In the recent past, there have been countless debates about cannabidiol (CBD), and one question always comes up; is CBD addictive? This is because CBD is one of the primary active ingredients in marijuana and plays a vital role in the medical use of cannabis.
Though there are restrictions and provisions for the use of cannabidiol in all states in the US, there are questions about its legality as it is classified in the same category as marijuana by the federal government.
CBD is used to treat health issues such as epilepsy, anxiety, addictions, depression, and inflammation. Herbalists and even conventional physicians are increasingly prescribing it to patients due to its effectiveness. However, this raises some concerns as to whether patients will develop CBD addiction as they are being treated.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about cannabidiol, and whether patients exhibit signs of CBD withdrawal once they finish their treatment.
Is CBD Addictive? What the Science Says
Since CBD is an ingredient found in marijuana, your concerns are not misplaced if you find yourself asking, “Is CBD addictive?” However, before a conclusive answer is issued, it is important to understand all the active ingredients in cannabis and which ones are addictive.
Marijuana has two main active compounds. These are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When these two compounds enter your system, they boost the levels of endocannabinoids. These are chemical compounds that play vital roles in your body and are produced by your body naturally.
THC and CBD also differ in many respects. Some of the differences include:
- THC is addictive, whereas CBD is not
- CBD does not stimulate human appetite, but THC does
However, both THC and CBD have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antioxidant properties.
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Is CBD Oil Addictive? Generally, No
CBD oil has become very popular in treating chronic pain, seizures, and muscle spasms, among other conditions. However, just because a substance has medicinal value, it does not mean that it cannot have adverse effects on you. There are prescription drugs known to cause addiction and other side effects.
This begs the question. Is CBD oil addictive? Since CBD is derived from hemp plants, which also contain THC, which is addictive, federal law stipulates that THC levels must not exceed 0.3 percent. Such low levels are negligible and cannot cause addiction.
No Evidence Supports the Existence of CBD Withdrawal
When someone stops taking a drug that their body has become accustomed to or they are addicted to, they may experience physical or emotional effects referred to withdrawal symptoms.
When it comes to medicines, all have side effects. Withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe and vary from one drug to the next. CBD oil also has some mild side effects such as diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in weight and appetite.
However, when compared to other drugs used to treat the same conditions, its side effects profile is better. Though research on CBD is still ongoing, the data gathered so far on CBD withdrawal is very positive.
CBD Dependence Is Also Non-Existent
When your body is accustomed to a drug, it may become unable to function normally when you do not consume that drug. This state is referred to as drug dependence. Since there have been concerns about CBD addiction, many people are worried that they will develop CBD dependence if they use CBD oil.
However, even if CBD is a component of marijuana, it is not addictive. Extensive research on CBD by the World Health Organization (WHO) found no evidence of CBD dependence by humans or health concerns caused by the use of CBD.
Therefore, you can use CBD oil for treatment without worrying about developing CBD addiction.
CBD for Addiction to Opioids
Opioids are a class of drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. They have a significant effect on the brain and are mainly used to alleviate pain. In addition to their pain-relieving properties, opioids can also cause you to feel happy, relaxed, or high and are very addictive.
Opioids include prescription painkillers and illegal drugs such as heroin. Opioids alleviate pain by preventing pain messages from reaching the brain. They achieve this by attaching themselves to opioid receptors in the body. This makes them very effective in treating chronic pain, but prolonged use leads to addiction.
Opioid addiction is a serious health concern that also has social and economic effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioid overdoses cause over 130 deaths in the US every day.
Fortunately, CBD can help treat opioid addiction. To test the effects of CBD on opioid addiction, a study was conducted on 42 individuals who had at one point in their lives abused heroin. However, at the time of the study, they were not heroin users.
These individuals were given a CBD solution or a placebo to take. They would then be shown videos that contained neutral and drug-related cues. During the study, researchers observed that CBD reduced levels of craving and anxiety among participants.
This is excellent news as the opioid treatments currently available in the market work in the same way as opioids. As such, they also come with the risk of addiction and are highly regulated.
Speak to a Doctor Before Using CBD
Is CBD oil addictive? This has been the main concern when it comes to using CBD for treatment. Even if you now know that it’s not and it only has mild side effects, you should consult a doctor before you begin using it to treat any condition.
This is important as there are some situations where a doctor may not approve the use of CBD for treatment.
CBD shows great promise in treating many health conditions. For many people, it is a better alternative to addictive pain killers. Others prefer it over synthetic drugs as it contains natural ingredients.