• FREE SHIPPING ON PURCHASES OVER $85 (US ONLY)

  • 0

Research on the Use of CBD for Addictions: Nicotine, Alcohol, and More...



Today, we’ll explore what science has to say about how CBD may help treat addictions. You’ll discover how empirical evidence has helped to illuminate the behavior and neuro-biochemical side of addiction.

There is plenty of early research into a handful of different substances and addictive behaviors. For example, CBD may help treat addiction to cocaine, opioids, nicotine, and methamphetamine.

When it comes to the research on using CBD to treat addictions, we can say, at the very least, that CBD is highly promising. (Click to tweet)

By the end of this article, you’ll see why!

Contents

1. What is CBD?
2. What Does CBD Do?
3. CBD and Addiction
4. What Is Addiction?
    4.1 The Endocannabinoid System and Addiction
    4.2 The Physiology behind CBD and Addiction
5. The Evidence: CBD for Addiction
    5.1 CBD and Opioid Addiction
    5.2 CBD and Methadone Addiction
    5.3 CBD and Heroin Addiction
    5.4 CBD for Methamphetamine and Cocaine Addiction
    5.5 CBD and Nicotine Addiction
    5.6 Cannabis Withdrawal Treatment and CBD
    5.7 Binge Drinking and CBD
6. Final Thoughts

LISTEN TO THE BLOG POST HERE:

1. What Is CBD?

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the chemical constituents of the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Furthermore, CBD is the primary compound of interest in hemp. Specifically, CBD is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound, formed through the decarboxylation of a cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) precursor. [1]

RELATED: Does Hemp Have CBD?

While THC is known to induce that stereotypical high, CBD has a slew of other impacts and benefits. But we do know that CBD is non-impairing and is not psychoactive like THC.

We do know that CBD is non-impairing and is not psychoactive like THC.

RELATED: What Is CBD?

CBD is able to act on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a way that can help manage numerous symptoms and conditions. The ECS has two main receptors that we know about currently, CB1 and CB2. It is CB1 that THC acts upon to influence our sensations and perceptions.

RELATED: Endocannabinoid System Explained

CBD, however, acts on the CB2 receptor in more important ways. While not directly acting upon the receptors, CBD appears to modulate the activity at these receptors. It is important to note that CB2 receptors can be found all over the body, from our skin to our immune cells.

CBD appears to modulate the activity at these receptors.

RELATED: How Cannabinoids Interact with Their ECS Receptors

2. What Does CBD Do? 

 

CBD is known to have a bunch of impacts on your physiology and mood. We do not fully understand how this happens, but we know it involves CBD modulating the ECS receptors. 

Based on the evidence, we know that CBD does not cause THC-like effects, even at high doses. For example, CBD does not cause impairment, increased heart rate, or dry mouth. CBD has been shown to have anti-seizure, neuroprotective, antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antitumor properties. [1] 

RELATED: How CBD Works

CBD has shown to have no abuse or dependence potential. This means that those who are worried about a personal history with addiction shouldn’t be concerned with using CBD. This also helps ensure that CBD does not become an addiction to replace a different addiction. [1] (Click to tweet)

CBD has shown to have no abuse or dependence potential.

Beyond those facts, CBD is also broadly safe even in very high doses. This is a consideration for those using CBD for addiction treatment, as rather large CBD doses are usually used. [1] 

The amount of CBD and the frequency of administration are still very much up for debate. That said, for a consistent daily dose, three servings around eight hours apart is a good starting point. 

For a consistent daily dose of CBD, three servings around eight hours apart is a good starting point.

RELATED: What Is the Correct CBD Dosage?

It should be noted that in regard to dosage and potency, there are numerous factors to consider. For example, medications you are on may be impacted by CBD. If you are considering using CBD to help reduce addictive behaviors, strongly consider discussing the matter with your medical professional.

If you are considering using CBD to help reduce addictive behaviors, strongly consider discussing the matter with your medical professional.

RELATED: The Balancing Act of CBD & Your Immune System

3. CBD and Addiction? 

 

There has been growing interest in using CBD to help treat various addictions. While this idea was originally thought to be paradoxical, as THC appears to be addictive, science has helped explain some of the mysteries.

In fact, as we have already stated, we know that THC and CBD are two different compounds that have vastly different impacts on human physiology. 

THC is addictive, while CBD may even help treat addictions.

RELATED: THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

To help us explore how CBD is used to treat addiction, we first must understand what it is. In the next section, we’ll briefly explore this complex topic to provide the key information you need to know. After that, you’ll use your knowledge of CBD and addiction as we combine the two while exploring research into addiction treatment.

There has been growing interest in using CBD to help treat various addictions.

4. What Is Addiction? 

 

When talking about addiction, it is important to understand the scientific definition of it. In brief, addiction involves a chronically relapsing disorder involving the compulsive desire to seek out and use drugs. Furthermore, individuals develop an impaired ability to control substance use over time. [2] 

CBD can even help treat addictions.

