Using CBD To Treat Drug Addiction
According to Iffland&Grotenhermen (2016), the use of CBD is associated with some mild side effects that include:
CBD can interact with other medications. For this reason, you should consult your doctor about whether it is okay to use CBD with other medications you might be using currently. Since CBD products are unregulated, you must be careful while buying them. Some products containing low amounts of CBD would not be helpful with addiction treatment, while others may contain harmful substances that may carry some risk to your health.
CBD compounds have some therapeutic properties that can be helpful in the treatment of addictive disorders. However, available research findings are limited and are not conclusive on the effectiveness of CBD in treating drug addiction. The popularity of CBD has increased studies currently focusing on its effectiveness and potential to treat drug addiction. When clinical trials on humans are complete, evaluating the long-term effect of using CBD to treat drug addiction will be easier. Since CBD does not have addictive properties, it can be preferred over other drugs used to treat drug addiction since most of these drugs are addictive.
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Hurd, Y. L., Yoon, M., Manini, A. F., Hernandez, S., Olmedo, R., Ostman, M., & Jutras-Aswad, D. (2015). Early phase in the development of cannabidiol as a treatment for addiction: opioid relapse takes initial center stage. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 807-815.
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Iffland, K., &Grotenhermen, F. (2016). Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol–A review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. European Industrial Hemp Association Available at: www. eiha. org (accessed 14, 2017).
IbeasBih, C., Chen, T., Nunn, A. V., Bazelot, M., Dallas, M., & Whalley, B. J. (2015). Molecular targets of cannabidiol in neurological disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 699-730.
Rodrigues, L. A., Caroba, M. E. S., Taba, F. K., Filev, R., &Gallassi, A. D. (2020). Evaluation of the potential use of cannabidiol in the treatment of cocaine use disorder: A systematic review. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 196, 172982