CBD and Addiction Recovery

CBD and Addiction Recovery

The battle against the opioid crisis is a global issue. Many people who are prescribed opioids become addicted. The United Kingdom and Canada are two countries that have seen a drastic increase in opioid prescriptions, consumption, and overdoses in the past years.

The United States alone claims that around 2.1 million people are addicted to opioids, and worldwide there are somewhere between 24 and 36 million people addicted. For a lot of people, the use of opioids gets to a point where they are no longer good enough and the feeling of dissatisfaction turns them to heroin. 

Unfortunately, there are many other substances that cause people to have addiction problems. Alcohol, cocaine, morphine, Xanax, and methamphetamine are also cause for concern. Being addicted to drugs is extremely destructive to an individual's life, and it also greatly affects the people who care about them. 

Addiction can and oftentimes does result in overdose, chronic illness, and cancer. Being addicted also makes it hard to maintain positive relationships, hold a job and it interferes with your social life.

Those looking to overcome their addiction but require a bit more help, are turning to the cannabis plant. Not for the THC found in marijuana, but cannabidiol. Many researchers are suggesting that CBD oil can be helpful when it comes to aiding in addiction recovery. 

What causes addiction?

Addiction is classified as a psychological disorder that tends to give you the desire to do something that has a negative impact on your health. There are common characteristics associated with people who use these substances, such as:

1. Consistent negative emotions

Alcohol and drug use serve a purpose for users who are often looking to minimize feelings of pain and maximize their feelings of pleasure. Addicts often begin using these substances because of negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, depression, discomfort, stress, and restlessness. 

2. Inability to suppress urges

Addicts tend to spend a lot of their time thinking about and trying to acquire their drug of choice. People who use these substances will experience intense cravings for alcohol or the drug they use and usually cannot control the urges to go out and get it.

3. Loss of control

As a user gets sucked further into addiction, they will oftentimes feel a lack of control where they are unable to manage their behavior and thoughts. This results in a feeling of being unable to keep themselves from using drugs and alcohol. 

Environmental factors influencing addiction

A person's environment, either who they spend time around, the area they live, or what their home life is like can all impact their chances of substance abuse and becoming an addict. These factors include: 

  • Poor parental supervision

  • Parents who engage in criminal activities and drug use

  • Living in a poor, impoverished community

  • Presence of drugs available at school or home

  • Job-status or lack of employment


Ways CBD helps with addiction recovery

Cannabidiol can aid in addiction recovery, just like it can help a range of other health conditions due to its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system. The role of This system is to keep your body in a state of balance, and is made up of three components: 

  • Endocannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Enzymes

Endocannabinoids will bind to your cannabinoid receptors which creates a regulatory effect on your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, which work with your endocannabinoid system, work to regulate various body functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, motor control, etc.  This interaction is what allows your endocannabinoid system to communicate with specific neurotransmitters in order to keep your body in a healthy, balanced state. 

When you ingest CBD oil, you are basically giving your body a boost of extra cannabinoids. Which enables the endocannabinoid system to be more effective in performing its duties. If someone is suffering from an addiction, the reward centers of the brain have become badly unbalanced, and the endocannabinoid system will help in rebalancing it and returning it to a normal state of functioning. 

Dysfunctional dopamine levels play a key role in addiction

Depletion of dopamine levels plays a huge role in addiction, and this is one of the reasons why CBD is suggested to help aid in recovery. 

Surges of dopamine train your brain to seek out more of the substance that an addict has been abusing. When these spikes of dopamine become consistent, it results in a drop in the body's ability to produce dopamine by itself.  

Once this has taken place, a user becomes hopelessly dependent on using drugs or alcohol in order to produce enough dopamine to feel normal. This is where CBD comes in. 

Cannabidiol may help replenish and balance dopamine levels in your brain. It does so by interacting with your body's endocannabinoid system and suppressing neurons that inhibit the production of dopamine. When these inhibitors are suppressed, your body has the ability to produce more dopamine. 

How to use CBD for addiction recovery 

If you are planning on using CBD oil for addiction recovery, there are a variety of different forms for you to try. By having so many options, you will have no problem finding one that works best and is most suitable for you.

  • Sublingual application: Cannabidiol can be applied on the tongue using a dropper. The pros of sublingual application are that it allows for precise dosage amounts, the effects can be felt relatively quickly, and one application can last up to 6 hours. This method also results in a higher absorption rate. 
  • Inhalation: You can find CBD oil vape products on the market that are especially effective for recovering addicts who used to inhale or smoke drugs. It can help replace the habit of smoking harmful substances with inhaling CBD. Oral Inhalation is also the most effective and quickest method of ingestion, the effects can be felt almost instantly. Although it does not last as long as sublingual or oral ingestion.
  • Oral ingestion: You can find capsules that can be easily taken orally like you would any other pill, and you can also find edibles when it comes to oral ingestion. They make a wide array of CBD edibles, such as chocolate bars, candies, gummies, and other snacks that appeal to people who would like to consume cannabidiol without experiencing the earthy taste that comes with it. The downside of oral ingestion is that it has to travel through the digestive system therefore it takes longer to reach the bloodstream. Another negative is that some of the CBD can get lost in this process, so it’s likely that taking a higher dosage would be more effective. 

Although cannabidiol can help with symptoms of addiction and help aid in addiction recovery, it’s not a substitute for medical care. If someone is battling addiction it’s always best that they speak with a qualified healthcare professional before anything else.

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