Is CBD Oil Addictive? Everything You Need to Know
One in seven Americans uses CBD products.
Most of these users benefit from pain relief and anxiety relief while some use the products to help them sleep. CBD based products have become popular following the passage of a 2018 bill that legalized this hemp form of cannabis and made CBD available to the general public.
CBD products are used to treat a number of mental and physical ailments without the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
Some people hesitate to try CBD because they aren't sure if it's addictive. If you've been wanting to learn more about CBD and whether or not it's addictive, keep reading while we break it down.
Is CBD Oil Addictive?
The short answer is no. CBD oil isn't addictive and it can't get you high.
CBD is a non-addictive chemical compound that's found in the cannabis plant. It can't get you high because it's a non-intoxicating substance. The chemical found in the cannabis/marijuana plant that can get you high is THC.
THC also has addictive properties. CBD oils do not contain THC and therefore don't carry the potential for addiction.
In fact, this study proved that CBD did not carry any potential for abuse.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is defined as a complicated brain disease that leads to compulsive substance abuse despite the harmful consequences of that behavior.
Addiction is also referred to as severe substance use disorder. Those with an addiction deal with a constant focus on using a drug or alcohol to the point that it consumes their life. People with addiction experience changes in their brain's wiring that prevents them from thinking clearly.
Changes to the Brain
Addicts experience changes in the way their brain and body function and experience uncontrollable cravings for the substance they are addicted to. Studies of people with addictions have shown that the disease actually changes the areas of your brain that control how you behave, learn, judge, remember, and make decisions.
The changes to your brain caused by drugs and alcohol last longer than when you're under the immediate effects of the substance. When you use a drug, over time you'll become more tolerant to its effects. This means you'll have to consume more of the drug to feel the same high.
Once you're addicted, it can be almost impossible to stop without professional help. Even if you're aware that you have a problem, the changes in your brain can make stopping impossible even if you want to.
Misusing drugs and alcohol is a leading cause of preventable illness and death. Mental illness and addiction tend to occur together. One can come before the other and they can trigger each other.
Signs and symptoms of addiction fall into four categories:
Symptoms of impaired control include cravings and strong urges to use a substance as well as the desire or failed tries to stop or control substance use. If you want to stop and can't or have tried to stop and failed, you likely have an addiction.
These include failure to perform at work, school, or home. You may have stopped going to work and participating in other hobbies because of your substance abuse.
Symptoms that you are addicted include experiencing tolerance and withdrawal effects. If you find yourself needing to consume increased amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects, you are building a tolerance. If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug, you may be addicted.
When someone has an addiction, their need to consume the drug leads to risky behaviors. These include consuming the substance in risky settings and continuing to use it despite knowing it's harmful effects.
You can find more information about the medical definition of addiction and how it's treated on this page.
Addiction: Physical and Psychological
Addiction doesn't just affect your physical body. It also affects your mental, emotional, and psychological health. The way your addiction will impact these things depends on the substance you're addicted to.
Physical addiction isn't just the act of using a substance to get high or drunk. Being physically addicted also means your ability to feel normal is impaired. This leads to excessive amounts of time being spent trying to feed your addiction as well as recovering from a high and fighting withdrawal symptoms.
Many addicts are afraid to detox or attend rehab because of the withdrawal symptoms. Physical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach upset
- Flu-like symptoms
- Aches and pains
Addiction also affects the way you think. Addicts have trouble thinking clearly and can't acknowledge just how much their addiction is affecting their lives. This leads to engagement in risky behaviors to get their fix.
Their brain chemistry is changed in such a way that they truly can't appreciate the risks they are taking and nothing matters as much as getting the drug they are addicted to. The fear of withdrawal symptoms is a significant aspect of the psychological effects of addiction.
Withdrawl can also include psychological symptoms like:
It's understandable to be concerned about the potential for addiction with CBD products. In 2017, the Department of Health and Homeland Security declared a public health crisis called the Opioid Epidemic. Widespread use, both legal and illegal, of highly addictive prescription opioid medications has led to never before seen numbers of people addicted to these drugs.
It makes sense to be skeptical of any new drug or substance that you consider taking. CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years and many people are concerned that it may be addictive. The truth is - it's not.
CBD vs THC
CBD is a chemical compound called a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Humans have an endocannabinoid system in our central nervous system that helps regular brain function.
