Every day in the United States, 78 people die from opioid use. From 2004 to 2014, half a million people died from drug overdose. This is one of the worst epidemics to ever cause harm in our country and it has gone largely unaddressed. In recent election cycles, constituents have put a lot of pressure on their candidates to get changes made so that this issue is addressed. Voters demand answers and appropriate responses.
The reasons why people become drug addicted differ depending on circumstances. Some people are simply around it all the time and it seems like the way life is supposed to be, so they fall into the habits of their peers. Some people have pain for a myriad of possible reasons and get hooked on prescription pain pills while under a doctor’s care. Once those prescriptions run out, the withdrawals and cravings are so bad that they turn to whatever they can find to help satisfy the overwhelming need that is both physical and psychological.
There is less judgement now over drug use, as Americans are beginning to see the crisis up close and personal. Parents of dead children, who are now raising their own grandchildren, are everywhere. It is hard to read a newspaper, a magazine, or watch the local news without seeing something about this problem and the public outcry for the government to step-in and assist.
CBD products were made legal in 2017, from coast to coast with only few local exceptions. CBD is essentially a by-product of the marijuana industry. People wanted options in states where medical marijuana wasn’t legalized and research was conducted to determine what it was in cannabis that helped people with pain, mood, chronic conditions and more. Everyone seemed to know about the benefits of using cannabis, but no one understood exactly what was in it that caused these benefits to us.
Thanks to science, doctors have found that there are several phytocompounds in the cannabis plants. Over 60 compounds have been identified and two of them were found to have interesting and important properties. Cannabidiol is what we know as CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol is what we know as THC. These are two of the now known sixty-six compounds in cannabis. Phyto simply means ‘plant’ so phytocompounds are those found in plants.
In 1991, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered within the human body. The first endocannabinoid discovered was Anandamide. This is a cannabinoid made by the human body, located within your body.
Endo means ‘within’ or ‘inside’ so the ECS is located within the human body. The ECS has CB1 and CB2 receptors located in various parts of the body and there are two types of them. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain area. CB2 receptors are spread around the body and in the gut. With the discovery of this system, researchers were shocked at the though that cannabinoids were part of a natural state of being. In the years following this discovery of the ECS, scientists went on to research other cannabinoids and how this system works.
It wasn’t a far reach to want to look at how external cannabinoids reacted with the ECS and what it triggered in the body. We have learned that Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter. It is made by the body during normal metabolic functions. It was named from the Sanskrit word Ananda, which has the meaning of “Bliss, happiness, joy” and it helps to elevate mood, among other things. Science is now researching Anandamide for its potential use as a therapeutic drug. It is also found in other places outside of the human body, in plants. There may be great potential in this.
Other cannabinoids were researched in greater detail for how they could be used to manipulate the ECS. THC has been found to primarily interact with the CB1 receptors in the brain, thereby causing the psychoactive response of becoming high, or ‘stoned’ - the way people feel when using marijuana. Remember that TCH is only one of many phytocompounds in cannabis though.
When extracted and isolated from THC, CBD was found to interact with the CB2 receptors primarily. Therefore, CBD does not have the effect of feeling stoned. What was found, instead, was that CBD was the compound that had the beneficial effects of blocking pain, as well as many other things.
Over the last twenty years, science has learned how CBD interacts in the body. We know that neural transmitters are largely fatty acids that are best described as little cars that travel along your neural pathways as if it is a network of highways and side streets. CBD, unlike your body’s neural transmitters, doesn’t carry signals from parts of your body to the brain – to signal things like pain, stress, anxiety, fear, etc. CBD rushes out and blocks intersections so that signals cannot reach the brain. This is perhaps the easiest visual for you. CBD blocks the neural transmitters that there is an overwhelming amount of. It’s like a traffic cop who says, “That’s enough of you”.
This is outstanding for the use of blocking too much information from reaching the brain. If you block a signal from reaching the brain, the brain will not act on it or acknowledge it. The implications are incredible. CBD can help people who have pain by blocking those pain signals. The body’s signals that tell the brain to trigger seizure activity can be blocked. If you are being bombarded by negative thoughts, those are signals that can be blocked by CBD use. For those with mood and mental health disorders, this is a powerful and exciting application of CBD.
If you have a craving or an addiction, CBD has been proven to help stop those signals in lab rats.
People with cigarette addiction have been using CBD successfully to curb their cravings and be able to stop smoking. Those who are addicted to other types of drugs are beginning to discover the ability of CBD to take the edge off their cravings and simultaneously help with the detox symptoms that are so incredibly uncomfortable for most who attempt to stop taking a drug that is addictive. The best thing is that if you are wondering ‘is CBD addictive?’ the answer is emphatically no. As those who have used marijuana for many years can tell you, there is no addiction to cannabis.
Obviously, research needs to continue but thanks to science, CBD was legalized nationwide in 2017 by showing that the extraction process could separate the THC from the CBD, ensuring that only trace amounts under .03% would be present in CBD products sold on the market. With no psychoactive ingredient in them, there is no reason that CBD benefits should be withheld from the public and they are now available widely.
