Then, they showed the study participants visual images of tobacco (e.g. a cannabidiol CBD lit cigarette, an open pack, etc.) and measured their attention-bias responses as well as markers of positive emotion. The rationale for using CBD to treat addiction may be linked to the same type of brain effects that help with anxiety. Withdrawal from a chemical dependence on a compound like nicotine creates feelings of anxiety and dissociation, which can be addressed by CBD. One of the most exciting new areas of research related to CBD is its potential for helping with addiction.
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CBD has been proposed as a way to help people who are addicted to tobacco or even who are addicted to cannabis—a much rarer problem than tobacco addiction, but nevertheless a major issue for some people. Volkow’s presentation proposes that many of the positive effects of cannabidiol are the result of its ability to modulate levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Nearly 400,000 Americans have died of opioid-related causes since 2000, just slightly fewer than the number of American troops who died in World War II.
- They had to abstain from any heroin use for the entire trial period.
- Recruited from social services groups, halfway houses and treatment centers, the participants had used heroin for an average of 13 years, and most had gone less than a month without using.
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CBD is also safe enough for long-term use for it to be consistently recommended by doctors as a way to control seizures in children. Hopefully, with the quasi-legalization of CBD in 2018, there will be more research in the next few years on optimal dosage and dosing protocols to get the best effects.
Perhaps the biggest issue facing research on using CBD for health problems is an immense confusion about the right dosage, timing, purification, delivery method, and so on. These findings underscore the importance of choosing a high-quality CBD product, hopefully that uses independent lab testing to verify its purity. This study also suggests that using CBD is a bad idea if you get drug tested for your job—there’s a one in five chance that a CBD product could cause you to test positive for marijuana, even if you aren’t using it. Moreover, some are contaminated with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, which could make you fail a drug test. The study used current tobacco users, put them on an overnight “fast” from all nicotine, and then gave them a single large dose of CBD oil or a placebo.
This would explain why it appears to be a potent treatment for such a wide range of maladies. The neurological effects of cannabidiol might be useful for treating anxiety, too.