Jamie Westbrook is a professional researcher for the CBD Awareness Project. When he’s not working, he likes hiking and bird-watching.
Many veterans struggle with addiction, but CBD oil could be helpful. Read on to learn how CBD offers support for addiction recovery and may help prevent relapses.
Research Suggests CBD Could be Helpful For Addiction
Although limited, the research into using CBD to curb addiction is promising. A review of literature found that in both animal and human studies, CBD can have an effect on opioid, psychostimulant, cannabis, and tobacco addiction. With a protective effect on stress vulnerability and neurotoxicity, CBD can have therapeutic properties that could be useful for treating addiction disorders.
How CBD Works to Curb Addiction
Drug cravings are often triggered by environmental cues, and can even trigger a relapse among those who have reduced or eliminated drug use. A clinical trial found that CBD can target environmental cues and reduce the cravings and anxiety brought on by drug cues. In the study, craving and anxiety scores were reduced with CBD use, and were even sustained for a week after the last dose of CBD.
Researchers suggest that CBD can be used to decrease relapses, particularly after users go home from rehab and face environmental cues. Overall, the research is promising that CBD can decrease connections to environmental cues that can spark drug use.
Similar research supports the use of CBD to curb alcoholism. A review of research found that CBD can reduce the cues and stress that can lead to alcohol abuse. It can also offer relief from withdrawal and impulses.
Treating Pain With CBD
Part of what makes CBD helpful for treating addiction is its ability to relieve pain. Opioid users may turn to pain medication for relief of chronic pain, but there is a great risk of addiction. A review of research from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that cannabinoids can be helpful for pain relief, and some users are able to replace conventional pain medications such as opiates with cannabis instead. The review found that cannabinoids can be an effective treatment for the reduction of chronic pain.
Treating Anxiety With CBD
Another component of addiction can be anxiety. CBD can offer relief for the anxiety that could trigger relapses. Research suggests CBD can be effective for anti anxiety, and specifically, can offer effective anti anxiety treatment in patients who are recovering from addiction.
But CBD is a drug — is there a risk of dependency with it? If so, you’d just be moving from one addiction to another, which isn’t very helpful. According to the World Health Organization’s critical review report on CBD, there is little to no concern. The report indicates that CBD can have therapeutic properties for addiction, and carries little risk of abuse or dependence itself.
Overall, the World Health Organization report indicates CBD has a good safety profile, and is well tolerated by users in clinical trials. There is little risk of side effects, and what side effects do exist are typically a result of drug interactions.
Trying CBD for Addiction Treatment
It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about making CBD part of your treatment for addiction. It could offer relief and help avoid a relapse. With a good safety profile, little risk of addiction, and promising (though admittedly, not extensive) research, CBD is worth trying to see if it can offer some relief for addiction.