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CBD Can Enhance Substance Abuse Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs costs the United States more then $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and health care. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite the harmful consequences. Actual physical changes in the brain can make it hard for people to quit their addictions, and relapse is common. Many people are in search of ways to help them break out of the harmful cycle of abuse, withdrawal, and relapse.

How Can CBD Help People With Their Addictions?

The majority of CBD studies with respect to substance abuse treatment have been in the context of opiate drugs – heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycontin, vicodin, hydrocodone, fentanyl, etc. – which are responsible for the majority of accidental overdose deaths. The idea that CBD could help with opiate abuse treatment came from the observation that states that have legalized medical cannabis have a 25% lower opioid overdose mortality rate compared to states where medical cannabis is not legal.

Animal studies have supplied further evidence that CBD can help to fight opioid addiction. In morphine-dependent rats, CBD reduced the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduced the amount of reward gained from using the morphine through its actions at 5-HT1A receptors. CBD also decreased heroin drug-seeking behavior and normalized heroin-induced impairments in the nucleus accumbens in another animal model.

The ability of CBD to help reduce drug-craving and anxiety appears to be due to a few different mechanisms. CBD actually has some action at opioid receptors in the brain, which can mean the body needs less opioids to achieve the same pain-killing effects. And CBD can act through 5-HT1A receptors to reduce anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms.

Reward deficits and problems with motivation are inherent features of drug addiction (as well as in anxiety and depressive disorders). In fact, the attempt to restore feelings of well-being and motivation are one of the main hallmarks of relapse, and relapse is one of the greatest challenges in the treatment of addiction. CBD has shown that it can help to reduce drug-motivated behavior, reduce symptoms of withdrawal, and even help to limit cravings – all of which make it a powerful friend in the fight against drug addiction. In what may seem like a conundrum, CBD can even help to break cannabis addiction. Cannabis contains the addictive substance THC, but CBD is not addictive and can even be used to help fight THC addiction.

Finally, there is evidence that CBD can also help with people trying to break their addiction to nicotine. A pilot study showed that people who took CBD while trying to quit smoking reduced their smoking by significantly more than people using a placebo. CBD seems to be a help to those wishing to break themselves of a harmful addiction. Buy a bottle of CBD oil today to help yourself onto the road to recovery and freedom from drug addiction!

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