The opioid crisis has been a hot topic lately, especially since President Trump declared opioid abuse a public health emergency late last year. While the jury’s still out on whether CBD can treat addiction, so far the research looks promising. This comes as no surprise; after all, for many, CBD is an effective and safe alternative to prescription drugs, especially when it comes to pain relief.
From Men’s Health:
New research from the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego provides promising evidence that CBD could serve as an effective treatment for substance addiction. In the study, researchers gave alcohol and cocaine to rats, then administered CBD gel to some of the rats. They found that rats who had been given CBD were less likely to relapse or exhibit stress-induced, drug-seeking behavior than the rats who had not been given CBD — even five months after the CBD had left their systems.
The problem is that we need human studies before we know for sure if CBD can help with drug addiction. Unfortunately, administrative barriers have made it challenging for scientists to take the next step. That said, personal anecdotes from those who have struggled with substance abuse are the next best thing.
For example, take this story about one man’s journey to recovery:
When he was 34, Che* broke a disc in his back. His doctor prescribed OxyContin for the pain, and Che took it for about a year. But when his doctor suspected Che was abusing the drug, he cancelled his prescription. That led Che to find other ways to access the substance, including stealing money from his family.
“By the time I was 37, I lost my career and my family and I was homeless,” he told MensHealth.com. “I became a full-on criminal to support my addiction.”
After seven years of opiate addiction, Che began working towards recovery. The withdrawal gave him severe depression and as a result, a friend recommended he smoke marijuana. Weed helped to alleviate his pain, but his cravings for OxyContin persisted. Then, about three years ago, Che tried CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis.
Of course, marijuana is still illegal in most states… and since it’s psychoactive and potentially addictive, it’s not necessarily the best idea for someone with a history of substance abuse. For Che, CBD was the solution that helped him get back on his feet.
Once Che started taking CBD, he says his cravings diminished. He now takes one 33 mg capsule once a day. “It allows me to do anything I want now,” he told MensHealth.com. “I can work. I can go out in public without being anxious. It’s as simple as taking $1.50 worth of CBD a day.”
Though this is only one story, its implications are groundbreaking. If CBD can minimize cravings and help people reduce their dependency on opioids and other drugs, that could make CBD a powerful tool in fighting the opioid crisis. One thing’s for sure: the first step is allowing scientists the freedom to research cannabinoids.
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