Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular cannabis extract that medical experts claim can help treat various medical conditions. It’s important to note that it consists of hundreds of other compounds besides CBD. However, most of the therapeutic properties of the plant are often linked to cannabidiol.
CBD is mainly derived from hemp, though it can also be obtained from marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are variants of the cannabis plant. However, hemp-derived CBD tends to contain less of the psychotropic compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), compared to cannabidiol derived from marijuana strains.
This article offers more insights into the benefits of using CBD for opioid addiction.
Understanding Opioid Addiction
The word ‘opioids’ is a broad term that simply refers to a class of drugs. The opioid class of drugs includes prescription pain relievers like oxycodone (OxyContin), synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and illegal drugs like heroin. Opioids are aptly named due to their interaction with the opioid receptors, which are on nerve cells in the brain and across the body.
The fact that opioids interact with the opioid receptors around the brain means that they come with powerful analgesic effects. But there’s a dangerous trade-off – these drugs also induce euphoria. Their mind-altering effects are the primary reason why most opioid drugs are open to abuse.
Having been introduced to those euphoric effects, those on prescription opioids may have the craving to increase their dosages to experience prolonged psychotropic effects. And that’s how opioid dependence kicks in.
Prolonged dependence on opioids not only increases addiction but can lead to death. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, deaths related to opioid addiction have been on the rise over the past few years.
Thankfully, it now turns out that CBD can help treat opioid addiction and prevent unwanted deaths and the negative economic implications of opioid abuse. It’s also important to reiterate that CBD can only work for opioid addiction if you use the right product. That means sourcing the best CBD tincture products from reputable brands and administering it the right way, and following your ideal dosage requirements.
How CBD Helps With Opioid Addiction
CBD Lowers Cue-Induced Drug Craving
Environmental cues can be the strongest triggers of relapse for recovering opioids addicts. Worse yet, most of these environmental cues are virtually impossible to avoid. You may succeed in staying away from injection needles just long enough before a television advertisement containing syringes triggers your craving for opioids.
With lots of environmental cues and stimuli working against your quests to quit, you deserve a powerful remedy that can lower your cravings. And that’s what CBD can promise.
A 2019 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry proved that CBD might make opioid users less likely to develop cravings, despite exposure to environmental cues. Some of the cues the participants were exposed to include videos of people shooting up, white piles of powder, and injection needles.
CBD Improves Your Sleep
Sleeplessness, medically known as insomnia, is one of the significant side effects of opioid addiction. Thankfully, CBD can help treat opioid-induced insomnia, thereby improving your chances of recovering from opioid addiction. Cannabidiol works against insomnia in numerous ways.
First, CBD shortens sleep latency, making it easier for you to fall asleep. Studies have also established that CBD can eliminate or reduce Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Remember, this is the stage during sleep that you experience the most dreams. So, removing or shortening the REM stage means that you don’t dream so much, which has positive effects on your sleep quality and duration.
Even better, opioid addicts grappling with REM sleep behavior disorder can also benefit immensely from the insomnia-relieving benefits of cannabidiol. REM sleep behavior disorder is a condition that occurs when you act out your dreams, and could lead to sleepwalking and daytime sleepiness. CBD dosage calculator is a great way to check how much CBD you should take.
CBD Relieves Anxiety
Anxiety is another common problem that opioid addicts experience. This anxiety mostly results from the fear of being unable to develop a full capacity to ward off addiction. Once anxiety takes over, it’s usually only a matter of time before a recovering addict experiences relapse.
Cannabidiol can help opioid addicts manage various forms of anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder. CBD helps with anxiety by improving the brain’s signaling of ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters such as serotonin. High serotonin signaling has been associated with happiness, whereas low levels of the chemical are linked to stress and anxiety.
Why Use CBD for Opioid Addiction?
As we mentioned earlier, many opioids are infamous for their ability to induce euphoria and addiction. Worse yet, many conventional prescription medications for opioids are known to leave the recovering addict with plenty of side effects.
Fortunately, CBD helps with opioid addiction without subjecting the addict to any side effects. That’s primarily because cannabidiol doesn’t contain psychoactive properties, unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, it doesn’t alter your state of mind.
CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors known as CB2 receptors, which are located further away from the brain. That’s in contrast to THC, which interacts with CB1 receptors expressed around the brain and central nervous system.
However, even if you use CBD products containing THC like full-spectrum CBD, the risks of addiction are still significantly lower. While THC causes euphoria, it has minimal effects on your opioid receptors. Therefore, even those who use CBD products with traces of THC can cope without opioids far better than if they were using specific medications prescribed for addiction.
So, Can CBD Treat Opioid Addiction?
Yes, CBD treats opioid addiction by addressing some of the most common symptoms, such as anxiety, cravings, insomnia, etc. The best part is, CBD treats opioid addiction without exposing you to any further risks of dependence, as it doesn’t directly interact with your opioid receptors.