Is CBD the Answer to the Opioid Epidemic?

opioid epidemic

115 people die from an opioid overdose in America every day. Pain killers are causing more deaths than breast cancer, car accidents, and guns. As per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 72,000 deaths were due to drug overdose in 2017. More than 49,000 of these fatalities were opioid-related.

CBD could be the solution opioid addicts need. Research indicates that CBD may be an effective way to treat addiction. It can help in opioid addiction and other dependency problems.

Could CBD be a Natural Replacement for Traditional Addiction Treatment?

Ideally, opioid addicts opt for traditional rehab treatment. However, evidence indicates that rehab clinics are ineffective in the treatment of addicts. Patients suffering from drug dependency should have access to all kinds of treatment. CBD is not conventional addiction treatment, but many believe it could be a helpful tool for beating addiction.

How CBD is Believed to Help Addiction?

Extensive research and personal stories confirm the effectiveness of using CBD for addiction. CBD isn’t a “cure” for addiction. But it has proved to help those suffering from addiction. CBD helps maintain the balance of the endocannabinoid system. Research indicates that the weak endocannabinoid system results in drug-seeking behaviors.

Overcoming Addiction

To overcome addiction, it is essential that addicts endure the withdrawal period. Research proves that symptoms of alcohol and drug cravings occur due to the heightened transmission of the glutamate neurotransmitter.  This neurotransmitter is found throughout the brain and spinal cord. And it is accountable for physiological functions like memory and learning.

CBD has a protective effect on glutamate toxicity. Due to its neuroprotective, antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antipsychotic properties, CBD helps to regulate compulsive behavior. Increasing research shows that CBD connects several neural circuits which are involved in drug-seeking behavior.

Medical Research About CBD for Addiction

In a lab study, the effects of CBD were tested on drug-seeking behavior demonstrated by lab rats. CBD did reduce heroin-seeking behavior by normalizing the stimulus of cues that usually leads to use. Results of the study imply that CBD could be a possible treatment for heroin craving and relapse.

CBD works for cigarette addiction in the same way. Studies are showing promising results on the effectiveness of CBD to quit smoking. CBD has shown to regulate emotions and emotional memory processing, leading researchers to believe in its potential as a treatment for anxiety and substance abuse disorders.

While research on CBD for addiction is still in its infancy, few studies show promising results.

CBD for Opioid Dependency

In the opioid-addicted brain there is significant damage in the glutamatergic system. The brain is “fundamentally changed” by opioid use to the point that addicts can lose the strength to control opioid consumption. Addicts are mostly recommended medication-assisted treatments like suboxone and methadone. However, many argue that medication-assisted treatment is merely substituting one addiction for another.

Methadone and suboxone aren’t heroin…but they’re strikingly similar and coming off these replacements can be almost as bad as coming off heroin itself.

Natural Pain Relief: CBD has Proven to Reduce Prescription Opioid Use

CBD isn’t just useful for helping “reset” the brain of opioid addicts and diminish the cues that can trigger a relapse. It’s also proved to be of help when it comes to lessening prescription opioid consumption. A recent report mentioned that medical cannabis patients report that cannabis is “as effective, if not more than opioid-based medications for pain.”

With the effectiveness of CBD to handle symptoms of pain, patients prescribed opiates can lower the doses they take if they also use CBD. This has the potential to significantly lessen opioid consumption and the risk of forming a dependency.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD to Help with Opioid Addiction

Anyone suffering opioid addiction is urged to seek the help of a medical professional before starting any addiction treatment.  Something to keep in mind is that there aren’t any prescribed dosages for CBD. If you wish to take CBD to help with opioid dependency, please consult a doctor regarding the dosage. Feel free to drop your questions in the comments sections and our experts will love to answer those.

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