4.1 The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Addiction

Researchers have understood the impact of the glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems on the reinforcing effects of drug use and the risk of relapse for many years. More recently, the ECS has been shown to influence the way we develop and maintain drug-seeking behaviors. Specifically, the ECS impacts reward processes in the brain along with neural plasticity. [2] 

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Addiction

4.2 The Physiology behind CBD and Addiction

CBD is the second most abundant component of Cannabis sativa L. Furthermore, it is the primary component of hemp. CBD has demonstrated anxiety-reducing, antipsychotic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties. [2] 

CBD acts on the ECS, including the cannabinoid receptors and others like TRVP1. Furthermore, CBD impacts internal levels of anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid that is functionally similar to THC. [2] 

The Physiology behind CBD and Addiction

CBD also influences serotoninergic receptors, our stress response, and compulsive behaviors. CBD is able to modulate the μ and δ receptors, which are two out of the five opioid receptor subtypes. [2] 

CBD’s impact on the glutamatergic system is not well-understood, but evidence suggests protective effects against glutamate toxicity. [2]

At the very least, CBD is: [2] (Click to tweet)

“an interesting pharmacological candidate to treat substance-use disorders.”

5. The Evidence: CBD for Addiction

 

One group from the Université de Montréal explored 14 studies on the impact of CBD on addiction. Specifically, nine of these were done on animals and the remaining five were on humans. They concluded that these preclinical studies demonstrated therapeutic properties for the use of CBD on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. Furthermore, some preliminary evidence suggests the beneficial impacts of CBD on cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans as well. [2] 

Overall, there is a “proof of principle” that CBD may help with relapse prevention. 

Specifically, these changes were noted along two dimensions. First, CBD had beneficial actions across numerous vulnerability states. Second, CBD has potential long-lasting effects even with brief treatment. [3] 

The Evidence: CBD for Addiction

5.1 CBD and Opioid Addiction

We are all well aware of the terrible opioid crisis impacting so many individuals and communities. Part of the reason for opioid use is the rise of chronic pain. This condition also happens to be one of the major indications for medical cannabis. [4] 

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania explored this connection and found that states with medical cannabis laws have significantly lower state-level opioid analgesic overdose mortality. Much more research is needed on this topic, specifically in regard to the role CBD has in this situation. [4]

States with medical cannabis laws have significantly lower state-level opioid analgesic overdose mortality.

RELATED: Study Shows CBD May Help Opioid Addiction

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Creighton University School of Medicine recognized the growing body of both preclinical and clinical evidence that supports the use of CBD oils for numerous conditions. These included chronic pain and opioid addiction. [5] (Click to tweet)

RELATED: How to Take CBD Oil

Conversely, concerns were expressed by the same group regarding inaccurate labeling and the potential presence of higher levels of THC. This is plenty of reason to ensure that you buy your CBD products from a credible source that shares independent laboratory results, as we do here at SOL*CBD. [5] 

A growing body of both preclinical and clinical evidence supports the use of CBD oils for opioid addiction.

RELATED: CBD and Opioids: Is CBD a Solution to the Opioid Epidemic?

5.2 CBD and Methadone Addiction

Methadone is used for opioid maintenance therapy for those with opioid dependence. It is itself an opioid, used as part of the detoxification process during drug cessation. Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia tried to find negative impacts of cannabis consumption, but instead, they found a surprising result! [6]

They found that medical marijuana helped decrease subjective opiate withdrawal symptoms during methadone treatment. Furthermore, while cannabis use was high when methadone was initiated, consumption dropped significantly after dose stabilization.

As a result, cannabis is a potential tool in preventing relapse in addictive behaviors. [6] (Click to tweet

CBD is a potential tool in preventing relapse in addictive behaviors.

RELATED: CBD for Opiate Withdrawal: New Study to Combat the Opioid Crisis

5.3 CBD and Heroin Addiction

Research on rats helped support the potential benefits of CBD in the treatment of heroin craving and relapse. These were thought to be caused by neurobiological alterations in the glutamatergic system and ECS. [7]

Building on this, CBD was found to provide benefits in the treatment of opioid and heroin addiction through a reduction in cravings and anxiety levels. [8] (Click to tweet)

CBD was found to provide benefits in the treatment of opioid and heroin addiction through a reduction in cravings and anxiety levels.

RELATED: Can CBD Help with Withdrawal for Heroin Users?

