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How CBD (Cannabidiol) Can Be Used To Treat Addiction

Written by Alexandra Hicks

Multiple scientific studies suggest that CBD (Cannabidiol) offers many more health benefits than previously thought.

Aside from the well-known ailments it’s commonly used to treat such as epilepsy and pain, CBD has been recently discovered as an alternative way to treat many health issues that plague Americans daily. According to recent research, CBD can help people kick their addictions to various substances.


In a 2013 study published in Addictive Behaviors, Volume 38, Issue 9, 24 smokers were randomized and given an inhaler. 12 of the inhalers contained CBD, 12 had only a placebo. After only one week, analysis of the smokers treated with CBD showed that their cigarette consumption dropped by nearly 40 percent, while the smoking habits of those treated with a placebo remained unaltered. More studies are needed to make a more definitive connection, but these preliminary results are very promising.


The following year, in February 2014, another study involving CBD and addiction was published. This one focused on alcoholism. The research, which first appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience, indicated that CBD can be used to treat the leading cause of alcohol relapse: alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. “cannabinoid signalling varies in the brains of alcohol non-users, non-dependent alcohol users, and dependent alcohol users. Researchers found that in the brains of social, non-dependent drinkers (i.e. “non-alcoholic” drinkers, n=20), activity/availability of CB1 receptors was significantly increased after administration of ethanol (i.e. alcohol) into the bloodstream,” the study stated.

Other Drugs                                 

A study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center shows that medical cannabis can lead to a 64% decrease in opioid use and a 25% decrease in overdose deaths. Cannabis can be used to treat the underlying symptoms that cause people to self-medicate with other drugs as well.

As mentioned previously, more studies need to be done before CBD-based cessation products are sold to smokers, or before CBD is introduced regularly into the rehabilitation setting, but this research presents a new and safer way to deal with addiction problems in the future.

[Featured image credit: Pixabay]

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.