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CBD helps in the treatment of addictions

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23.2.2023

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According to studies, CBD oil seems like a promising product for the treatment of various addictions, or as an auxiliary substance to be used in connection with treatment. Although many believe that addiction can never be cured, it is still possible to live a life where you can feel free even after a strong period of addiction.

There are many methods and methods available for the journey to learning to live with strong desires or dominant ways of doing things, but there is no single pill for that problem. Whether addiction can be cured or not, this article will consider how CBD oil helps in drug addiction situations in particular and how CBD oil in general could ease the symptoms of those struggling with drug addictions.

 

The role of the endocannabinoid system in addiction

 

Addictions are physiologically complex phenomena directed at a substance or activity that are strongly linked to dopamine, e.g. the neurotransmitter related to the regulation of pleasure and emotions to the hormone’s own neurotransmitters. There are CB1 receptors in dopamine neurons, as well as in abundance in the brain in the areas associated with e.g. reward and the creation and maintenance of addiction (1). In order to fulfill our natural needs, we are guided by rewards. We get a rush of pleasure when we fill our stomach with food or go to the bathroom, but unfortunately also from intoxicants such as alcohol and tobacco. This creates a cycle, when we start searching for that source of pleasure without realizing it. A functional change in the cell is necessary for change, i.e. addiction, to be possible. The emergence of addiction is the result of the plasticity of the brain and cells, and the endocannabinoid system is part of this plasticity. (1,2,3)

 

Dopamine and the endocannabinoid system

 

Dopamine activity, which appears to be affected by intoxicants, is linked to cannabinoid activity (3). The endocannabinoid system fine-tunes dopaminergic activity, and intoxicants disrupt that signaling (1,2,3). This signaling disruption between the endocannabinoid system and dopamine activity appears to be the cause of difficulty in quitting substance abuse (1). The uneven signaling of the endocannabinoid system itself contributes to irregular plasticity of the nerves, stress, negative emotional states and cravings, which in turn predispose to rewarding activities, i.e. to addictions, for example(1,3). The endocannabinoid system is a necessary factor in the adaptation of cells from recreational use to use disorder and vice versa, i.e. the endocannabinoid system is both an enabler of addiction and a necessary tool for withdrawal.

The endocannabinoid system also plays a role in emotional learning and remembering processes. e.g. CB1 ligands have been found to both facilitate and moderate the reaction in various fear and reward situations. (4)

 

CBD oil in the treatment of addictions

 

Studies show that CBD oil is even a really good form of support for those struggling with addictions. The topic has been studied both with animal experiments and with volunteers, people suffering from various drug addictions. CBD responds to cannabinoid receptors, but also to other body systems such as opioid and serotonin receptors (1,3).

Through cannabinoid receptors, CBD oil affects the areas in the brain that are responsible for e.g. about cravings and reward behavior. It has been found that CBD weakens the strengthening of reward memory for drugs (1,2,3,4,). It has been found to relieve stress related to the use of intoxicants and, in the case of many intoxicants, also to reduce drug-seeking behavior (1,2,3,4). CBD has been found to increase dopamine activity and possibly weaken the mesolimbic circuit disorder caused by drugs (2,3).

 

The effect of CBD can last for months

 

According to studies, the effect of the CBD preparation lasts for several days, weeks and sometimes even months after the last dose of CBD taken (2,5). tobacco, heroin, alcohol and opioid users, and good results are visible.


CBD oil and smoking cessation

 

In smokers, even a 40% reduced need to smoke was observed compared to the placebo group, if they themselves were willing to quit (3,5).

 

CBD oil and alcohol addiction

 

Alcoholics, on the other hand, felt that the cravings decreased and the alcohol-seeking behavior seemed to decrease. What is special is that CBD has been found to heal the liver and nervous system from damage caused by alcohol after stopping use (5).

 

CBD oil in the treatment of opioid addiction

 

Opioid users felt that their cravings decreased and the stress related to the use and seeking of substances was alleviated, CBD has been studied to have a weakening effect on the reward response caused by opioids (1,2,5).

 

CBD oil experiences based on research

 

Experiences of the benefits of CBD oil vary depending on the situation. Like anything in the treatment of addictions, CBD is not a miracle substance that just erases all symptoms; e.g. in a study of heroin-addicted mice, it was found that CBD did not appear to have an effect on the tendency to relapse into heroin use, although it was found to reduce drug-seeking behavior in mice (2). Similar results were also visible in alcoholics and smokers (1).

“Smokers had up to a 40% reduced need to smoke compared to the placebo group, if they themselves were willing to quit. Alcoholics, on the other hand, felt that the cravings decreased and the alcohol-seeking behavior seemed to decrease.”

 

CBD use is perceived as pleasant

 

The common thing in the human studies seems to be that the use of CBD was clearly a pleasant experience for the user in the studies. CBD has been found to have effects on the intensity of cravings, stress, overcoming withdrawal symptoms and improving general well-being, despite the fact that the results are not clear cut or straightforward (2,3,4,). Variation in how CBD oil works for someone and with which addiction is case-by-case, but one could even say for sure that it is of some help with all substances. Researched!

 

CBD oil to help with general symptoms

 

Withdrawal symptoms are individual for everyone, but there are similarities. The most common symptoms are e.g. anxiety, stress, fear states, indigestion and sweating. Also, the fear of recreating one’s own identity and possible major life changes keeps a person stuck in addiction, even if it is very harmful.

 

According to studies, CBD oil is gentle, safe and effective

 

Numerous studies have found that CBD oil is a gentle, safe and functional product for a wide range of ailments once the appropriate dosage has been found. Although the withdrawal symptoms can be really strong and understandably difficult to tolerate, CBD oil is such a versatile product that it may help its user on many levels.

According to research , CBD balances the nervous system and improves sleep quality. CBD oil relaxes the mind and stabilizes the heartbeat. It calms the intestines and improves appetite. CBD oil has been found to be antipsychotic and anti-nausea. Animal experiments show that CBD affects fear memory by reducing learned fear; it acutely relieves the feeling of fear and interferes with the consolidation of the fear memory (4).

 

The background of addictions is often trauma

 

Despite the fact that studies and articles mainly focus on treating drug addictions, CBD oil can also be well suited for treating other addictions. The background of addiction is often trauma or some other circumstance related to emotional memory, and CBD has been found to regulate the areas of the brain that affect emotions and memories. In principle, it doesn’t matter whether the object of addiction is chocolate or heroin, CBD oil works in any case precisely at the heart of the problem.

 

Sources

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling in reward and addiction. 2015. Hurd Y. And Parsons L. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4652927/. Referred on 22.10.2021.
  2. Cannabidiol for the reduction of cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinence individuals with heroin use disorder : a double-blind randomized placebo control trial. 2019. Alishayev J., Hurd Y., Kudrich K., Oprescu A., Salsitz E. and Spriggs S. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed. Referred on 22.10.2021
  3. The endocannabinoid system and cannabidiol’s promise for the treatment of substance disorder. 2019. Chen Y., Christensen E., Solowij N., Yucell M. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390812/. Referred on 22.10.2021
  4. Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. 2017. Bertoglio L., Guimarães F., Lee J. And Stevenson C.. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5595771/. Referred on 22.10.2021
  5. Role of Cannabidiol in the Therapeutic Intervention for Substance Use Disorders. 2021. Navarrete F , García-Gutiérrez M., Gasparyan A., Austrich-Olivares A and Manzanares J. 2021. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.626010/full. Referred on 22.10.2021

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