5.4 CBD for Methamphetamine and Cocaine Addiction

The ECS is implicated in the neurobiology of cocaine addiction. Cocaine-addicted rats demonstrate impairments in CB1 presence in the rats’ brains. Further, this dysregulation of the CB1 receptor may contribute to alterations of neuroplasticity and/or neurotoxicity in the brains of those addicted to cocaine. [9] 

CBD for Methamphetamine and Cocaine Addiction

This is crazy but amazing:

Another group of researchers reviewed the evidence and found that while clinical studies are lacking, CBD demonstrates potential as an intervention for cocaine and methamphetamine addictive disorders. [10] 

In regard to the way this effect occurs, researchers provided several potential mechanisms. They listed the protective effects of CBD as including: [10] 

  • The prevention of drug-induced neuroadaptations
  • Reductions in drug memories
  • The reversal of cognitive deficits caused by psychostimulant drugs
  • The alleviation of comorbid mental disorders

CBD demonstrates potential as an intervention for cocaine and methamphetamine addictive disorders.

5.5 CBD and Nicotine Addiction

The ECS is also being increasingly recognized in addiction to nicotine. In one study with 24 participants, the 12 individuals who received CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment. Conversely, the placebo group (n=12) showed no difference in smoking rates. [11]

RELATED: How to Quit Smoking: CBD and Nicotine Addiction

Furthermore, there was evidence of maintenance of this effect at the time of follow-up. These results led the researchers from The University College London to conclude that there is a strong preclinical rationale for using CBD as a potential treatment for nicotine addiction. [11]

These positive results may be due to the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD alongside causing minimal side effects. The researchers in another study, released in Addiction, found that high doses of CBD helped reduce the salience and pleasantness of cigarette cues, compared to the placebo group. Unfortunately, this study found that CBD did not influence tobacco craving, withdrawal, or side effects. [12] 

There is a strong pre-clinical rationale for using CBD as a potential treatment for nicotine addiction.

RELATED: The Side Effects of CBD Explained

5.6 Cannabis Withdrawal Treatment and CBD

While at this point we only have anecdotal reports, one study explored cannabis withdrawal syndrome symptoms in one 19-year-old woman. This study found that CBD was an effective compound for the treatment and reduction of cannabis withdrawal syndrome. [13] 

As stated, the evidence is lacking, but if you go online, you’ll find myriad stories of people using CBD to help them reduce THC consumption.

If you’re looking to save money, reduce cognitive impairment, or even just take a T-break from THC, CBD may help you do just that. (Click to tweet)

We hope to see further research into this topic, but at this point, the addition of more CBD in the day of people consuming plenty of THC may provide some real benefits. 

CBD may help you save money, reduce cognitive impairment, or even just take a T-break from THC.

RELATED: The Truth About CBD and Withdrawal

5.7 Binge Drinking and CBD

While not yet explored in clinical studies, CBD demonstrates potential benefits regarding binge drinking and cessation of drinking. A study on rats found that CBD demonstrated neuroprotective and antioxidant effects in preventing binge-drinking brain injury. [14]

CBD demonstrates potential benefits regarding binge drinking and cessation of drinking.

RELATED: Can CBD Help You Stop Drinking Alcohol? Here Are the Facts

6. Final Thoughts

 

What’s the bottom line? 

As outlined using evidence, CBD has the potential to be helpful in the treatment of numerous types of addictions. (Click to tweet)

We can speculate that the general effects of CBD impact broad factors relevant across various addiction types. Further research will illuminate the validity of this concept as well as determining when and where CBD may be helpful.

RELATED: CBD Interactions with Prescription Drugs

In summary, if you’re considering using CBD as an aid to reduce addictive behaviors, we strongly advise having a thorough conversation with your medical professional. Overall, CBD is broadly considered to be safe and demonstrates preclinical and preliminary clinical relevancy in the treatment of various addictions, including cocaine, heroin, opioids, cannabis withdrawal, nicotine addiction, and more. 

To help you get your daily dose of CBD in a convenient and easy-to-dose way, consider exploring our CBD oils

To get your daily dose of CBD in a convenient and easy-to-dose way, consider exploring our CBD oils.

WATCH: SOL*CBD Cannabidiol (CBD) Tinctures

Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098033/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25154332/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619619300072
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23795873/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19940171/
  8. https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/21/health/heroin-opioid-addiction-cbd-study/index.html
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23727505/
  10. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/14/2583/htm
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23685330/
  12. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.14243
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23095052/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15878999/




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Related posts

Is CBD Oil Legal In Your State?

Is CBD Oil Legal? The Facts That Will Clear up Confusion

CBD may help treat addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and more. Explore how CBD impacts your body and what science has to say about CBD’s beneficial effects.

A Complete Guide to CBD Oil Products

How to Choose CBD Oil Products That Are Just Right for You

CBD may help treat addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and more. Explore how CBD impacts your body and what science has to say about CBD’s beneficial effects.

The Science behind CBD Cream for Pain

CBD Cream for Pain: This is Why Topical CBD Helps in Relieving Pain

CBD may help treat addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and more. Explore how CBD impacts your body and what science has to say about CBD’s beneficial effects.