CBD: The Cannabinoid That is Conquering the Opioid Crisis
Contributor: Karhlyle Fletcher
“Of course, that’s so dependent on the person’s mental state,” says Lex Pelger, Science Director for Bluebird Botanicals and host of the Greener Grass Podcast. “If you’re in a lousy situation, it will still be a lousy situation.
The Growing Health Crisis of Opioid Addiction
Conservative pundits have been promising that this harrowing health crisis is due to the dangerous gateway drug, marijuana. With money from the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries, politicians spewed propaganda about the plant as a drug and prohibited Schedule I substance for decades. Pot was supposedly leading children to use needles to inject black tar heroin acting as a, “gateway,” to drug addiction. However, more recent research published in the Journal of School Health shows that marijuana is not associated with the theory of a gateway drug.(2)
Can CBD Replace Opioid Therapy?
Cannabis contains Cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other potent cannabinoid compounds making it an efficacious option for opioid replacement therapy. As a natural pain-reliever, cannabinoids allow some patients to replace the use of painkillers with cannabis or hemp-derived medicines. Because many opioid overdoses occur in situations where the victim had a prescription for chronic pain or another valid purpose, cannabis and hemp products may lower overdose risk.
Leading the Way of Opioid Recovery with CBD
Cannabis itself is not a solution to opioid addiction, as the flower of cannabis is a complex medication which can lead to unintended effects that may obstruct treatment. What cannabis has to offer instead is CBD, isolated from the other cannabinoids contained within flower. CBD is proven to be a potent medicine in the treatment of epilepsy and other illnesses. On May 21, 2019, The American Journal of Psychiatry published Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder. This scientific trial focused on the use of CBD to treat drug addicted people recovering from heroin abuse disorder. (6)
Using different dosages of CBD (400mg and 800mg), researchers compared the results to the effects of a placebo. The double-blind study revealed inspiring results. You see, after giving the subjects these two dosages daily for three days, researchers found that participants who were treated with CBD had less anxiety scores surrounding heroin use along with reduced cravings for it (even when they were shown imagery that could trigger them). Results of this study confirm these are not delivered with a placebo as the short-term and long-term results were seen in CBD participants.
The human endocannabinoid system is a natural, complex network that affects every part of the body. Within each cell of your skin, bone, tendons, muscle and brain, cannabinoids are involved in processes related to the health of your stress levels, appetite, memory, immunity and so much more! When opioid users are exposed to triggering imagery, their endocannabinoid system must respond to the situation, handle the anxiety and recover from the stress. CBD supports the endocannabinoid system of your body allowing you to relax easier and thus avoid using opioids.
Is Cannabis a Hope for Opioid Users?
There are currently not enough cannabis studies to make definitive claims, however, what researchers have found is incredibly promising. Current research indicates that low doses of CBD (a non-addictive, non-psychoactive and affordable medicine), can help those struggling with opioid addiction. While medical cannabis is a new industry, further research will reveal more about the abilities of this exciting new option for opioid abuse relief.
Further, as recreational cannabis continues to push forward the usage of this essential plant medicine, smokers can provide even more useful information to the cannabis community. If cannabis is to become a fully-fledged medicine and thus respected by our society, it must become consistently measured and easily digestible.
Cannabis derived capsules, topicals and concentrates make the most waves in the cannabis community and they help patients across the nation. Continue to support those who deserve natural, sustainable medicine they can trust by checking back with us here every month for more information. Make a comment below and be sure to share this article on your own social media page to help spread the word about CBD replacement for opioid recovery.
- Center for Disease Control. Opioid Overdose. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html
- Marijuana: The Gateway Drug Myth. Psychology Today.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioid Overdose Crisis. January 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
HEALTH NEWSMARCH 27, 2017 / 1:49 PM / 2 YEARS AGO. Would legalizing medical marijuana help curb the opioid epidemic?
- Emily Willingham on May 21, 2019. Cannabis Compound Eases Anxiety and Cravings of Heroin Addiction.
- Hurd YL, Spriggs S. Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2019 May 21:appiajp201918101191.