Is CBD Oil Addictive? Can you become dependent on CBD?
CBD is continually gaining interest as a natural alternative for many common ailments.
Many are turning to CBD because of the dependency effects that prescription medication can cause. So there are a few questions that are often asked.
Is CBD addictive like prescription medications? Will I experience withdrawals from taking it long-term?
This blog post will teach you more about CBD and addiction and will answer the question: Is CBD oil addictive?
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis. CBD does not make you high as its sibling cannabinoid THC does.
When applied topically, CBD may improve the appearance of skin by reducing redness and inflammation.
When applied to sore joints, CBD may decrease inflammation and pain. There are other possible health benefits of using CBD.
How does CBD react with your brain?
Hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis family. Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) within the human body.
The primary function of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis in many physiological systems, such as:
The ECS communicates through a system of endocannabinoids which are ligands (a molecule that binds to another molecule) naturally produced by the body. They bind to receptors produced by the body.
There are two main receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids like CBD are chemically similar to the body’s natural endocannabinoids.
They also interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD specifically interacts with these receptors by helping to regulate sleep, mood, mental stress, pain and inflammation, and immune responses.
Is CBD oil addictive?
This 2015 study (1) describes drug addiction as “a chronically relapsing disorder characterized by the compulsive desire to use drugs and a loss of control over consumption.”
Cannabis contains 80-100 different cannabinoids. The main two are CBD and THC.
CBD is non-psychoactive. It provides many possible health benefits and does not cause dependence. This 2021 study (2) reports that CBD may even help reduce cravings in patients recovering from drug abuse.
THC is the component in the hemp plant for getting you “high,” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (3). For example, marijuana use can cause dependence - when someone experiences symptoms of withdrawal from not taking it.
High-quality CBD in the United States comes from industrial hemp, not marijuana.
Industrial hemp contains the legal limit of <0.3% THC. This is not enough to have psychoactive effects when consumed.
CBD is available in many forms:
Full-Spectrum CBD - contains all the cannabinoids available in the cannabis plant. Including the legal limit of THC <0.3%.
Broad-Spectrum CBD - contains only CBD and the natural flavors, scents, and other natural compounds but does not contain THC. All THC has been removed.
CBD Isolate - only contains CBD. It does not have a flavor or scent.
Beware of off-brand CBD products as they may not be pure or contain much higher amounts of THC than they claim.
If you consume high amounts of THC, you may experience symptoms of being high or dependence after consuming for a long time.
Since the THC legal limit in the United States is 0.3% or less, you should not experience any dependence symptoms from taking Full-Spectrum CBD if it is USA-farmed. That low dose of THC should not cause any psychoactive effects.
Is CBD oil safe?
It’s important to consult with your doctor before taking CBD because it can interact with some medications.
CBD can sometimes cause side effects. Reduce or discontinue use if you experience:
- dry mouth
- reduced appetite
Can I overdose on CBD oil?
This is a good question since almost every medication and vitamin can be harmful when overly consumed.
CBD is considered safe and well tolerated in humans.
There is little research to show how much CBD could be fatal, but we believe from this review of research from 2017 (4) that humans can safely tolerate up to 1,500 mg per day of CBD.
Over-dosing on CBD would not be easy. You would have to take a lot considering most servings are 10-100 mg.
You should seek help immediately if you experience any symptoms of overdosing on CBD, including:
- Extreme Drowsiness
- Upset Stomach, vomiting, or Diarrhea
How does addiction work?
Now that we understand that CBD is non-addictive and helps to aid in addiction recovery let’s learn a little more about how addiction works.
Drug addiction is commonly misunderstood. In the past, scientists have believed that addiction was when pleasure would cause a person to seek out addictive behaviors.
From a social standpoint, it is commonly believed that drug addiction shows that a person lacks self-discipline, is weak or lacks morals.
Still, science shows us that addiction causes structurally and functionally changes in the brain.
When a person becomes addicted to a substance, it changes the way that person experiences pleasure.
The brain releases dopamine when you do something good, which rewards you and makes you want to do it again.
The brain is also very good at letting you know when it’s craving these things like social interaction, food, or getting outside and moving your body.
Your brain helps you decide when you need those things and the best way to get them.
When a person is addicted to a substance, these natural reward functions in the brain can work against you, reminding you that you want the substance when you know logically that it would not be good for you.
Just like if you went for a long walk on a hot day, you would crave to take a drink of cold water. Substance addiction can make you feel like you can’t live without the substance.
Fortunately, some treatments are available to help make quitting an addiction easier, including CBD.
What causes addiction?
The underlying cause of addiction is low levels of feel-good hormones in the body and high amounts of stress.
This may cause a person to turn to a substance to feel good or numb emotional pain, which may lead to an addiction in the long term.
Addiction can be caused by:
Family history of addiction
Research shows that individuals with family members that struggle with addiction are also more likely to be.
When a person is emotionally stressed from relationship conflicts, the death of a loved one, sleep or food deprivation, financial obligations, and other stressors, a person may be more vulnerable to substance abuse.
Physical abuse, sexual abuse, experiences causing PTSD, illnesses, and many other traumatic life experiences can cause a person to turn to substances to help cope.
No matter where pleasure comes from, it registers in the brain by releasing dopamine. This hormone rewards you for the behavior and makes you want it again.
Exposure to the substance
After someone takes a drug or substance for a long time, its effectiveness can wear off, and a higher dose is needed to experience the new high.
Symptoms of substance addiction
- Thoughts and feelings of taking the substance when you don’t need it.
- Involuntary thoughts that you need the substance. Trouble focusing on other tasks or thoughts.
- Over time, taking more and more of the substance will experience the desired effects.
- Buying the substance when you can’t afford it.
- Stealing or doing other things out of your character to get the substance.
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop taking the substance.
- Withdrawal symptoms when you do not take the substance include irritability, boredom, fatigue, sweating, shaking, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression.
If you are interested in CBD to help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms, check out our extensive list of CBD products. They are USA-grown, therapeutic grade, and satisfaction guaranteed!
Sum it up!
CBD oil is a substance from cannabis that may help to maintain homeostasis in the body. CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation on the skin and in the body.
CBD may help decrease pain, increase sleep and reduce feelings of stress mentally and physically in the body.
Is CBD oil addictive? No, CBD is not addictive and does not cause dependence if you take it for a long amount of time. Studies show that CBD may help reduce the negative symptoms of breaking an addiction.
Overdosing on CBD isn’t a concern as humans can safely tolerate large amounts of CBD at a time. However, it is important to watch for signs of overdose if you consume more than a recommended dose.
Substance addiction isn’t just a mental illness that affects a weak person. Addiction happens when the brain experiences pleasure with a substance and rewards you for certain behaviors.
You may feel like you need more and more of that substance or behavior to have the same effect over time.
If you or someone you love suffers from substance abuse, talk to your doctor to consult the best action plan; hopefully, CBD can help you too!
For educational purposes, only
(1) Prud'homme, M., Cata, R., & Jutras-Aswad, D. (2015, May 21). Cannabidiol as an intervention for addictive behaviors: A systematic review of the evidence. Substance abuse : research and treatment. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/
(2) Study finds that cannabidiol (CBD) reduces drug craving and anxiety in patients recovering from heroin use disorder. Recovery Research Institute. (2019, August 30). Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/cbd-effect-drug-craving-anxiety-heroin-use/
(3) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, April 13). Is marijuana addictive? National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive
(4) Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017, June 1). An update on safety and side effects of Cannabidiol: A review of Clinical Data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/