CBD, the new alternative to treat addiction.
Addiction is described as a chronically relapsing disorder characterized by the compulsive desire to use drugs and loss of control over consumption despite negative consequences. However, in recent years cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming a more sought-after treatment method for individuals seeking relief. But why and how is this possible? Let's first discuss how addiction works in the brain so we can then understand why CBD is becoming a mainstream treatment for addiction.
Addiction happens largely because of our glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems. The glutamatergic system is responsible for learning and memory while the dopaminergic system or ``the happy hormone” is responsible for mental and emotional control and regulation as well as motor function. Both systems have been found to influence the reinforcing effects of drugs as well as prolonged risk or relapse. This is because when addictive substances are consumed, they directly affect these pathways resulting in an excess of these hormones, or increased feeling of euphoria, focus, relaxation, etc. Over time the brain becomes accustomed to the new influx of hormones causing you to need the same amount to feel ‘normal’ or an even larger amount to feel the original ‘high’ of the substance. This is known as building tolerance, and also the cause for the mental and physical effects associated with ‘withdrawal.’
So where does CBD come in? Well, our endocannabinoid- system (ECS) has been shown to influence the acquisition and maintenance of drug seeking behaviors via the role it plays in reward and brain plasticity (the ability for the brain to ‘rewire’ itself) by interacting with the CB1, TRVP1, and AEA receptors. With CBD being the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, it plays a rather large role in our ECS. CBD acts on our ECS as a weak inverse agonist on the CB1 receptors, stimulates the TRVP1, and alters hydrolysis of the AEA. As well as being an agonist for the 5-HT1a receptor, effectively regulating stress response and compulsive behaviors linked with addiction. Additionally, traditional treatments for addiction in the United States such as Methadone or Buprenorphine (in formulation with Suboxone) are underutilized and difficult to access. This in combination with the fact that methadone and suboxone have the potential to be abused is making CBD a far more popular choice for treating addiction as CBD alone is non-psychoactive and non-habit forming. CBD has also shown to produce several health and therapeutic benefits such as anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties.
The Heroin Study
In 2019 researchers conducted an experiment using individuals suffering from heroin addiction. Most participants in the study had been using at least 1 gram of heroin for 10 or more years. Epidiolex, an FDA approved prescription form of CBD liquid was administered in three different doses (400mg, 800mg, and placebo) at three separate times (Immediately, 24 hours after first dose, and 7 days after last dose.) Researchers found that individuals that received the 400mg and 800mg doses had less drug craving after exposure to drug related cues for up to a week after their final dose as well as a lessened stress response after exposure to drug cues.
What could work for you?
Are you interested in trying CBD to aid yourself or someone you know with addiction? Here are some of the top products that our customers struggling with addiction have had great results with. Our Active CBD Oil Capsules at 25mg per capsule have been more than popular due to their water solubility- making them absorb three times faster and four times stronger! Additionally, our 900mg Active CBD Oil Full Spectrum Tincture is a great option as the trace amounts of THC produce the entourage effect. Alternatively, our 900mg Water-Soluble Broad-Spectrum Tincture is perfect for those looking for a THC free option.
All in All.
In recent years since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill more research is being conducted outlining the therapeutic benefits of CBD, however there is still much research to be done. Please consult your healthcare professional if you’re considering CBD as a treatment option, and always remember, everyone's body and brain are different so what works for someone may not work the same for you. If you have any questions, feel free to visit us at one of our many locations or online at DiscoverCBD.com