Cannabis use has been known to lead to dependency. While it’s not exactly addiction, the most severe cases can lead to it. Because of its close relationship with cannabis, people often wonder if CBD is addictive.
In short, that assumption is false.
What the research shows
CBD research is still in the early stages. However, the research available gives enough information to assume that CBD use doesn’t lead to addiction. First, a small study on 31 adults in 2016, showed that CBD does not affect heart rate, blood pressure, or cognitive function — often factors leading to substance abuse.
A report conducted by the World Health Organization states that evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
This is mostly because CBD doesn’t produce the high associated with THC.
Keep in mind: It’s important to note that while isolate and broad-spectrum CBD contain no or very little THC, full-spectrum can contain up to 0.03% THC. This is a very small portion of THC per dose, but if taken in excess (and we mean EXCESS), a withdrawal response could be triggered. (For more about how much CBD is too much, consult our blog on the subject.)
Can CBD help with substance use disorders?
In fact, CBD acts on several neurotransmission systems involved in addiction. CBD was found to have an impact on the intoxication, withdrawal, and relapse phase of opioid addiction.
CBD has several therapeutic properties on its own that could indirectly be useful in the treatment of addiction disorders, such as its protective effect on stress vulnerability and neurotoxicity. Moreover, if CBD becomes an established pain management solution, this could help people who are at risk of becoming addicted to opioids.
Can CBD help with tobacco withdrawal?
Only one study looked into the potential of CBD for tobacco addiction. The study showed a significant reduction in cigarettes (around 40%) when vaping CBD. The use of CBD also went down two weeks after using CBD vapes. You can read more about using CBD to quit smoking.
We get it all of those early studies and results are thrilling. It may look like the light at the end of the tunnel for lots of people suffering from an addiction. But those results are too few apart to be taken as gospel. In simpler terms, we highly discourage you from self-medicating with CBD to cope with any addiction you may have.
Any CBD treatment should be established and executed by a board-certified doctor and should be closely followed by medical staff. Even in this case, the data might still be too minor for a medical professional to base a treatment plan on.
CBD as a treatment for addiction is still at the trial stage. Check the National Institute on Drug Abuse to stay on top of the latest resources on addiction treatment.