What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is one of the most popular compounds derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is said to have therapeutic and beneficial qualities. Although there are over 200+ compounds in the cannabis plant (and more scientists have yet to discover), Cannabidiol (CBD) is noted for helping to relieve medical conditions. More and more studies are starting to point to CBD in its effective use for relieving chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and even seizures, in some cases. Currently, one upcoming question is: could CBD help treat addiction?
However, as we look at what CBD is and what it can potentially offer, it’s important to remember that CBD– as well as many cannabis products– are still illegal in the United States. And while many people who use CBD products swear it has its benefits, more study is currently being done to prove whether or not it does.
What Does CBD Actually Do?
CBD and other components of Cannabis work by interacting with the human body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS works in harmony with the central nervous system in various ways. Overall, both the ES and the central nervous system work to rebalance and maintain equilibrium in the body.
In the human brain, as well as most animals, we have something called endocannabinoid receptors. This means “internal” cannabinoid receptors. These help to balance the cells, tissues, organs, and physical functions of our bodies every day.
The endocannabinoid receptors in our brains are responsible for:
- Body temperature
- Immune System
- Sleep cycles
- Motor function
- Nerva and tissue
- Bone health
- Tissue health
- Appetite and Metabolism
How Does CBD Work?
CBD comes from the cannabis plant. It’s a common misconception that “cannabis” simply means “marijuana” and is, therefore, something that will get you high. In fact, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main component of the cannabis plant that can get you high. THC comes from the sticky flowers of the plant, which, when dried, is what we know as smokable weed.
CBD is different than THC because it’s non-psychoactive. CBD will not get you stoned or make you feel that head-trip most pot smokers strive for. Rather, CBD has zero psychoactive effects on its own. It presents a more calming, soothing effect and no mind-altering feelings.
Many people consume CBD through a tincture, oil, or sublingual drops (under the tongue). Now in legal states, there are a lot of CBD products like teas, candy, capsules, and even smokable flowers that can offer similar results.
Where Does CBD Come From?
The process of obtaining CBD is different than marijuana. It still comes from the same Cannabis sativa L. plant, but different varieties. For the past several decades, cannabis farmers have been cultivating marijuana to be higher and higher in THC content, which resulted in pushing aside the amounts of CBD in the flower. Back in the ’70s, weed was not as potent as it is today because it had not yet been manipulated into being so strong.
CBD is derived from cannabis plants that are lower in THC. The Cannabis plant genus is also what produces the hemp plant. Hemp is often used solely for industrial products such as fabric, stalk, food, biofuel, and bioplastics. It often has zero to very little THC or CBD within it. Some people sell CBD as “hemp-derived” CBD, which can be legitimate. However, it often takes a lot of hemp to produce enough CBD to be effective.
CBD oil is often made by CBD-rich cannabis strains like Charlotte’s Web or ACDC. The flower of the plant processes and the sticky residue called trichomes are extracted using heat, CO2, or other mechanical methods. The end result is a carefully produced CBD oil or tincture that should be safe for internal use or inhaling.
Is CBD Safe?
There are much debate and argument over the question of “can CBD help treat addiction?”
First, there’s hardly any regulation on whether or not the type of CBD products you’re buying are safe, pure, or lab-tested. Many brands gimmick their use of CBD lately when in fact it’s merely just hemp oil (which won’t really offer any noticeable effects) or contain fillers such as 90% coconut oil. In fact, many products sold online are questionable because there’s no guarantee it’s been lab-tested or even produced from a trustworthy source.
Could CBD Help Treat Addiction to Opioids?
Since cannabis and CBD are known for influencing the mind and body, many experts have been considering it as an alternative to opioids. In fact, according to the FDA, marijuana is a “narcotic” drug. A narcotic is defined as “any drug or substance that alters mood or behavior and is sold for nonmedical purposes”, which in this case, is exactly right, whether used in a positive or negative way.
The potential for CBD to help treat addiction in those with opioid use disorders and heroin use disorder is being studied more and more. With nearly 400,000 people in the U.S., there’s a huge need for some new innovations and treatments for opioid addicts. CBD holds significant promise for the relief of opioid withdrawal and integrating back into normal life.
With chronic pain being one of the leading causes of opioid dependency, CBD can also potentially act as a pain-relief alternative. Not only can it help relieve pain (especially through the entourage effect— when CBD and small amounts of THC are consumed in unison), it can also calm anxiety, fight inflammation in the body, and reduce cravings.
Director or the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai (New York City), Yasmin Hurt, claimed that “CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder.” She followed by explaining how CBD use still calls for lots of scientific studies, including dosages, effective consumption, and how to use it after a chronic opioid habit.
Is CBD Addictive?
No, Cannabidiol does not have any addictive properties. Additionally, unlike THC which makes you feel high, CBD is a mild, potentially effective alternative to many pharmaceutical pain relief drugs and even over-the-counter pills.
Because the Cannabis plant has such a long-standing history with stigma and argument, it will be difficult to say how the CBD surge will carry out. But no matter what your stance is on cannabis or alternative plant-based solutions, there’s no question that we need to find alternatives to the opioid epidemic soon.
Could CBD Be Help Prevent Relapse?
A study in the National Library of Medicine for Neuropsychopharmacology recently found high quality, pure and sustainable CBD products to be helpful in delaying a drug-seeking effect after addiction treatment.
Additionally, another study published by Substance Abuse Research and Treatment sought to find if Cannabidiol could act as an intervention for addictive behaviors. Few studies still exist, so there’s no one easy answer to if CBD can help treat addiction.
Do you need help managing an opioid addiction caused by chronic pain? Call us at 949-625-4019.