Medical Research

Are You Addicted? Breaking Your Habit Might Be Easier Than You Think

Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

How one special cannabinoid may help you break your addiction with potentially harmful substances

Let’s make a short list of things that can be addictive:

  • Videogames
  • Social media
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Coffee
  • Watching TV
  • Attending political rallies
  • Driving fast cars
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Methamphetamines
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Gambling
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Sleeping

That’s just a short list. The truth is, almost anything that has appeal to humans can potentially become addictive. Our minds are wired to seek pleasure, and in some instances, that reward system can become so deeply ingrained that it’s painful to quit feeding.

When it comes to trying to quit substances that cause psychological addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can be far worse.

According to a 1994 paper, the withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can range from panic attacks and sweating to palpitations and muscular stiffness. [1]

When a 2009 study [2] looked at how rapid-detoxification impacts people addicted to narcotics, the researchers found that “rapid detoxification can be the first level treatment for heavy abusers, because it reduces the temptation for drug consumption and has shorter hospitalization and, as a result, has lower cost.” However, symptoms of withdrawal include things such as vomiting and a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

These are just a couple of examples of the symptoms that people with addiction face as they try to quit their addictions.

Thankfully, CBD may be able to help.

How does CBD help with symptoms of withdrawal?

Can CBD help people quit their addictions?

That’s what the researchers of a 2015 study wanted to know. [3]

In it, the researchers noted that CBD may:

  • Help reduce nicotine cravings
  • Influence the relapse phase of opioid addiction
  • Help regulate the pharmacological properties of addictive substances

In that way, CBD may be an effective way to help with the symptoms of withdrawal. It may even prevent the onset of some symptoms altogether.

That’s because a 2018 paper showed that CBD can help influence cocaine consumption in mice. [4] The researchers noted that “CBD reduced cocaine voluntary consumption.”

They also said that CBD appears to be able to regulate some behavioral and molecular properties of cocaine reinforcement, or more specifically: “CBD increased expression of type 1 cannabinoid receptor, MAPK-CREB phosphorylation, BDNF expression, and neural cell proliferation in the hippocampus, and reduced the GluA1/2 AMPA subunit receptor ratio in the striatum.”

Astonishingly, the researchers also noted that CBD has extra therapeutic benefits in that it may help with neurogenesis in animals addicted to cocaine.

Maybe, if we all take some, we’ll see that not every addiction is bad.

Cocaine: probably bad.

Videogames: maybe good (the top League of Legends players are making six-figures a year).

Reading CBD Health and Wellness Magazine: now that’s one addiction we encourage.

 

References:

  1. Peturrson. “The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome.” Addiction. 1994. 89(11):1455-9. [Times cited = 149; Journal Impact Factor = 5.789]
  2. Ziaaddini, Hassan et al. “Comparing Symptoms of Withdrawal, Rapid Detoxi-fication and Detoxification with Clonidine in Drug Dependent Patients.” Addiction & health. 2009. vol. 1.2;63-8. [Times Cited = 6; Journal Impact Factor = 1.192]
  3. Prud’homme, et al. “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.” Substance abuse : research and treatment. 2015. vol. 9;33-8 [times Cited = 49; Journal Impact Factor = 2.728]
  4. Luhan, et al. “Repeated Cannabidiol treatment reduces cocaine intake and modulates neural proliferation and CB1R expression in the mouse hippocampus.” Neuropharmacology. 2018. December, 143:163-175. [Times cited = 2; Journal Impact Factor = 4.249]

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Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

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