Addiction is a complex and challenging issue that affects millions of people globally. It can manifest in various forms, from substance abuse like opioids, cocaine, and alcohol to behavioural addictions such as gambling or compulsive eating.
There is a wide range of addiction treatment options to choose from, from inpatient and outpatient rehab to online rehab. Although these options can be very effective, the recovery process can be difficult and take its toll on your well-being.
This is why many people incorporate CBD into their routines throughout their recoveries. But is CBD effective in treating addiction? Can it aid the addiction recovery process? That’s what we’ll be exploring today. Read on to learn more about the role of CBD in addiction recovery.
The Importance of Getting Help for Addiction
Seeking help for addiction is key if you’re looking to regain control of your life. Addiction can feel isolating, but asking for support is an important first step towards recovery.
Professional help, such as medical detox, counselling and therapy, provides guidance and coping strategies. It can help you not only overcome the physical addiction but maintain your sobriety in the long term.
Treatment options, like rehabilitation programmes, offer structured paths to overcome addiction’s grip. Ignoring the problem can lead to your addiction getting worse – and the longer you go without addressing your addiction, the more it will negatively impact your life.
If left untreated, addiction can impact your physical health, mental health, relationships, career, finances and general well-being. Whether you speak to your GP or an addiction specialist, seeking professional support is the best thing you can do for your addiction.
Traditional Approaches to Addiction Treatment
There are three key stages to substance addiction treatment, whether you have a drug addiction or alcohol addiction. The first stage is detoxification.
This phase addresses the physical dependence on a substance. It’s when you stop taking the drug or stop drinking alcohol, often with medical supervision. During this stage, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, you may be given detox medication.
When the withdrawal symptoms have subdued, you may wish to receive therapeutic support. Counselling and therapy can help you to manage existing mental health conditions, manage cravings and prevent relapse. By working with a counsellor, you can gain insight into any potential root causes of your addiction, and learn effective coping strategies.
There are different types of therapy used to treat addiction, from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group therapy to holistic therapy.
The final stage of traditional addiction treatment is ongoing support. Aftercare support is vital for maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its well-known cousin THC, CBD doesn’t produce a “high” feeling associated with marijuana use. Instead, it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex network that helps regulate various functions like sleep, mood, and immune response.
The effects of CBD can vary – some believe may help alleviate anxiety, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep quality. Research suggests that CBD might have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Many people with chronic pain take CBD to soothe the pain.
CBD is an appealing option if you’re seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the mind-altering effects.
Is CBD Effective in Treating Addiction?
In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) for addiction recovery. Some people report that CBD helps them when recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, and others report that it helps them manage alcohol and drug cravings and control their drug use.
A review from 2015 looked at a number of preclinical studies involving CBD use. These studies suggested that CBD may have therapeutic properties on cocaine addiction, opioid addiction and psychostimulant addiction.
This review also found that it can be beneficial in tobacco addiction and cannabis addiction too. This is because CBD is thought to affect the neuronal circuits associated with drug addiction and addictive behaviours.
CBD appeared to have an impact on the relapse phase of detoxification. However, data regarding the withdrawal phase of recovery and CBD appears to conflict.
That being said, it is thought that CBD can ease certain symptoms of withdrawal. It could potentially ease psychological symptoms such as anxiety, which can be debilitating during the withdrawal process. Because CBD is known for its pain-relieving effects, it may also help with other symptoms such as nausea and aches and pains.
The impact of CBD on addiction recovery may vary from person to person, and its effectiveness is influenced by factors such as dosage, frequency, and the specific substance or behaviour targeted.
It’s important to note that CBD alone is not a solution to addiction; instead, it’s something that can be used in conjunction with addiction treatment programmes.
CBD for Opioid Addiction
Traditional approaches to opioid addiction/ heroin use disorder often involve a combination of medication-assisted treatment, counselling, and support groups. CBD could potentially streamline the recovery process if you have a heroin addiction/ opioid addiction.
Studies have explored the impact of CBD on opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Research suggests that CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating mood, stress, and cravings.
A study conducted on people with opioid use disorder used drug cues on the subjects and found that CBD can reduce cue-induced cravings and anxiety.
CBD for Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction is another prevalent issue affecting millions of adults globally. Around 80% – 90% of people who smoke regularly have a nicotine addiction.
Nicotine addiction recovery programmes often include behavioural therapy and, in some cases, nicotine replacement therapy. The potential benefits of CBD for nicotine addiction have been investigated, with promising results. One study found that the number of cigarettes smoked decreased by up to 40% following the use of a CBD inhaler.
Although more clinical trials are needed to explore the benefits of CBD for managing nicotine addiction, it looks like CBD could be helpful when quitting smoking.
CBD for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol use disorder is a widespread problem that can have severe health implications. Traditional treatment for alcohol addiction typically involves detoxification, therapy, and support groups. The potential benefits of CBD for alcohol addiction have also been explored in various studies.
A study found that CBD use could reduce alcohol consumption by reducing alcohol intake, relapse, anxiety and impulsivity. Furthermore, CBD could also reduce fibrosis in the liver as well as alcohol-related steatosis. This makes CBD a promising choice if you’re looking to overcome your addiction to alcohol.
How to Incorporate CBD into Addiction Treatment
For now, CBD isn’t used in medical settings in the UK for addiction treatment; instead, it is seen as a holistic addition to addiction treatment.
If you’re looking to incorporate CBD into your routine, it’s important to note that while many people find CBD beneficial, individual responses can vary. Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your routine, especially if you’re taking other medications or have existing health conditions.
We recommend that you begin with a low dose before you move on to a high dose of CBD. This can reduce the risk of experiencing side effects.
How to Begin Your Addiction Recovery Journey
If you’re looking to kick your addiction for good, our team at Rehab Centres UK are here to help. We have been helping people with substance use disorders/ alcohol use disorders for years and can help you too.
Trust us to find the most effective addiction treatment for you. We can help whether you’re looking for inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab or online rehab options. Contact us today to explore your treatment options and begin the admissions process.