While current scientific evidence suggests that heavy cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence in some people, CBD by itself does not appear to be addictive. However, research into the long-term effects of CBD usage is still in its early stages.
Researchers, healthcare professionals, and academics continue to explore the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid and one of over 400 chemical compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant.
Unlike its counterpart, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. However, people may wonder whether CBD is addictive.
What Does the Research Suggest?
CBD, by itself, does not appear to have addiction-related effects. It may be because CBD does not produce intoxicating effects. It is also generally accepted that CBD is not habit-forming, and it doesn't produce the same high one gets from marijuana with THC.
According to a 2017 Report, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that CBD might lower the likelihood of developing cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders. It may also help prevent relapse after a period of detoxification and sobriety. The authors of a 2015 review found evidence that CBD may also help treat nicotine and cannabis addiction.
Is Dependency the Same As an Addiction?
Yes and no. It is possible to form an addiction to nearly anything due to repeated use or exposure. For instance, if you watch television every day for a year, you may become dependent on the TV as a part of your daily routine. However, it does not mean that television is inherently addictive.
The same could be said for CBD oil or hemp flower CBD products. If you use CBD oil every single day for a long period, your brain could become dependent on it simply because of repetition. This dependency could lead to an addiction. However, it does not mean that CBD oil has addictiver properties. What it does mean is that you have form a habitual behavior that you need to break.
CBD Could Actually Help You Fight Certain Addictions
Evidence suggests that CBD could also be used to help combat the adverse effects of THC, such as cannabis withdrawal symptoms. In a 2013 report, researchers administered CBD to a 19-year-old woman with cannabis withdrawal syndrome over a ten day period, which effectively resulted in reduced withdrawal symptoms.
Another study, conducted in 2010 and published in Neuropsychopharmacology, examined a total of 94 cannabis users to see what role CBD-to-THC ratios played in reinforcing the effects of drugs and implicit attentional bias to drug stimuli. Compared with smokers of low-CBD strains, the study found that smokers of high-CBD strains showed reduced attentional bias to drug and food stimuli, as well as lower self-rated liking of cannabis stimuli.
The research team concluded that CBD has potential as a treatment for cannabis dependencem and could offer a potential treatment for other addictive disorders.
Existing research also demonstrates that CBD oil could help thwart addiction to other dangerous substances, such as tobacco or opioids. A 2013 study published in Addictive Behaviors looked at the effectiveness of CBD as a way to reduce tobacco cigarette consumption.
Observing a total of 24 tobacco smokers, researchers gave half of the subjects an inhaler of CBD and the other half a placebo, instructing them to use the inhaler when they felt the need to smoke. Over a week long period, those treated with CBD reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%, while those with the placebo showed no notable difference.
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