Is CBD Addictive?
People are always looking for natural alternatives to their medical conditions. Cannabis is a popular natural treatment, and many people look towards CBD as the answer in their quest for relief. The question that's on everyone's minds is whether or not CBD can lead to addiction? This article will discuss CBD, what addiction means, and how CBD compares to other drugs.
Addiction is a big problem and seems to pop up in new ways. Still, the underlying psychology and habit forming are always the same.
What is addiction?
Addiction is one of society's most significant problems, but what is it exactly. The scientific definition for addiction is a physical and mental dependence on something or someone. For some people, the addiction can be so severe that they continue to use drugs even when it leads to negative consequences such as health problems.
Addiction can range from harmless to debilitating. Chemical addiction is the most common type of addiction in society. People who struggle with a chemical dependency have cravings for drugs and alcohol that they cannot control. These can lead to severe consequences such as health problems, lost jobs, or relationships.
Most people assume that all types of drug addictions are equal, but this isn't true. There are many different factors involved, such as the substance you're addicted to, how long you've been using it and what your motives were when taking them for the first time. For example, someone can be addicted to prescription medications like opioids without any intention other than treating chronic pain. Still, another person might abuse these same drugs only after peers pressure them into doing so.
At addictions core, they are just habits but with adverse outcomes to oneself, family, or society.
Addiction is often part of a habit loop. These are small things that can set a person back into addictive behavior. It's important to know what these triggers are and avoid them. Going back to the opioid addiction, someone might have a trigger based on stress, leading to drinking alcohol or using drugs with friends. Removing habit triggers is often the best way to stop addiction. For example, recovering alcoholics are told to stay away from bars and liquor stores, or gambling addicts staying away from casinos.
Dopamine and its roll
When it comes to the brain chemistry of addiction, dopamine is the largest culprit. Dopamine is a chemical that feels good and is released in the brain. Cocaine, heroin, or other drugs can cause dopamine to be constantly pumped through the system. Drug use, gambling, alcohol consumption can short circuit the brain and create a dopamine dependence. Don't get us wrong. Dopamine is not inherently bad. It serves as a reward for behaviors both good and bad. It's the bad behaviors that create destructive addiction and adverse health benefits.
Continued use and its effects
Consistent exposure to these substances or activities that release dopamine tends to create habits. We are creatures of habit and love to do things that make us feel good every chance we get. These dopamine hits are often exploited by tech companies to create an addiction to their services. Ever notice how that red notification in your social media app or text message drives us to promptly check what it is? This is because our human mind has been trained to have a potential reward behind that notification and entices us to see if it's there. The more often we do those things, the more rigid the habit or addiction becomes and the harder it will break.
Mental Vs. Physical dependence
There are two subsets of addiction, psychological and physical. The psychological addiction stems from doing something and receiving a dopamine hit. Still, your body can function just fine without the activity or substance. Physical addiction means the body has become dependent on that substance to operate.
Some psychological addictions are cravings to check Facebook or email, watching porn, and abusing non-addictive drugs. Just cause the body is not physically dependent on the activity or substance, it can be equally as hard to break these addictions.
Examples of physical addiction are alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and pain killers. Abuse of these substances results in the body needing these substances in the blood. Without these, the body can experience withdrawal symptoms such as fever, shaking, headache, vomiting, discomfort, and more.
Being addicted often leads to destructive behaviors, making them costly to the addict, their family, and society. Addictive behaviors can range from harmless to dangerous.
Some common addictive behaviors and symptoms are:
-drugs and alcohol
-impaired psychological functions
-High or low blood pressure
-Reduced motor skills
The nature of addictive behaviors is that they exist in a cycle. The cravings for the addiction lead to engaging with the behavior, which leaves one feeling temporarily satisfied before cravings or withdrawal symptoms reappear again. This repeating pattern can last an indefinite period without intervention. That's why it's critical to break up these behaviors and create new ones in their place.
Common paths that lead to addiction
To become addicted to something, you need exposure. No exposure, no addiction. People exposed to these addictive behaviors are friends, co-workers, neighbors, tv, and social media.
Once exposed, the person has to try it, and it is usually when they get hooked. Some things only take one exposure to get addicted, but others may take continued use before the addiction develops.
