Is CBD Addictive? CBD Facts

CBD continues to be a topic of discussion for academics, researchers and healthcare professionals. Cannabidol, also known as CBD, has been present in cannabis plants since ancient times but it wasn’t until recently when people started exploring its potential health benefits. According to the NIH, the plant contains over 400 chemical compounds, and CBD is only one of those. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. 

In this article, we will go over what research has revealed about the potential of addiction to CBD.

Is CBD considered addictive?

Cannabidiol (CBD), alone, does not appear to have any addiction-related effects. NIH confirmed that CBD does not create intoxicating effects or euphoria (like THC). According to a report from the World Health Organization in 2017, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” Some human studies show that CBD may help lower cravings for opioids and tobacco under some circumstances. Preliminary studies have suggested that CBD may help in the treatment of substance use disorder.

What are long term effects of CBD?

Preclinical research has shown that there may be positive effects of using CBD over a long period of time. Since CBD does not produce the “high” effects commonly associated with cannabis use, it may help in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions.  

Anti-Anxiety: In 2019, researchers studied CBD’s effects on adults with anxiety and sleep issues. Within the first month, 79.2% of patients reported a decrease in their anxiety and continued throughout the duration of the study. 

Anti-Seizure: There have been a number of studies over the past decade indicating that CBD has the potential to reduce epileptic seizures in patients who are resistant to epilepsy medication. In a 2018 clinical trial, researchers reported that approximately two-thirds of the participants reached 25% and half reported more than 50% reduction in seizure frequency when given CBD as treatment. Researchers also observed that CBD potentially had a positive effect on the mood, behavior, and overall well-being of the participants in the trial. 

Anti-inflammatory/Pain Management: Some research has shown that CBD could have moderate benefits for chronic pain, according to the NCCIH. A 2020 review published on the role of CBD in Chronic Pain Management states that cannabis-based medicine may provide a possible alternative to opioid-based medications. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, while there is limited research on CBD so far, it has not shown significant adverse side effects. In one study performed in 2011, the most commonly reported side effects were the following:

  • changes in appetite/weight
  • tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • irritability

Unfortunately, more clinical trials with a larger number of participants is still lacking to determine positive or negative effects.

Does CBD have withdrawal symptoms?

Because CBD does not create an excessive release of dopamine or “euphoria” and isn’t known to be addictive, there are no withdrawal symptoms associated with CBD. 

THC vs. CBD - What’s the difference?

Although CBD and THC share similar chemical structures, they do not share the same psychoactive effects. The biggest difference between CBD and THC is that CBD isn’t psychoactive. CBD and THC affect different receptors in the brain. CBD is typically sourced from hemp while THC is sourced from marijuana. CBD can also come from marijuana but is often derived from hemp to avoid large amounts of THC. 

At this time, CBD that is derived from cannabis plans with more than .3% THC is considered a Schedule I drug under federal law. According to the DEA, Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. THC is considered a Schedule I drug.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information we provide online is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other licensed healthcare providers. Riverside Recovery of Tampa aims to provide and publish well-researched and cited information.