Proponents of marijuana legalization say that CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, cures everything. The fact is, however, that there is very little research to determine one way or the other what disorders can be positively impacted by use of the substance. Concrete studies into the function and potential use of the drug have remained primarily at the cellular level and with rodents as subjects.
While there is no research that shows that CBD oil is effective in the treatment of addiction, its ability to help people living with an active addiction successfully manage other issues that may contribute to their use of drugs and alcohol may yet be shown.
What Is CBD Oil?
Short of cannabidiol, CBD refers to one of hundreds of different chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannavis sativa plant (e.g., marijuana or hemp plant). It is important to note that CBD is not THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes a high. In fact, CBD does not trigger a high in low doses, and higher doses seem to cause sedation rather than triggering the pleasure pathway, as seen with THC ingestion.
CBD oil is created when the chemical compound is extracted from the marijuana or hemp plant.
How Does It Work?
In the 1990s, researchers found that the human body has an endocannabinoid system that produces endocannabinoids either in response to use of cannabis or to manage different organ systems in the body. Though THC attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the body, CBD triggers the production of natural endocannabinoids in the body that then attach to the cannabinoid receptors. CBD may also interact with pain receptors and serotonin receptors, which may influence how the user experiences pain or anxiety, respectively.
Can CBD Oil Get You High?
No. Though researchers are not exactly sure how CBD functions within the body to have the effect it does, experts believe that because CBD attaches to different receptors than THC, it does not trigger a high of any kind.
Can CBD Oil Cure Addiction?
There is no cure for addiction, and CBD oil, even if it is the miracle drug that some say, does not cure an addiction disorder either. However, there is some evidence to show that use of CBD oil might have a positive impact on the experience of people struggling with anxiety, depression, or PTSD. All of these disorders can increase the risk of the development of a substance use disorder because symptoms can be debilitating, and many turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate them without the aid of a doctor.
What Can It Effectively Treat?
Studies are in the works to further nail down what and how CBD oil may serve patients struggling with a range of medical or mental health disorders, but what we know so far is limited.
- Pediatric epilepsy: A drug called Epidiolex is the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA. It contains CBD, and it is used to treat epilepsy in children. It is very likely that CBD oil will have a positive effect on children struggling with seizures and other symptoms of the disorder.
- Anxiety and depressive disorders: There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to support the use of CBD oil in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety, and depression as well as a few studies conducted on mice and small-trials on humans, but there is not yet a CBD oil-based medication designed for treating these disorders.
- Chronic pain and inflammation: It may be that CBD oil is good for inflammation and localized, topical pain management, but there have been no substantive studies to support its use for this purpose.
- Skin conditions: Because CBD oil may be an effective anti-inflammatory, there are a number of claims that its use will assist in the treatment of skin issues like eczema, wounds, or general itching and discomfort. However, there have been no substantive human studies.
Can You Take CBD Oil and Still Be Sober?
Like the use of methadone for the treatment of heroin addiction, prescription painkillers after a dental surgery, and any sedatives for the treatment of anxiety, there is an ongoing debate in the sober community as to whether or not you can be sober when using CBD oil for any purpose. Because it is not regulated and its use is not legal, many choose to refrain rather than take the risk of relapse. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it is addictive.
What do you think? Is CBD oil a good focus for research going forward? Can its use for the treatment of chronic pain or anxiety help people to stay sober in recovery?