Is CBD addictive?

by Edward J. Ross

Is CBD addictive

The answer to this is a resounding no. CBD is one of many compounds derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. It has been receiving a lot of buzz in the media lately due to claims that it can be used in the treatment of a variety of ailments. CBD belongs to a class of compounds called cannabinoids.

These compounds are produced naturally in some plants and even in the human body by the endocannabinoid system. A Cannabinoid naturally binds to neurotransmitters that affect mood, appetite, sleep, and pain. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in hemp or the cannabis Sativa plant.

Another important cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is responsible for the 'high' feeling people get when they smoke marijuana.

You can get addicted to THC especially if you use elevated amounts of it for long periods. CBD doesn't have this property.

What is CBD?

As we have mentioned, there are a lot of cannabinoids we can get from the hemp or cannabis plant with CBD and THC being the most prominently known. The most effective process for CBD extraction from hemp is called the CO2 method of extraction.

The CBD you get from this process is then infused into oils to get CBD oil or processed in other ways to create other CBD products. CBD oil is one of the most prominent ways that CBD is used. CBD oil, and other CBD products, have been used successfully in recent terms in the treatment of several ailments including; chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, seizures, and nausea among others.

While research is still ongoing on the benefits of cannabidiol, the available studies do show that it is effective in the treatment of the ailments we mentioned above. What's more, unlike THC, CBD doesn't have psychoactive effects and is unlikely to cause dependence.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in a 2017 report stated that "evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential". This makes CBD one of few such substances that have no risk of dependency or major side effects.

What is THC?

THC is the most prominent cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis. THC has psychoactive properties because it binds to receptors in the brain. This means that the effects of THC include; relaxation, anxiety, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, and even psychosis. These effects usually depend on the levels of THC that's been used.

What are the effects of CBD ?

Experts have shown that the effects of CBD vary from individual to individual. However, CBD does not give the 'high' or intoxicated feeling that most people associate with marijuana.

People reported feeling more relaxed and less anxious after using CBD. Research has shown that this might be because CBD represses autonomous arousal of the central nervous system, unlike THC which kindles our fight or flight response.

CBD doesn't cause addiction. However, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't fully regulate the CBD market, some CBD products might not post accurate information on their packs. The FDA requires the levels of THC in CBD products to be less than 0.3% to be considered legal. For you to be safe, you should only use companies that can provide a valid Certificate of Analysis.

CBD offers the following benefits:

Far from being an addictive substance, CBD may even help in the treatment of drug addiction. Ongoing studies provide pieces of evidence that suggest that CBD might lower the likelihood of cocaine and methamphetamine addiction.

It might also lower the likelihood of relapse and help fight drug withdrawal symptoms. CBD is looking promising in addiction treatment and recovery. We've listed some more benefits of CBD below.

  • CBD helps lower anxiety: even though more research needs to be done in this area, some studies clearly show people experiencing a reduction in anxiety after using CBD. For instance, in a 2019 study, out of 720 people who took CBD for a month, 79.2% reported reduced anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep quality.

  • CBD helps to relieve chronic pain and inflammation: A recent study in New Zealand reported improved quality of life in people with chronic pain and mental health issues after using CBD. CBD also helps fight inflammation

  • CBD reduces epileptic seizures: this was proven in a clinical trial in 2018. The reports showed that over two-thirds of the participants experienced at least a 25% decrease in seizure frequency while on CBD.

  • Other health benefits: Even though clinical trials are still ongoing, CBD already shows promise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, type 1 diabetes, cancer, and cognitive symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's.

How to take CBD

After extraction from the hemp or cannabis plant, CBD is made into various forms for use. You could purchase a variety of CBD products for use in the forms that suit you. Depending on your preference and a few other factors, you might decide to take your CBD in some of the following forms:

  • By far the quickest acting form is CBD vape juice. The juice is made from food-grade ingredients and is safe for consumption. Your body absorbs the CBD via the lungs.

  • You can also take your CBD oil or tincture form. This is the most popular method. You can mix CBD oil food and/or drinks or just drop it under your tongue. The oral mucosa absorbs the compounds quickly. You could also mix high CBD strains of hemp into a 70% alcohol mixture.

  • You could also get your much-needed CBD dose in the form of pills or capsules. This is usually more effective for people who want to treat digestive orders or epileptic seizures.

  • Lotions and creams: you could use these as topicals and they are mainly used in the treatment of joint and muscle pain. You can also use them in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema.

  • You can also take CBD in the form of edibles: CBD gummies are one of the most popular ways to take CBD. They come flavored and can be fun and discreet to take.

How much CBD oil should you take?

The exact dosage of CBD oil is something that is still up for debate. Different people react differently to different dosages of CBD oil. We recommend that you start at the lowest dose and slowly build up till you find the perfect dose.

You should always notify your health practitioner before beginning any new medication. They will look over your health information; such as what medication you are on, pre-existing conditions, your height, weight, and recommend the best course of action.

What is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil?

Hemp seed oil and CBD oil, while both hemp-derived. contain different compounds and are made from different parts of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is pressed from the seed of the hemp plant. CBD hemp oil, on the other hand, is derived from the whole plant.

The listed ingredients are a good way to tell the difference. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD and will be listed as Cannabis Sativa oil. Hemp-derived CBD oil will be listed as cannabidiol, hemp oil, or full-spectrum hemp oil.

How safe is CBD oil?

We mentioned the WHO report earlier. The report confirms that CBD has no side effects when you take normal doses. CBD oil might cause adverse effects when you take a toxic dose. This is highly unlikely because the toxic dose of CBD oil is 20,000 mg, taken almost at once according to a study published in 2013. The contents of the WHO report state the following:

  • In large doses, CBD affects tumor cells and has little effect on non-tumor cells.

  • The limited research available show that it does not affect embryonic development.

  • CBD has interactions with some drugs, but the research is not yet conclusive.

  • CBD is one of few substances deemed to have no risks of dependency or major side effects.

CBD has also been found to be safe for pets and children. You should start them on low doses and build up while closely monitoring the effects on them.

Final thoughts

Unlike cannabis, which contains appreciable amounts of THC, CBD is not addictive. Preliminary evidence even suggests that CBD can be used in the treatment of substance use disorder as well as other ailments such as chronic pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, epileptic seizures, and cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

CBD should be perfectly safe for you to use. However, there are a few concerns:

  • The FDA doesn't fully regulate the CBD market. This means that some over-the-counter products might list wrong or misleading ingredient information such as the percentage of THC included. You can circumvent this by only buying from reliable companies. You can also ask for a Certificate of Analysis to put your mind at rest.

  • There has been little research on the long-term effects of CBD. The research is still ongoing. However, it doesn't appear to have any damaging effects.

  • If you're planning to use CBD along with other medication, contact a medical practitioner. CBD affects some enzymes that catalyze the metabolism of drugs. This means that some drugs shouldn't be used together with CBD at all and it tampers with the action of some others.

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