Once addicted, cravings ensue, and the person is driven to use their addictive behavior. The problem with cravings is that they are not rational and do not need any outside stimulus for them to occur. They can happen while driving, watching tv, or just sitting at your desk at work.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. This natural substance comes from the cannabis Sativa plant bred to have a higher concentration of CBD and lower concentrations of THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana plants. CBD has been widely accepted because it does not get you high like THC and provides many of the same benefits.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD is found in both the Hemp and Marijuana cannabis plants. It's extracted through either a C02 or solvent method. Each one is safe if done by a reliable company but always verify with 3rd party test results. There are 3 different products of extracted CBD. An isolate that is pulled from the distillate oil and is a 99% pure CBD. The other two options are based on a distillate oil that is extracted. Broad Spectrum has the THC removed, whereas Full Spectrum is unaltered. They both have additional cannabinoids and CBD that can help promote an entourage effect for maximum relief.
Is CBD from Marijuana the same as CBD from Hemp?
It's the same compound, no matter where it's found. The difference between Hemp and Marijuana is not actually scientific but dictated by the Federal Farm Bill Law. Cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC content are considered hemp and legal in all US states and territories. CBD derived from hemp come from types of cannabis plants that are high CBD strains. Anything above 0.3% THC content is considered marijuana. It is federally illegal but legal in certain states through a medical or recreational law. Marijuana products usually have high levels of THC.
The Endocannabinoid System
Found around 1992, The endocannabinoid system is a recent discovery. We have only scratched the surface of how this system works in the body. Its primary function is to keep the body balanced and regulated. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that bind to our receptors called cannabinoid receptors. They have various effects on the body, such as regulating mood, appetite, pain-sensation, and many other functions.
The Endocannabinoid System is essential in the human body for balancing out processes like moods and cravings. CBD oil is the most common product to supplement it.
How CBD works in the endocannabinoid system
When the body is deficient in cannabinoids, symptoms like cravings, mood disturbances, and pain can occur.
CBD helps supplement the body's natural cannabinoids and works to solve the deficiency. These bring balance to the body and may potentially resolve any symptoms the lack of cannabinoids causes.
Depending on how deficient it is, it can take 1 serving to weeks for the CBD to enhance the endocannabinoid system. That's why we always encourage consistent use, as there is no way to tell how much you will actually need to restore balance.
Other common cannabinoids
Other common cannabinoids are CBG, CBN, and THC. Each one has unique properties and effects. CBG, for example, is non-psychoactive, unlike THC, and is often used for its potential anti-inflammatory effects.
While CBN can be psychoactive, it has been shown to have an anxiolytic effect. That means that CBN may work as a natural stress reliever and may help treat anxiety disorders such as PTSD.
THC from marijuana is the most famous cannabinoid when it comes to getting high. It has psychoactive effects and can leave you feeling euphoric. CBD products from hemp are only allowed a trace amount of THC that will not get you high.
We have only scratched the surface on different cannabinoids, and new ones seem to be discovered every day. We caution that using newly discovered cannabinoids can be risky as there are no studies on the effects and long-term risks. It is wise to only use naturally occurring cannabinoids from the oil and do not require any alteration after the fact.
Is CBD addictive?
While the science is still out on if CBD is addictive, all signs are pointing to no. Since CBD has no intoxicating properties, there is not a whole lot of room to abuse. There does not seem to be any withdrawal symptoms or need for dependence by the body for CBD use.
Some people might find great relief from CBD usage and will come to depend on it for everyday life. For these people suspending use will be unpleasant as they lose relief. This may seem like cannabis withdrawal symptoms, but the CBD is not causing the discomfort in this instance. It's just the symptoms coming back to the baseline.
Again the benefits of CBD still have not reached a scientific conclusion, and CBD may help with things, but this is not medical advice. One day large health groups like the World Health Organization may elevate CBD's status.
Are other cannabinoids addictive?
Anytime there is an intoxicating presence, the potential for abuse exists. THC is the most intoxicating of the cannabinoids and does have the potential for limited abuse. While cannabinoids are praised for not creating a physical dependence on the body, a psychological addiction to getting high can occur. While THC may provide some substantial health benefits, frequent marijuana use can lead to potential abuse. With hemp derived CBD not having the psychoactive effects of THC, there is much less potential for abuse.
Can CBD be used to help fight addiction?
At this point, studies are still ongoing to see if CBD can be an aid to stop addiction. It should be up to an addiction specialist to recommend trying to help with recovery.
