CBD has recently gained increasing popularity and there are many claims about its potential uses and benefits and CBD may have benefits for drug withdrawal. Some of the benefits include these characteristics:
- CBD is derived from a cannabis plant but does not produce a psychoactive or ‘high’ effect.
- CBD has been reported to address symptoms like anxiety, fatigue and restlessness which are all common in drug withdrawal
- CBD appears to reduce drug-seeking behavior, particularly in relation to addiction to opiates
- CBD may be helpful for a range of addictions, including alcohol and benzodiazepine, but research in this area is in the very early stages
- CBD may help address some common withdrawal symptoms and may be considered in combination with therapy and addiction treatment
CBD & Withdrawal
CBD – a type of cannabinoid without the psychoactive properties of THC – is derived from the cannabis plant. Although CBD comes from the same source as marijuana, CBD has very different properties and side effects.
Unlike cannabinoids that contain THC, CBD is generally well tolerated as it has a low risk of addiction. Although addiction or dependence on CBD is not impossible, it is not common. As a result, little to no side effects or symptoms of withdrawal have been reported in people who stop using CBD.
In fact, because CBD is well tolerated and has some benefits, CBD may be helpful in reducing symptoms of withdrawal from other addictive substances.
How CBD Oil Helps Drug Withdrawal
CBD oil has gained popularity based on reports of its wide range of health benefits, including positive benefits on mood. Among CBD’s potential health benefits, it has been noted for its potential role in reducing addictive behaviors and easing withdrawal symptoms.
As a cannabinoid, CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system throughout the body which plays a role in appetite, mood and pain. CBD has also been shown the ability to bind to serotonin receptors, a chemical in the brain that helps with positive emotions and the reward system. CBD’s effect on serotonin receptors can also help with compulsive behaviors, which are related to addiction and to regulate the stress response.
Because of the way that CBD acts on receptors in the brain and body, it has been shown to reduce withdrawal symptoms and reducing addictive behaviors. Although it should not be used as the sole solution for substance use disorders, CBD oil may be a helpful addition to addiction treatment.
CBD for Alcohol Withdrawal
There is some evidence that CBD might help protect the liver from damage incurred through binge drinking. However, this is preliminary evidence at this stage, primarily based on animal research. There is also research to suggest that CBD may decrease the motivation to drink alcohol and reduce relapse.
However, this research is in its very early stages and has only been conducted on animals. More research will be required to fully understand how CBD may be useful in alcohol withdrawal in humans.
CBD for Opiate Withdrawal
In an animal study, CBD was shown to directly reduce drug-seeking behavior related to heroin addiction. This has been supported in some early human research, suggesting that CBD can reduce the chances of relapse by reducing drug-craving and seeking behavior.
CBD has also been shown to improve symptoms that are associated with opiate withdrawal, such as fatigue, anxiety and restlessness. Based on the potential for CBD to reduce drug-craving and reduce unpleasant symptoms related to stopping opiates, it may be a helpful option for addiction treatment.
CBD for Benzo Withdrawal
Compared with opiates, there has been less investigation into the potential role of CBD for benzodiazepine withdrawal. There is some evidence that CBD may help reduce or replace benzos as a pain-management strategy, and there is substantial evidence that medical marijuana may reduce the use of benzodiazepines. However research was not specifically focused on CBD.
Based on the reported benefits of CBD common symptoms of withdrawal from drugs, CBDs may be helpful for benzo withdrawal but more research is required on this topic.
CBD Laws in Ohio
In 2018, the federal government passed the Agricultural Improvement Act which made hemp legal in amounts of less than 0.3% THC legal. This law still includes strict rules about how cannabis can be grown and used.
Despite these regulations at the federal level, not all states have updated their laws to be in line with the federal government. Although Ohio did not initially update the laws surrounding help following the Agricultural Improvement Act (also known as ‘The Farm Bill’), the sale of hemp and CBD oil has recently been legalized in the state. For more background, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides up-to-date information on state-level CBD/hemp regulations.
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