When you consume CBD, it binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors in your central nervous system and in immune cells throughout your body. At the molecular level, CBD has the opposite effect as THC.
THC is an antagonist to CB1 receptors, meaning it activates those receptors. CBD, on the other hand, is an inverse agonist. CBD uses other biological pathways to provide health benefits.
Addiction Potential of THC
Those who lack an understanding of CBD and simply associate it with marijuana may mistakenly think that they can become addicted to the products. While you can become addicted to marijuana, you can't become addicted to CBD.
Marijuana contains a chemical compound called THC that accounts for its addiction potential. THC is the substance that gets you high and is distinct from CBD.
The amount of THC contained in marijuana determines its potency. The potency of marijuana has significantly increased over the past few decades. We don't fully know the extent of the consequences to the body and brain from exposure to high levels of THC.
It can be challenging for users of the drug to account for variations in potency.
Marijuana Use Disorder
Many people believe you can't become addicted to marijuana, but the truth is - you can. Users of marijuana only become addicted in severe cases. Most cases of problem use are considered marijuana use disorder.
This disorder is common, with 6 million cases per year, and is often untreated. Marijuana use disorder is more about dependence than addiction. This dependence results in users feeling withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug.
Examples of these symptoms include:
- Sleep difficulties
- Physical discomfort
- Decreased appetite
- Changes in mood
Marijuana isn't as addictive or dangerous as "harder" drugs like heroin or meth, but it's not without serious risks. It's still a psychoactive substance that gets you high and poses a risk for addiction.
But, you have to remember that it's the compound THC that has these properties. CBD is an entirely different chemical compound that also happens to be found in the cannabis plant.
Your body can build up a tolerance to THC over time, which is part of the reason it carries a risk for addiction. On the other hand, your body can't build up a high tolerance to CBD, eliminating the risk of needing to continuously increase your dose to achieve the same effects.
Marijuana vs Hemp
The question of whether CBD is addictive is slightly complicated by the fact that some CBD products may contain THC.
CBD can be derived from two plants - marijuana and hemp. CBD that is sourced from hemp plants contains little to no THC, therefore there is no risk of addiction or withdrawal symptoms.
However, CBD sourced from marijuana plants that are grown for their intoxicating effects may contain higher levels of THC than the government allows. If you consume CBD products that have high levels of THC, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
It's important to note that CBD with these levels of THC are only available in states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal.
Using CBD Safely
While CBD products won't get you high and you can't become addicted to them, it's important to use them safely.
CBD supplements can interact with prescription medications so it's important to talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription medications before getting started. In particular, CBD is known to interact with blood thinners.
Keep in mind that not all CBD products are created equal. You can ensure you are purchasing a safe and effective product by doing your research and only purchasing from companies that produce high-quality CBD products that are free from chemicals and other contaminants.
You also want to be sure you are getting the level of THC you want in the products you purchase.
When you're ready to get started, it's best to start slowly and gradually increase your dose. While you shouldn't experience any serious side effects, taking too much CBD can cause some effects like sleepiness or dry mouth.
If you are taking large amounts of CBD and stop suddenly, you may experience some minor side effects or the return of your symptoms.
Using CBD to Fight Addiction
Not only is CBD not addictive, but it can be used to fight addiction. Studies have shown that CBD can actually be used to help reduce the negative effects of THC use and cannabis withdrawal symptoms.
CBD has also been shown to help reduce the use of other substances and reducing the effects of drug dependency. In fact, CBD oil has shown the potential to treat opioid addiction. This study found CBD reduced drug cravings and anxiety in participants with a history of heroin abuse.
This potential is significant because of the opioid epidemic currently taking hold of our nation. Current treatment options carry a stigma, are tightly regulated, and come with their own addiction risks, meaning that many Americans with opioid addictions don't get the treatment they need. With the wide availability of CBD products and the safety of these products, we could have a new way to fight the opioid crisis.
Try Our Non-Addictive CBD Products Today
There you have it - CBD is not addictive.
The future is bright for CBD products. We are still learning about CBD and discovering the many ways it can be used to better our physical and mental health without the addiction risks that THC carries. There's a reason so many people are trying CBD products.
Purchasing CBD products from a reputable manufacturer like CBD Champ ensures you are getting the best quality and safest products on the market. Check out our best selling products and get started with CBD today.