With physical dependence causing withdrawal symptoms, there is a thought that the body is severely out of balance and could potentially be helped brought back in sync with CBD usage.
Keep in mind that only a doctor or licensed professional should be making medical decisions for the addicts. That withdrawal medication may have drug interactions with CBD and hemp oil.
Are there side effects from CBD oil?
CBD can cause side effects, but they are generally mild. It's usually a rare occurrence.
Some may feel increased anxiety, and CBD oil is not recommended for people with a history of schizophrenia. It can cause digestive discomfort, headaches, or drowsiness in specific individuals as well.
Additional to CBD, it is usually in a mixture with other ingredients that one may be allergic to. For example, the tinctures use MCT oil, and Topicals contain many ingredients like menthol that might form a reaction for someone that is allergic.
If you have any side effects or what feels like an allergic reaction, suspend use immediately.
Can you overdose on CBD?
To date, nobody has overdosed on CBD. There is no known toxic level of CBD. Just cause you cannot overdose on it doesn't mean you can take it recklessly. You should always start with a low dosage and work your way up. This experimentation must be done to figure out the amount you need.
CBD use with other medications
If you are currently taking medications, you will need to consult your doctor if they are compatible with CBD usage. There is a rough guideline that follows grapefruit juice. If you cannot consume the juice with your medication, CBD is not safe either. That is just a starting point; we must reiterate that if you are on medication, talk to your doctor to ensure there is no incompatibility between it and CBD.
Can CBD be abused?
Everything can be abused when it comes down to it. CBD is about as tame as it gets. In the future, we will not be going to interventions on CBD usage and putting tinctures in locked cabinets. The most likely CBD product to be abused would be a vape product. Vape can be an addictive habit and lead to triggers to vape despite no addictive nature of the substance.
Again use everything in moderation, and the chance of something negative happening is slim. If there was a high chance CBD could be abused, it would still be a scheduled 1 drug.
Legality of CBD
The 2018 Farm Bill opened the doors for CBD to be legal in all US states and territories. Isolate, and Broad spectrum products face no restrictions and can be shipped anywhere.
When it comes to THC content, a few states such as Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Dakota. They have a zero-tolerance policy for THC, making full spectrum products illegal and treated as if they are marijuana. Chances are, these archaic policies will change in the future. If you live in these states, choose a CBD oil derived from hemp and is an isolate or broad spectrum base with zero THC.
Hemp flower also faces restriction. It's difficult for law enforcement to do their job since the only way to tell hemp flower apart from marijuana flower is to test them in a lab. All field tests will come up hot for hemp flower due to the trace amounts of THC. This also puts the consumer at risk because if an officer detects a smell of hemp flower, chances are high they will confuse it for marijuana. If that is the case, the officer will assume it is and arrest you. That's why it's always a good idea to not travel with an open container of hemp flower.
Vape products, while entirely legal, face significant red tape. Vape and related products are now considered tobacco because of the PACT Act provisions from the December 2020 Covid relief bill. USPS has been outlawed from shipping vape, and all other carriers have banned it. There is no way for a company now to ship to a residential address.
Treatment centers using CBD
Rehab centers have started to use CBD as an option to potentially help addicts. Early studies have shown that the effects of CBD can reduce cravings for substances and help patients stay away from those addictive substances.
The big push is to have a drug or supplement that does not produce any high effect, so there isn't an addiction risk factor associated with it. Many opioid addicts did not intend to abuse the drug. A standard gateway to opioid addiction is an accident or surgery that caused significant pain. We can cut down much of today's addiction if an alternative can be widely available and FDA-approved without reducing the quality of life. Hopefully, CBD can be widely accepted to provide these health benefits and could help those in need.
Again we are not licensed and cannot give advice, so only a rehab expert can suggest CBD helps.
Addiction is still a massive problem in society and has been since the dawn of time. New addictive substances and behaviors pop up every day, and it's important to stay vigilant in stopping them from becoming a more significant problem.
Since CBD is so new, the science is still out if CBD creates any physical dependence, but the early signs point to no. That does not mean this is a substance to take lightly and take large doses without trying small.
CBD alone may not help stop addiction, but it's a valuable new tool that may be of great assistance. Substance use is a big problem in society and has likely affected you in some way.
To learn more about CBD LION and our products, we recommend our learn about CBD guide to start.