CBD has taken the health and wellness world by storm, but there’s still a lot of confusion and myth surrounding the topic. Because of the stigma surrounding cannabis, many people wonder if CBD is safe. Many people ask: Can you get addicted to CBD?
In short, no, it’s not.
Of course, when it comes to your health, it’s important to do research on any new wellness product before trying it for yourself. Keen to learn more? Here’s what you need to know about CBD.
Can you get addicted to CBD?
In some cases, cannabis can be addictive – but cannabis is not the same thing as CBD.
To start, we all know what addiction is. We could provide the technical definition, but it’s when you really need something to get through the day. Or use a substance as a crutch.
A report by the National Institute of Drugs Abuse states that marijuana (which contains THC) use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases.”
Many look to the fact that CBD and THC are both extracted from the cannabis plant and thus believe it to be the same thing. But they’re quite different.
THC and CBD are cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds found in cannabis. THC can make you feel intoxicated or high. Some people can develop a form of addiction to feeling high. But since CBD doesn’t get you high, can you get addicted to CBD?
CBD, in contrast, is taken from the hemp plant and is not intoxicating at standard doses, which means it can’t get you “high.” However, CBD may have a range of medical benefits, which is why it’s such a popular health product.
How does CBD work?
Understanding the effects of CBD involves examining how it works within the body.
CBD influences the endocannabinoid system, a complex biological system in the human body, with a potential myriad of benefits. This system consists of various components: receptors, enzymes, endocannabinoids, etc. These parts function regardless of whether someone uses CBD or not.
CBD’s activation of these cannabinoid receptors is what allows for many of the health benefits that people associate with the compound.
What are the medical benefits of CBD?
The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex, which the agency approved in 2018 for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy.
Promising research suggests that CBD might have other medical benefits, though. But can you get addicted to CBD? It doesn’t appear so.
Other potential effects of CBD include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Regulating the immune system
- Suppressing nausea
- Stimulating appetite
- Improving mood
Of course, CBD does need to be studied further before we fully understand the benefits.
What are the side effects of CBD?
According to a 2017 review, CBD is mostly safe. High amounts – even as much as 1000 milligrams – are often tolerated well by most human subjects.
The review notes that the side effects, while rare, do exist. These side effects can include:
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
These side effects often pass over a few hours.If you are experiencing serious or persistent side effects, you should speak with your doctor.
In addition to the above-mentioned side effects, CBD can be harmful when mixed with certain medications.
Medications that carry a “grapefruit warning” should not be mixed with CBD. Like grapefruit, CBD inhibits certain enzymes in your body. This means that your body may process medication differently when you have CBD or grapefruit in your system.
What this means is that CBD can change how those drugs affect your body. It is important to speak with your doctor about medication interactions that may occur if you take CBD.
The verdict: Can you get addicted to CBD?
In 2018, the World Health Organization released a 27-page report detailing their findings on CBD and concluded that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” To date, we have not located any studies that concluded CBD could be addictive.
Not only is CBD not addictive, but it may even help treat drug addiction.
As mentioned above, THC has shown to have addictive properties. Some studies point to CBD being antagonistic to the psychoactive properties of THC and this raises the issue of whether it might be beneficial to use CBD in isolation to help people reduce cannabis use without experiencing withdrawal.
Preliminary research suggests that CBD might lower the likelihood of developing cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders. It may also help prevent relapse after a period of detoxification and sobriety. The authors of a 2015 review found evidence that CBD may also help treat nicotine addiction.
If you’re unsure whether CBD is right for you, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
While CBD can have certain side effects, addiction has not been proven to be one of them. You can use your CBD oil or indulge in some CBD-infused snacks without worrying about addiction or withdrawal. As always, be sure to shop for high-quality CBD brands to ensure your body is getting the very best of what hemp has to offer!
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.