Should CBD Play a Role in Addiction Treatment?
Can CBD Oil be used as a safe and stable part of addiction treatment? Let’s dive in and see what makes this possible. CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, is taken from the cannabis plant, the same plant that provides marijuana. However, CBD oil is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high. In most states, CBD oil must not be more than .3% THC to be legal.
Still, the proponents of CBD oil say that even without THC, CBD oil provides positive benefits to users, helping them relieve stress, anxiety, and other issues. While CBD oil is becoming more popular across the country, used in everything from pet treats to oil diffusers, the truth is that we need more research to determine if CBD oil can be used as an effective medical treatment—including in addiction treatment.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil activates neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, including receptors for serotonin (a neurotransmitter associated with happiness and mood regulation) and adenosine (a neurotransmitter associated with sleep and relaxation). It’s possible that by activating these receptors that CBD oil helps relieve anxiety, reduce feelings of pain and improve mood. It may also help treat seizures in people with intractable (untreatable) epilepsy.
However, it’s not clear what doses are needed or how CBD oil should be taken to achieve these effects. Should CBD oil be taken as oil in food or in capsules? Should it be inhaled or used on the skin? Research is currently underway to understand how the body absorbs CBD oil in different ways and what doses are both safe and effective in humans.
In general, however, CBD oil is safe in small amounts. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. It will not cause feelings of euphoria, delusions or hallucinations. CBD should not impair motor function or cause memory problems the way marijuana use does. Because it has fewer risks and harmful side effects, CBD oil is more likely to be legal in your state than marijuana.
Can CBD Oil be used in Addiction Treatment?
Research is currently underway to determine if CBD oil can and should play a role in addiction treatment. Most research is currently focused on if using CBD oil can be a replacement for the use of opioids. CBD oil is not addictive and does not have the negative effects of opioids. If it can provide consistent pain relief, it could be a good alternative for patients with chronic pain. This could help prevent people from ever developing addiction and slow down the opioid epidemic.
Other research in animals showed that CBD oil may help prevent relapse. Animals who received CBD oil for a week were able to avoid relapse for 5 months. While this research is promising, addiction in animals and addiction in humans is very different. Addiction is far more complex in human beings, so human studies are needed to see if these positive effects still occur.
Possible Benefits of CBD Oil in Addiction Treatment
CBD oil may provide the most benefits to people who have a dual diagnosis of both addiction and depression or anxiety. Depression is one of the largest triggers of substance use. If CBD oil, in combination with other treatments, helps relieve depression, it may help patients achieve abstinence for longer periods of time.
Even in patients without a dual diagnosis, CBD may help ease some of the stress and anxiety associated with addiction treatment. It could be used as a complementary therapy like yoga or meditation to help relax the brain. It’s possible benefits could be a complimentary addition to holistic treatment plans.
Possible Problems of CBD Oil in Addiction Treatment
It’s important to note, however, that CBD oil is not a replacement for traditional medical or psychotherapies. While it might support the success of these therapies, CBD oil alone will not treat addiction—and it is highly unlikely that any research in the future will show that it can be used alone.
But patients who believe in the power of CBD oil may be harmed by the belief that they can use it alone. They may stop using other therapies, making relapse more likely. Providers of addiction treatment should offer patient education on the proper uses of CBD oil to ensure patients understand its limits.
Patients may also believe that CBD oil and marijuana can be used interchangeably. This is another potentially harmful thought. Marijuana, which contains THC, may not be addictive, but it can create addiction pathways. This is the opposite of the goal of all addiction treatment and could seriously hinder efforts toward abstinence.
CBD oil, in the wrong doses, may also have the opposite of its intended effect. In high doses, it may actually increase feelings of anxiety and depression. Again, this could increase the chances of a relapse or complicate the road to recovery.
While some people swear by CBD oil for treatment in a wide variety of conditions, the truth is that the evidence is not yet available to prove any of these claims. Though low doses of CBD oil from a trusted vendor are not likely to be harmful, it’s not clear that they’ll provide any positive benefits either. For now, the best path to sobriety is using currently available medicines and psychotherapies to improve mental health.
At Harmony Place, we use comprehensive therapies to help you achieve abstinence. From yoga to medication-assisted treatment, individual therapy to group therapy, we provide the support you need to lead a healthier life.
We’re ready to help you overcome trauma and addiction. Take the first step toward a sober life and contact us at 1-888-789-4330 at any time day or night for assistance. At Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, we provide a relaxing, comfortable environment for addiction treatment and recovery with many addiction treatment program options. Contact us today at 1-(888)-789-4330 to learn more about our services and how you or your loved one can prepare for a successful rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction treatment at our California treatment center.