CBD shows promising results as an aid to combat addiction

Published Apr 13, 2019 09:00 a.m. ET

People are slowly becoming educated on the benefits that CBD can help to provide for a host of different medical conditions including chronic pain, insomnia, seizures, neurological disorders, lack of appetite, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more. With medical marijuana much more widely accessible cannabinoid research has made leaps and bounds. Some of these scientists most recent results are very positive for anyone whose life has been touched by addiction. We already knew that cannabinoids like THC and CBD are effective at managing nicotine and opioid dependency which was the starting point for both of these experiments. So far there have been two newly CBD oil studies that seem to show that the cannabinoid CBD which can be found in CBD and other CBD products can be a useful aid in managing the symptoms of an addition to both methamphetamine, and alcohol.  

What is CBD?

CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids that are naturally produced by both cannabis and hemp plants. There are two primary active cannabinoids, and they are CBD and THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive counterpart of THC.

How is CBD oil made?

Pure CBD oil is generally made using an extraction process that utilizes a solvent to remove the cannabinoids from the hemp plant matter. This process condenses the cannabinoids and makes administering larger and easy to measure doses of the cannabinoid much more manageable.

CBD oil & methamphetamine addiction

Meth is a highly addictive street drug that comes paired with adverse psychological, psychosocial, and physical symptoms. This research was officially released by the SAGE Journal in September of 2018, and the intent was to find a positive use for two primary cannabinoids THC and CBD. The purpose of this particular section of the study was to highlight the possible benefits of consuming a non-psychoactive cannabinoid while actively seeking treatment during a time where relapse episodes are most common. 32 male rats were trained to self-administer individual doses of methamphetamine until they created a dependency on the substance. The rats that successfully completedthe training were moved onto a second segment labelled treatment where various doses of the cannabinoid CBD was administered along with the doses. Researchers than rated the rat’s motivation levels to get a serving of the drug after a period of exposure to CBD. The results showed that only the highest dose which was 80 mg of CBD oil per kilogram of body weight managed to reduce the substance motivation in the animals, but it was highly effective with over 50% of the rats reducing their own methamphetamine intake every day.

CBD oil & alcohol addiction

Alcoholism is a disease that affects thousands of people every single year who have very few options for treatment. This epidemic ignited a special interest in the therapeutic benefits of CBD products for those who are suffering from alcohol addiction leading to one of the most extensive databases of the effects of CBD use on substance abuse. To date, there have been a total of 312 peer reviewed studies focusing solely on treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms using CBD oil, and other measured CBD products. The majority used subjects like rats but three used human participants in clinical trials. Those studies showed favorable effects including a reduction in withdrawal induced seizures and convulsions, impulsive discounting, and self-administration when higher doses of the cannabinoid were introduced as part of the patient's treatment plan. Unfortunately, due to prohibition and regulations that restricted further human trials, but there is plenty of evidence to show that CBD is at least somewhat effective in treating alcohol addiction.

In conclusion

Despite years of data gathering by curious researchers we still have yet to see many studies conducted using humans which are required to measure the effectiveness of various doses of the cannabinoid. What we do know so far is that larger doses of at least 80 mg per kilogram of body weight was the most promising dose in both rats and humans so far, which provides an excellent starting point for anyone seeking a supplement to their current treatment to avoid harmful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that follow abrupt discontinuation of substance use. Remember, to always consult your healthcare provider before beginning a natural remedy treatment to ensure it won’t react negatively with any current prescription medications you might be taking.

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