CBD: Is It Addictive?

As the research on CBD is revealing positive aspects about the substance, people are now more than ever talking about it. 

It is present in everything from a water-soluble drink concentrate to gummies. But, its usage is not limited to consumption purposes only. CBD is also taking the beauty industry by storm.

However, as its popularity increases, the theories about its addictive properties are also on the rise. 

But is CBD addictive?

Let’s just dive straight into what CBD really is and the truth behind its addiction. We’ll also see what its effects are on the human body as per science.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol is one of the two primary chemical compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. The other one is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is a psychoactive compound.

But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. Simply put, it does not produce a “high.” It mainly works by accentuating our endocannabinoid system in the brain and nervous system.

CBD comes from marijuana, too, apart from hemp. This is where the confusion begins. Usually, people use CBD, marijuana, and hemp interchangeably, believing them all to be the same.

The CBD from the hemp plant has insignificant amounts of THC (around 0.3%)  and is relatively safe. However, the marijuana-derived CBD has high amounts of THC. Hence it can get you high.

Marijuana and Hemp: What’s The Difference

CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana. These two plants also come from the same parent, i.e., Cannabis sativa L.

Marijuana is predominantly a THC-rich plant but has lower concentrations of CBD. Therefore, oils or products made from marijuana-derived CBD will have high psychoactive effects.

On the other hand, CBD secured from a hemp plant is fairly less intoxicating due to negligible amounts of THC.

The lack of addictive properties of the hemp-extracted CBD is why it is legal in all 50 states of the US. Moreover, the Farm Bill 2018 also sanctioned its legality.

So, it is now clear that Hemp and marijuana are two different sides of the same picture. Their intoxicating features are altogether opposite.

How Does CBD Work on the Body?

Like other cannabinoids, CBD also impacts our endocannabinoid system, which is our prime regulative system. After entering the body, it attaches to the vital endocannabinoid receptors in our brain and nervous system.

These receptors send signals to the brain from throughout the body to interpret. The functioning of the brain is significantly dependent on these signals. They allow the brain to regulate processes, including our mood, appetite, and pain feelings.

Interestingly, unlike THC, CBD does not directly activate CB1 and CB2 receptors. It triggers other receptors such as serotonin and adenosine. They, in turn, release hormones that modulate the pain, inflammation, and anxiety sensations.

That is the reason people use CBD as an antidepressant. Also, CBD, when used, cuts out the psychoactive effects of THC in the body. Therefore, a person can enjoy the bounties of CBD without the intoxicating effects of THC.

Can You Get Addicted to CBD?

Although CBD’s popularity is growing day by day, people still ask the most heated question, “Is CBD addictive?”

The best approach to answer this query is to look at the way CBD works in your body. It is now clear that CBD does not affect the cannabinoid receptors as THC does. Therefore, it does not impart a “high” effect associated with THC.

A 2017 pre-review report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) mentions that CBD lacks any abuse potential, as shown by well-controlled human trials.

A study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence in March 2017 looked at the results of a previous study. In that previous study, the scientists gave regular marijuana users various oral dosages of CBD. Conclusively, they found that the chances of CBD abuse were similar to that of a placebo.

Another 2011 study successfully concluded that CBD is less harmful than THC and other cannabinoids. Published in the Bentham Science, the researchers in that study observed that humans tolerated up to 1,500 milligrams of CBD daily well. 

Unlike THC, CBD did not damage psychological functions, nor did it cause low blood pressure, body temperature, or heartbeat.

However, you can get CBD from marijuana and hemp plants. But, its addiction depends mainly on its source.

The CBD from the marijuana plant has a considerable amount of THC too. Hence, any marijuana-sourced CBD product may cause addiction. So, you must be able to differentiate between hemp and marijuana to be on the safe side.

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Can CBD Treat Addiction?

Lately, scientists are claiming CBD to be a potential treatment for addiction. So, can CBD really fight addiction?

Some studies claim that CBD may effectively treat addiction and prevent relapses in substance abusers.

According to a report published in the Wiley in 2013, a 19-year-old woman with cannabis withdrawal symptoms was treated with CBD over 10 days. The researchers observed that the withdrawal symptoms of the subject became less severe with CBD administration.

Moreover, CBD may also successfully prevent addiction to other substances, including tobacco and opioids.

The Addictive Behaviors published a study in 2013 centered on checking the effect of CBD on addiction. One-half of the subjects were given CBD inhalers during the study, while the other half had placebo inhalers.

The researchers observed that administering CBD for only a week reduced smoking addiction in the subjects by 40%. However, the subjects with a placebo did not show any meaningful variation.

The above-mentioned scientific evidence is definitely encouraging regarding the use of CBD as a treatment for addiction.

Are There Side Effects of CBD Overdose?

Generally, humans tolerate CBD well. However, its excessive use may prove to be harmful. 

Here are some of the adverse effects that may follow of CBD:

  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite change
  • Low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

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Bottom Line

So the question “can you get addicted to CBD” stands clear now. The source of CBD has a vital role in deciding its intoxicating and addictive properties.

However, the preliminary research hints towards no psychoactive and addictive effects of CBD. In fact, it may even aid cure substance abuse.

Lastly, if you are a first-timer, it is essential to talk to a doctor before using CBD.

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