Addiction takes a toll on everyone around you. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 19.7 million Americans in 2017 were in combat with a substance use disorder and that cost us over 740 billion dollars. Despite addiction being a hot topic, we haven’t been able to make a serious impact on that number. We are constantly looking for new ways to help battle addiction. Some research has suggested that CBD oil could potentially be helpful in battling addiction.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is what is known as a cannabinoid. For the most part, cannabinoids are found only in the cannabis plants and are what gives hemp many of its benefits. CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants along with a number of other cannabinoids such as CBG and THC. Many CBD oil products have the THC filtered out but retain the other cannabinoids to give the oil its full potential, known as the entourage effect, without giving you the high that is associated with THC.
What is CBD Oil Used For?
Some of the many benefits of CBD oil that have been proposed and researched throughout the years include:
CBD Oil and Addiction
Three different areas of addiction have been studied in connection with CBD, cigarette (tobacco) addiction, alcohol addiction (alcohol use disorder), and opioid addiction (substance use disorder). All three areas have shown good promise when it comes to helping people overcome their addiction. Each one works in a slightly different way so we are going to talk about the three different addiction areas separately.
CBD and Tobacco Addiction
As you may already know, tobacco usage can lead to a wide variety of health complications such as lung cancer, heart problems, and more. The vast majority of these conditions are potentially lethal. For those who smoke it is extremely hard to quit, not only do they become addicted to the cigarettes but they find the act of smoking pleasant.
A study conducted with CBD showed that using a CBD inhaler when feeling an urge to smoke reduced the desire to smoke, reducing the use of cigarettes by about 40%. During the study, they found that placebo did not have the same effect.
CBD and Alcohol Use Disorder/Addiction
Alcohol use is quite common around the world, somewhere around 2 billion people across the world consume alcohol. Not every person from that 2 billion develops an alcohol addiction but it doesn’t take much for it to become an addiction or for alcohol to take a toll on your life. Regular drinking, overindulging, or simply drunk driving can all have an intense impact on your life and other people’s lives.
Trials have started to determine CBD’s potential to help those who are fighting alcoholism, one of the many CBD oil benefits that has been studied is the neuroprotective aspects that help to prevent damage in the brain. When it comes to alcohol this neuroprotective aspect the idea is that it can prevent alcohol-related damage to the brain that can cause impairment for those that drink heavily. Like with smoking, it is also possible that CBD will help those who drink regularly to drink less and even help to prevent breaks in sobriety.
Some of those who start drinking heavily do so because of chronic health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or stress. CBD may be able to help people with those conditions so that they can start to find relief before they start drinking as a form of self-medication.
CBD and Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction has been a big topic on the news lately with some of the main topics of discussion being safe injection sites, the number of overdoses, and how pain medication leads to opioid addiction. With around 90 Americans dying from opioid addiction every day it is important that we find methods to cut down on the addiction to opioids, something to help those already addicted, not just cutting down on the number of painkillers prescribed, CBD may be a tool to help with that.
What we have seen from CBD is that those who take it find themselves with less need for their drugs, while it may not completely reduce the need for drugs, it can be a great start to help people recover from addiction. One of the reasons that it is believed that CBD does this is because it has the ability to help manage chronic pain, one of the reasons that many people become addicted to opioids. CBD has great potential for being a chronic pain management tool because it is not addictive and does not produce the same high that opioids do as it does not have the THC present.
Increasing the Effectiveness of CBD for Addiction
CBD is still being studied in regards to many of its benefits, including addiction, but from history, we do know that approaching addiction with only one path is not likely to work, instead, it requires a multifaceted approach. Every addiction needs to be treated differently as each addiction works differently and every person fighting addiction is different but there are some general things that you can do to help fight addiction.
Get Professional Help
Professional help is essential for many people who are trying to break any addiction and comes in a variety of forms such as group support, individual therapy, medication support, and more. If you are fighting with addiction it can be a crucial step to approach a professional, especially one that has experience working with people who are battling addiction.
Exercise is often used for mental health and addiction as part of a treatment plan. This is because exercise helps to promote not only a healthy body but a healthy mind. When you exercise chemicals are released in your brain that help with a variety of aspects. One of these chemicals, known as endorphins, helps to regulate pain tolerance in the body, reduce stress, and promote positive sleep patterns. All of these things can help to curb addiction not just by working to cut back on the need for the addictive substance as mentioned above but helping to manage the underlying conditions that led to addiction in the first place.
Socialize and Find Supportive People
Addiction is incredibly hard to battle alone and many of those who are addicted to one or more substances have trouble maintaining relationships. Part of overcoming addiction includes building new relationships and as seen in this article, doctors recommend finding those who you can connect with and who will support you through your battle. Many people build new relationships through Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and this can be a great way to find people who understand what you are going through but you will want to keep in mind that being around other addicts could potentially cause you to lapse.
The first step to fighting addiction is to recognize that you have a problem, once that has happened you will want to ensure that you are taking on as many positive life changes as possible. Combatting addiction from as many routes as possible is the best option out there but more than that, you will want to take steps to fight the addiction that can be lifelong habits. CBD oils, exercise, interacting with supportive friends are great ways to potentially help you recover.