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Is CBD Oil Addictive?

You have probably heard of the benefits of CBD Oil but a question that is often asked is whether CBD Oil is Addictive.

The short answer is a resounding no. CBD Oil is not addictive.

According to the World Health Organisation:

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

We could have told you something similar from our anecdotal experience. After all Drug addiction is defined as a compulsive need to use a substance and an inability to stop using it despite negative consequences and it certainly doesn’t match our experience with CBD Oil.

The WHO referenced a March 2017 study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence which examined details of a previous study where researchers administered various oral dosages of CBD to frequent marijuana users alone and in combination with smoked marijuana. The researchers determined that CBD had as much likelihood for abuse as the placebo in this study.

So where does the concern come from?

Quite simply people conflate CBD oil and marijuana use. The difference between the 2 products is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high associated with marijuana. Once consumed THC travels to the brain via the bloodstream and affects specific areas of the brain that relate to pleasure, movement, memory and thought. It does so by attaching to the endocannabinoid receptors.

It is this psychoactive property that causes Marijuana addiction. Substances that lead to addiction affect the pleasure centres of the brain, often making it so that people need to consume a substance to avoid experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. In many cases, people may also need to use more and more of a drug in order to continue experiencing the same euphoric effects that they initially felt.

Having said that, it does not mean marijuana use will automatically cause addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 30% of people who use marijuana will develop problems with its use, known as marijuana use disorder.

If it’s not additive is CBD Oil Habit Forming?

Well yes and no. Habit forming traditionally refers to habits created in the search for pleasure. The difference with addiction is the ability to stop and the lack of withdrawal effects. CBD Oil doesn’t chase pleasure but it does have many effects that reduce negative physical conditions such as pain, sleep issues or anxiety. As a result many people use CBD oil regularly to manage these issues which is definitely habit forming but not in a negative sense.

The Great Irony of CBD Oil Addiction

Not only is CDB Oil not addictive it has been clinically proven to be an excellent option to help reduce addiction in other substances.
A 2015 review looked at 14 studies and found that

CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans.

In a 2013 report researches administered CBD to people experiencing cannabis withdrawal syndrome over a 10 day period which resulted in reduced symptoms.

A 2010 study examined a total of 94 cannabis users to see what role CBD-to-THC ratios played in reinforcing the effects of drugs and implicit attentional bias to drug stimuli. Compared with smokers of low-CBD strains, the study found that smokers of high-CBD strains showed reduced attentional bias to drug and food stimuli, as well as lower self-rated liking of cannabis stimuli. The research team concluded that “CBD has potential as a treatment for cannabis dependence” and could offer a potential treatment for other addictive disorders.

Another study in 2013 found CBD as effective in reducing tobacco cigarette consumption. Observing a total of 24 tobacco smokers, researchers gave half of the subjects an inhaler of CBD and the other half a placebo, instructing them to use the inhaler when they felt the need to smoke. Over a week long period, those treated with CBD reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%, while those with the placebo showed no notable difference.

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