CBD 101

Is CBD Addictive?

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CBD use by itself does not appear to be addictive. Because CBD does not produce intoxicating effects, may be the reason that CBD, by itself, doesn’t appear to have addiction-related properties. Current scientific evidence does suggest that heavy cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence in some people. However, CBD does not have psychoactive effects unlike its cousin, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is a cannabinoid. It is one of over 400 chemical compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant.

As with all subjects regarding CBD, it’s important to keep in mind, that research into the long-term effects of CBD usage is still in its infancy. The exploration of the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) is ongoing by researchers, healthcare professionals, and academics alike. 

Further information points to the non-addictive nature of CBD. According to a 2017 Pre-Review Report, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.” The results of a small 2016 study of 31 adults show that while active THC produced substantial physical and psychological effects, such as rapid heart rate and euphoria, CBD did not affect heart rate, blood pressure, or cognitive function. 

Further, The World Health Organization's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recently concluded that CBD is non-addictive, has no withdrawal symptoms, and is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. They determined that it was time to remove CBD from international drug control and that it exhibits no potential for abuse or dependence. CBD also performed similarly to placebo on self-reported feelings of intoxication. Conversely, the THC group reported feelings of euphoria and sedation. The authors of a 2015 review found evidence that CBD may also help treat nicotine and cannabis addiction.

More encouraging is that on the contrary, several studies have reported that CBD has anti-addictive qualities. This could be effective in helping individuals wean off drugs like marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine. Preliminary evidence suggests that CBD might lower the likelihood of developing cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders. CBD doesn't cause dependence or tolerance. It is a great holistic alternative for those trying to stay away from real addictions. It may also help prevent relapse after a period of detoxification and sobriety. 

So not only is CBD non-addictive, but it may help treat drug addiction. 

Effects of CBD

CBD does not create the ‘high’ effects that many people associate with cannabis use and may help treat a wide range of medical conditions. CBD is a widely researched alternative treatment for epileptic seizures.

2020 study found that full-spectrum hemp-extracted CBD reduced neuropathic pain in mice. Another recent study based in New Zealand examined CBD use among 400 people with chronic pain and mental health conditions. The participants reported improved quality of life outcomes after using CBD.

The researchers also stated that CBD use was not associated with significant side effects. Participants reported improvements in sleep and appetite. The authors of one 2020 review state that cannabis-based treatments may offer a potential alternative to opioid-based pain medication.

That said, the authors point to the fact that most studies use a combination of THC and CBD. As a result, assessing the pain management benefits of CBD alone can be difficult.