Understanding How CBD Can Support Addiction Therapy

by | Dec 29, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Addiction therapy has gained attention in recent years as the opioid epidemic continues to rise. Millions of people are addicted to substances such as drugs and alcohol, resulting in a pressing need for effective treatment. It is crucial to address the underlying causes of addiction in addition to the addiction itself. 

As information is uncovered in the world of addiction recovery, the term “CBD” keeps popping up. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol makes up nearly 40% of the plant’s extract and does not contain any THC – the component that gets you “high.”

Clinical studies suggest that CBD can be used to treat inflammation, chronic pain, and anxiety.

Addiction Recovery Plans and the Opioid Epidemic 

Often, drugs and alcohol stimulate a feeling of euphoria for the user. This is caused by the production of neurotransmitters that increase while a person is under the influence. As time passes, the brain begins relying on these substances to feel pleasure.

Taking substances like drugs and alcohol will disrupt homeostasis over time. If substance abuse occurs over a long period, this can shake up your brain’s natural balance, leading to a more challenging time during recovery.

As clinical studies are conducted, we are learning more about the positive effects of CBD. CBD affects our endocannabinoid system, which is crucial for our bodies’ mood, pleasure, and stress levels. 

It is no secret that quitting an addiction is hard work. Many people experience high levels of stress and anxiety while actively seeking recovery. CBD may be able to aid in relieving some of the extra stress and anxiety that comes with addiction recovery. 

Because CBD may be able to mitigate some of the anxiety and stress, it is possible that the link could lead to lower levels of relapsing. By offering your body a substance that reduces stress and irritability, you are more likely to reach a level of emotional stability, including a decreased risk of relapsing. 

Drug stimuli, Withdrawal, and Drug Cravings

Addiction is a complex condition that affects millions of people every day. Drug stimuli, which can be anything from emotional triggers to environmental changes, play a key role in keeping a person addicted to substances. 

Because we know that CBD has many healing properties, it’s essential to narrow down the ones that might be most helpful to those who have an active addiction. 

Quasi-Morphine Withdrawal Syndrome

Often associated with opioid addiction, the quasi-morphine withdrawal system refers to the agonizing symptoms associated with withdrawal. 

These symptoms can resemble those of morphine withdrawal, including severe pain, insomnia, nausea, and a severe craving for the drug. The severity of these symptoms, unfortunately, often makes it very difficult for a user to recover and maintain sobriety.

Pain does not always have to be physical – it can also be emotional. Many people begin to self-medicate to treat symptoms they’ve been holding onto for a long time. Whether it be depression, anxiety, or PTSD, CBD has the possibility to minimize these crippling symptoms.

Depression, anxiety, and PTSD can also be heightened while a user is abusing substances. Addiction is known to take a toll on the brain, potentially causing lifelong damage. Cognitive function can also become impaired during addiction, but here’s how CBD may be able to help:

  • Neuroprotection.
  • Appetite Regulation.
  • Increased Cognitive Production.


During the withdrawal period, users can become incredibly stressed and unwell. Taking a daily CBD supplement may aid in neuroprotection by warding off oxidative stress and diminishing inflammation. 

Appetite Regulation

Many users also experience moderate to severe nausea and vomiting during the withdrawal period. This is normal and often referred to as detoxification. It is very real and often uncomfortable, but it is a very important step in addiction recovery.

Fueling your body properly during detoxification is crucial to overcoming these unwelcome side effects. CBD can act as an anti-nausea supplement for those experiencing detoxification. 

Increasing Cognitive Production

Researchers have recently found that taking CBD may enhance mental clarity and boost cognitive functions. While education is still in the early stages, it would be a significant medical breakthrough to find a natural holistic supplement with the ability to lead to sharper thinking and a more apparent mental state. 

Clinical Trials and CBD’s Potential in Addiction Therapy

Because CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, many researchers are curious to learn more about its therapeutic effects and how they can support addiction therapy. 

Though education is in the early stages, several studies and clinical trials support promising results to aid in addiction-related behaviors. 

One notable clinical trial conducted by Blessing et al. in 2015 showed results on behaviors such as anxiety and cravings in individuals with heroin addiction. These results indicated that CBD significantly reduced both anxiety and a craving for the drug compared to those who were given a placebo dose. 

Addressing Addiction with CBD

By now, we are aware of the role CBD plays in our body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, such as mood, memory, pain sensation, and addiction. 

Unlike THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not provide psychoactive sensations. Instead, it works with the endocannabinoid system and affects neurotransmitter activity. Studies suggest that CBD may exert its effects by influencing the brain’s “reward system,” therefore reducing the reinforcing effects of addictive substances. 

CBD also has anxiolytic and analgesic properties – meaning it is an anti-anxiety and pain-relieving aid as well. These properties can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings, resulting in a smoother recovery process. 

Cannabidiols properties extend way farther than just opioid addiction as well. Research shows promise in aiding with various substance use disorders, such as alcohol, cocaine, and nicotine addiction. 

CBD’s ability to modulate neural circuits associated with addictive behavior certainly offers hope for a more comprehensive treatment in the future!

Adopting CBD in Addiction Recovery Programs

Integrating CBD into addiction recovery programs requires careful consideration and professional guidance. While new research suggests that CBD has potential benefits, the individual responses to CBD can vary. 

It is known that people metabolize CBD differently – but recently, we have learned that CBD can interact with certain medications differently as well. It is important that you consult with your primary healthcare provider before adding any CBD supplements to your daily regime if you are on certain medications. 

Combining CBD with other traditional therapies, such as counseling, behavioral interventions, and support groups, may offer a holistic approach to addressing addiction. Treatment often needs to be tailored to suit individual needs. Addiction recovery is not a “one size fits all” treatment. 

Research Continues

The opioid epidemic and the unfortunately persuasive nature of abuse highlight the urgent need for practical approaches to addiction recovery. While CBD does show promise in supporting addiction therapy by reducing withdrawal symptoms, further research is necessary to evaluate the therapeutic potential of CBD fully.

By understanding CBD’s mechanisms of action, conducting rigorous clinical trials, and integrating it responsibly into addiction recovery programs, there is a great potential for CBD to emerge as a valuable tool in the addiction community.

As we continue to explore alternative treatment methods, the collaboration between healthcare professionals, researchers, and individuals seeking treatment remains vital to addressing addiction treatment.

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