Is CBD Addictive?
by Alissa Gardner | 12 October, 2022
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CBD is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis plants. It has plenty of potential health benefits, ranging from improved mood to chronic pain relief, so it’s not a surprise that CBD products are growing in popularity.
Nevertheless, some people are afraid to experiment with CBD products out of fear that CBD might cause addictive behaviors. It should come as no surprise, though. It is common knowledge that marijuana can be addictive, especially when it is used on a regular basis and at high doses. Since CBD can be marijuana-derived, you might be wondering whether it is addictive as well.
The article below will help you determine whether CBD addiction is something that you should be worried about. It also covers a few questions that first-time cannabidiol users are likely to have.
Is CBD Addictive?
Drug addiction can be defined as a compulsive and intense need to use a substance. It is accompanied by an inability to stop using that substance, in spite of any negative consequences.
Substances which use is most likely to result in substance use disorders influence the pleasure centers located in the brain. If an addict does not get the substance they are addicted to, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, including sweating, anxiety, and vomiting. With time, the addict has to use bigger and bigger amounts of the substance – it is the only way to experience the same effect that they felt when they first used it.
THC is a psychoactive compound that can be found in marijuana plants, and it is responsible for the high that is commonly associated with its use. When administered, it travels to the brain and binds to the cannabinoid receptors that can be found in areas that are responsible for things like movement, memory, pleasure, and thought.
CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain as well. The thing is that it does not produce any psychoactive effects.
And so, using THC can lead to cannabis dependence, but CBD does not seem to cause any addictive behaviors. According to clinical evidence obtained by the World Health Organization, CBD exhibits no psychoactive effects that could be indicative of dependence potential. In addition, they found no evidence of any public health-related problems caused by the use of pure CBD.
It is important to mention that numerous CBD products contain some amounts of THC – in the United States, federal law requires any hemp-derived CBD product to have no more than 0.3%. In spite of that, it is not uncommon for products to contain significantly more THC than the labels suggest.
CBD Might Help Treat Addiction
Some clinical trials suggest that CBD may actually be able to help treat drug and alcohol dependence.
One study found that CBD might help treat methamphetamine and cocaine addiction. Other than that, a review published in 2015 found that CBD appears to have therapeutic properties when it comes to the treatment of addictive disorders caused by psychostimulants, cocaine, and opioids. It also indicated that cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption.
While incredibly promising, much more research is needed to understand how cannabidiol might be used for the treatment of substance use disorders.
Side Effects and Other Concerns
While clinical data show that CBD is not addictive and that it might have a number of health benefits, it is important to note that it also has some potential side effects. The most common include anxiety, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, drowsiness, dry mouth, and mood changes.
CBD is generally well-tolerated, which means that you are unlikely to experience any of the side effects listed above. If you do, you are either sensitive to the substance or took too much of it.
So, if you have never used CBD before, do not take the largest recommended dosage. Instead, start with a low dose of 5 milligrams or 10 milligrams and gradually increase it until you get the results you are after.
Is CBD OK for Long-Term Use?
Long-term use of CBD appears to be well-tolerated by people; in fact, regularity is key to achieving the best effects. Unfortunately, not all CBD products are of the highest quality. Some may contain contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides. When ingested for longer periods, they can bring about some serious health problems.
Luckily, it is fairly easy to avoid purchasing such CBD products. First of all, you should buy from brands that list the ingredients of their products on their website and have good reviews. Second of all, you should only purchase CBD products that have been tested by a third-party laboratory.
If a product has been tested, its product page or label should include a QR code or a link that leads to a COA. COA stands for certificate of analysis, a document that shows you whether a given product is free of harmful bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals.
In case a brand you want to buy from has not had any of its products tested and does not include lists of ingredients on its product pages, you might want to consider buying from someone else.
How Long Does It Take to Detox from CBD?
It can take your body up to three months to get rid of CBD.
In your saliva, it can stay for up to thirty-six hours after administration, and in your blood for up to a week.
It can also be detected in your urine for as long as fifteen days, and in your hair for up to three months after you take it.
What Does CBD Do to Your Brain?
CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The said cannabinoid receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating a number of important processes, including learning, mood, and sleep.
In consequence, CBD might have an impact on these processes, e.g., it might be able to support a healthy sleep cycle and put you in a better mood.
Can CBD Give You Anxiety?
In general, CBD is a compound that is well-tolerated by humans. For that reason, it is unlikely that you will end up experiencing any of its side effects. If you do, anxiety is likely to be one of them.
Will CBD Show Up on Blood Tests?
CBD can show up on a blood test for up to a week after administration. It depends on the dosage, though. If you have been taking large doses of CBD on a daily basis, it might take your body a bit longer to get rid of it. Keep that in mind if you are looking for a job or have to consent to drug screenings for other reasons.
Can CBD Cause Anger?
CBD can cause mood swings and irritability, particularly when taken in high doses. If you feel overly angry after taking CBD, it is likely that you are sensitive to it. In such a situation, it will be best if you stop using CBD products altogether.
Does CBD Oil Cause Liver Damage?
Yes, but only in extremely high doses. A recent study showed that for CBD oil to cause liver toxicity, a human would have to consume about 200 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight. In North America, the average body mass is 178 pounds / 80.7 kilograms. Consequently, an average person living in the United States would have to consume around 16,000 milligrams of CBD to start showing clear signs of liver toxicity. To put it simply, you would have to consume between 13 and 200 bottles of CBD tinctures at once, depending on their potency.
What Are the Downsides of CBD Oil?
Just like any other CBD product, it might cause nausea, diarrhea, and irritability. Aside from that, if you decide to take CBD sublingually or ingest it on its own, it is likely to leave behind an earthy aftertaste. Quite a few people find it to be unpleasant and would rather avoid it.
Luckily, when it comes to possible side effects, you just have to find the right dosage to avoid them. As for the earthy aftertaste, you could opt for flavored oral drops. It is fairly easy to find flavored CBD oils in online CBD stores. They can range from tropical fruits to sweets. Because of that, you should be able to find a flavor that you like in no time.
What Should You Not Take with CBD?
You should not take any prescription medications with CBD. If you want to go through with it, seek professional medical advice beforehand.
Here is a list of medications that can cause serious drug interactions when taken together with CBD.
- anti-seizure medications, including valproate, clobazam, and lamotrigine
- a thyroid medication, levothyroxine
- a heart rhythm medication, amiodarone
- a common blood thinner, warfarin
Can I Mix CBD Oil and Alcohol?
Yes, you can. However, you should do so with caution, as alcohol can lower one’s inhibitions. As a result, you might end up taking more CBD oil than you intended, which can have some unpleasant consequences. The more CBD you take, the more likely you are to have to deal with its side effects, including diarrhea and nausea.
Can I Drink Water After Taking CBD Oil?
Yes, you can drink water after taking CBD oil. The key here is to wait for the oil to do its thing. If you put it under the tongue, let it sit in there for thirty to sixty seconds. Do not swallow it down with water after five or ten seconds. If you do, the CBD in the oil is not going to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Consequently, you are not going to be able to experience its therapeutic properties.
Is CBD Better Than Antidepressants?
While some people might claim that CBD is better than antidepressants, it is not necessarily the case. Every person reacts to CBD in a slightly different way. It can work wonders for some. Others might find that it makes them feel nauseous or come to the conclusion that it does nothing at all.
With that in mind, CBD should not be viewed as the perfect alternative to antidepressants. If you are struggling with a mental health problem and antidepressants do not seem to work, you might want to ask a mental health professional for advice.
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