Can CBD Help with Drug Addictions?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a compound naturally found in both hemp and marijuana plants. CBD derived from hemp plants is legal at the federal level but not necessarily in all states. CBD is not psychoactive and cannot make you feel high. This article will discuss the question: Can CBD help with drug addictions?

What is CBD?

CBD is available commercially in those states in which it is legal in the form of oils, tinctures, edibles, topicals and even skin patches. CBD works on the body’s endocannabinoid system or ECS. It binds to one of two main ECS receptors called the CB2. The CB2 is found throughout the body in the peripheral nervous system, the immune system and the skin. Since the CB2 receptor is not associated with intoxication, CBD cannot make you feel high. It’s the THC compound in marijuana that does that. That’s because THC binds to a different receptor called the CB1, found mainly in the brain and central nervous system. It’s THC’s access to the brain’s CB1 receptors that cause intoxication.

CBD can act locally on CB2 receptors in the skin. That’s why topical preparations are available. However, unless it’s in a special form, CBD cannot penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream from there. For this, you must either ingest it orally or use special skin patches that do allow CBD to enter the bloodstream through the skin. It’s just easier to take it orally. CBD is available in delicious edibles, often fruit-flavored gummy candies of varying potency and also in flavored tinctures and oils. Tinctures are alcoholic preparations that usually act faster than oils. These products come in a wide variety of flavors, such a vanilla, mint, cinnamon, berry, chocolate, apple and many others. Both tinctures and oils tend to be concentrated products taken by measured dropper under the tongue.

Can CBD Help with Addiction?

CBD is commonly taken to help with pain, anxiety, inflammatory conditions like IBS, digestive problems and skin conditions like acne. Results and reports of effectiveness vary, and some studies indicate a waning interest in CBD compared to its heydey a few years ago. In fact, there’s such a glut of CBD on the market that some savvy manufacturers now sell delta-8 THC made from surplus CBD. The chemical conversion from CBD to delta-8 THC is a rather simple one, and delta-8 is now a rapidly rising star. Delta-8 is psychoactive like its chemical cousin isomer delta-9 THC, but it’s only about half as strong. It appears to produce a milder, smoother high without the risk of paranoia, anxiety and strange, vivid dreams often seen with standard delta-9 THC.

There is some evidence that CBD may help heroin addicts with both anxiety and drug cravings. This is important because it’s the drug cravings that defeat many opioid abusers, and other types of drug abusers as well. Over time, these cravings can just about drive someone crazy and virtually guarantee an eventual relapse. Both methadone and Suboxone can help opioid abusers, but they won’t help everyone. Worse, other types of drug class abusers don’t have a specific medication to help them at all, except for perhaps acamprosate or naltrexone for alcoholics.

One study found that a group of people struggling with HUD or heroin use disorder were helped by CBD with drug cravings, anxiety and their response to drug cues. Drug cues, also called triggers, are situations that a person with HUD may associate in a positive way with heroin use. These drug cues are powerful causes of relapse due to drug cravings. CBD appeared to reduce the HUD peoples’ response to drug cues. By relieving anxiety and stress, CBD may further boost sobriety levels in HUD and other opioid abusers. CBD may also affect brain circuitry responsible for drug cravings and other drug-seeking behaviors.

CBD isn’t psychoactive, is not addictive and is not a substance of abuse. This is in contrast to the typical drugs used in opioid MAT or medication-assisted treatment, namely Suboxone and methadone. Both are effective, but both are addictive and potentially abusable in their own right. Regulation can only do so much to prevent this. Further research is needed, but CBD may be helpful as a future tool for HUD and other kinds of drug abuse disorders. There is also some evidence that CBD may be helpful for cocaine addiction, too.

Call us for More Information

If you’d like to know more about CBD in drug abuse treatment, just call us anytime at 302-842-2390. We have the information you need, and we’re here to help. We can also assist you with any kind of drug abuse treatment problem. We look forward to your call.