According to the Center on Addiction, 40 million Americans age 12 and older abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs. That means more than 1 in 7 people struggle with addiction. The disease affects more Americans than heart conditions, diabetes, or cancer. At its most severe, addiction can require intensive, long-term treatment and can even lead to death.
Most medical associations define addiction as a disease, and it changes both the brain and the body as it progresses. Once addiction alters the brain, willpower becomes impaired, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to control one’s desire for the addictive substance.
Addiction is an extremely serious struggle for many, but there are several ways that CBD helps with addiction.
CBD Helps Withdrawal Symptoms
Research continues to show that CBD is beneficial for treating all of these symptoms. By easing symptoms of withdrawal, CBD helps make the process of quitting an addictive substance less physically and mentally taxing.
CBD Helps Reduce Cravings
In one study, cigarette smokers were given an inhaler containing CBD while others were given a placebo. The group using the CBD inhaler smoked 40% fewer cigarettes than before the use of CBD, while the placebo group had no change in the number of cigarettes smoked.
Reducing cravings for the addictive substance can go a long way in helping a person recover from addiction.
CBD Helps Prevent Relapses
CBD has shown incredible potential as an anti-relapse supplement. In a recent study, researchers tested animal subjects who had exhibited characteristics of relapsing addicts – such as anxiety, impulsivity, and dependency – and also had a history of self-administering addictive substances. The researchers gave transdermal CBD to the subjects once every 24 hours for one week.
With only this week of treatment, the subjects did not display their addict-like characteristics and didn’t relapse for 5 months. The long-lasting benefits of CBD provide a lot of hope for those who want long-term treatment for addiction.
Overall, CBD can be an extremely valuable tool when in recovery from substance abuse and addiction.
As always, it’s extremely important to talk to a healthcare professional before adding CBD to your regimen – especially when recovering from addiction. Suddenly quitting an addictive substance can lead to severe side effects, and working toward recovery should be done carefully and with the help of a professional.
For resources on where to find help for substance abuse and addiction, visit drughelpline.org.