CBD oil has many uses, and people all around the world use it to treat a variety of medical conditions. One of the fastest emerging uses of CBD is to treat addiction and to reduce one's reliance on harmful and dangerous substances. With approximately 1 in 20 Australians suffering from some form of substance abuse, it’s more important than ever to try to combat addiction and the many health risks that it poses.
While research is limited, there are more and more studies being done on the efficacy of CBD products for treating addiction. Australia has been making some great progress in the legalisation and availability of CBD products, with recent approval for over-the-counter purchase in pharmacies making them much more accessible. If you’re wondering where to buy CBD oil, here at Can Do Lifestyle we stock 100% organic full spectrum CBD oil that can be delivered Australia wide. With that in mind, let’s explore what’s been discovered so far and how researchers are suggesting that CBD can be used to minimise one’s addiction to drugs.
What is addiction?
Before we delve into how CBD may help those suffering from substance abuse, it’s important that we understand just what addiction is. Substance abuse can involve an addiction to alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin, or prescription drugs.
It can result in severe physical and mental health disorders as well as an increased risk of injuries and long-term health conditions such as respiratory issues and weakened immune systems.
Addiction isn’t limited to substance abuse problems. Other common addictions include gambling and sex. While these may not result in the same physical problems as substance addiction, they can lead to serious mental health problems.
Some of the signs of addiction include:
- Withdrawal symptoms (such as sweating, insomnia and nausea) that can only be combated by taking more of the substance you’re addicted to
- Neglecting your personal and professional commitments due to substance use
- An increased tolerance
- Suffering from strong cravings for substances
- Continuing to use said substances despite knowing the physical and psychological problems its causing
- An inability to reduce or completely eliminate your use of substances
Addiction can have a significant impact on one’s mental health and can increase the risk of illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This can create a vicious cycle of users indulging in more of the addictive behaviour to momentarily combat these feelings, creating a short-term solution. However, in the long run, this only increases one’s addiction and leads to even more severe battles with mental health.
How CBD oil can be used to treat addiction
Addiction is most commonly treated through counselling and lifestyle changes, and in more extreme circumstances some users may need to be hospitalised. Rehabilitation programs are also available, which provide addicts with long-term treatment in a safe, sober environment.
While there is no “cure” for addiction, there is emerging evidence that suggests CBD products can be used to help those suffering from addiction. CBD products have been shown to help with feelings of depression and anxiety. Many addicts suffer from these mental health disorders and are then driven to take more of the substances they’re addicted to. Studies have suggested that using CBD oils can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, potentially reducing the desire to use drugs.
A 2019 study on heroin users also showed promising results for the use of CBD in combating addiction. 42 participants with a history of heroin use were shown two sets of videos; one showing scenes of nature and one involving drug-related cues that were designed to trigger their cravings. Some participants were given 400mg of CBD, some were given 800mg, and some were given a placebo.
As expected, participants reported stronger feelings of drug cravings when watching the videos of drug-related cues than the videos of nature. However, the participants who were given CBD reported considerably lower drug cravings than those who were given the placebo, and also reported reduced feelings of anxiety and stress. These results were seen within one hour of them being administered CBD and were still evident up to one week after this test took place. Overall, the researchers concluded that CBD has great potential to treat those with a heroin addiction thanks to its safety, lack of risks and absence of strong side effects.
Despite these promising results, more research is needed on the use of CBD products to combat addiction and substance abuse. These will be important in determining the safety, effectiveness and recommended dosages and administration of CBD products.
If you do choose to use CBD to help with substance abuse issues, make sure you do it safely and consult your doctor first. It’s also important to note that there are debates in the medical community regarding CBD products and sobriety. Although CBD products are non-addictive and do not contain THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that provides a “high”, some argue that using CBD is not conducive to a sober lifestyle.
It’s also important that you’re aware of the possible side-effects of CBD, however mild they may be. This can include feelings of:
- Loss of appetite
If you’re just started to use CBD products, it’s generally recommended that you start with lower strength products and begin with mild dosages. This way, you can safely assess how your body responds to CBD and then slowly adjust your dosages accordingly.