Remember that there are still at least 64 other phytocompounds in cannabis that need to be studied. They are being thoroughly investigated right now and the research will likely continue for many years. Most medications of our modern world were discovered through the plant kingdom. Cannabis is simply another of those plants. History shows us that the hemp plant that CBD is extracted from has been around for thousands of years. Men used it to add to clay bases in their pottery. The Chinese were first using hemp as a medicinal herb as much as 3,000 years ago. The benefits have long been known but not fully understood until the most recent 20 years.
Scientists may find thousands of uses for the rest of the hemp plant. It’s an exciting time to live in. We are seeing fewer restrictions on the use of marijuana so that patients in extreme pain can use it to relieve symptoms. This has been especially effective in treating cancer patients who suffered extreme pain and nausea after chemotherapy.
Using CBD for helping people stop highly addictive and potentially deadly drugs could stop the drug crisis in American right now. There is a lot of stigma in using drugs and many people don’t wish their family to know they have addiction problems. Asking for help is sometimes too hard and many people find it impossible to get treatment for this reason alone. CBD is legal and you don’t have to worry about is CBD addictive because we already addressed that. CBD has no horrible side-effects and none if used in small doses. If you take a large amount of CBD you may suffer diarrhea, a headache or even stomach pain. These will all stop if you stop the use and then cut back on your dosage amounts.
CBD is not harmful to you and is so safe that even CBD products for pets and children are made. The best part might be that you can buy CBD online, without a doctor writing you a prescription. You can buy it totally discreetly, without anyone’s permission, and it is readily available. There is your way out of addiction if you choose to use it.
CBD isn’t going to do the work for you. CBD will not cure you of anything. What CBD can do is help you through the difficult withdrawal symptoms. CBD can take the edge off pain, it can block negative thought patterns to allow you time to replace those thoughts and to work on yourself.
If you genuinely want to change your drug habit, you’ll need to change the playground upon which you play too. If your friends are mostly drug addicts, you’ll need to separate yourself from them. You will have to walk away from some people totally because they will not change, and they won’t want you to chance either. Some people move and totally start their life over somewhere new. It’s up to you how you change but it is important that you realize that you will need to make a lot of clean breaks from old places and people if you want to honestly have a fresh start. CBD can hold your hand a while, but it can’t make the changes for you.
CBD is often called a miracle drug. This is probably not the best mindset because as was said before, it isn’t a cure for anything. CBD will not cure cancer. It cannot rid you of any afflictions (though it is full of antioxidants that help destroy free radicals that we know are part of what cause cancer). You must have the proper mindset when you want to use CBD. It is an enhancement for your life, not the be all - end all.
Some Things CBD Can Help With:
- Multiple Sclerosis symptoms
- Cancer treatment pain
- Infection control
- Crohn’s disease symptoms
- Irritable bowel symptoms
- Depression symptoms
- Negative thought patterns and moods
- ADHD and racing thoughts
- Autism symptoms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic attack
- Diabetes (because it assists the metabolism)
- Weight-loss (unlike THC, CBD curbs appetite)
- Epilepsy (blocks the signals to tell the brain to cause tremors and seizures)
- Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke because of high omega fatty acid content but should NOT be used by people taking blood thinners. CBD can interact with blood thinners causing an issue with blood not being able to clot.
This is a partial list. If you have any issue at all, that could benefit from blocking signals to the brain, you may find that you can get some much-needed help from CBD. Again, it is not a cure. If you suffer from seizures, it won’t completely stop them, but it can make them almost stop because it may miss blocking a signal here and there, some will still get through. It isn’t going to stop the condition, merely control it to some extent. If you go into things knowing exactly how this works, you’ll never be totally disappointed.
CBD for Addiction Treatment
Hopefully, the day will come when addiction centers will treat people with CBD rather than things like methadone, which is simply another addictive treatment. For people to break-free of addiction and truly live a healthy life again, addictions need to be completely broken. CBD used in conjunction with therapy and having a network of people around you who understand what you are going through and give you support, could be the essential ingredients to finally ending the addiction cycle and saving your life, or the life of someone near and dear to you.
Again, more research is necessary. Research will never end because that is the nature of science, constantly discovering new things. Often new treatments come from things that have been right there in front of us. This is the case with CBD. Hemp may have existed on earth longer than man has been on this planet. Perhaps we share some history of origin, give the ECS we have built inside of us? Scientists may never unlock this secret, but they will continue to study and learn.
- Cannabis refers to the family of plants that include hemp and marijuana sativa plants, but the plants are different. CBD is not the same as marijuana.
- You cannot get high from CBD products and people don’t buy them for that purpose.
- CBD comes from hemp and is different than the plants used for medical marijuana, due to lower THC in hemp.
- CBD is legalized in all 50 states but possibly not in every city or county in your state, check.
- CBD contains only trace amounts of THC and is not a psychoactive compound
- CBD is not addictive
- CBD does not require a medical marijuana card
- CBD does not require a prescription
- CBD does not have to be purchased from a dispensary
- Marijuana laws vary state to state and you must check with your local ordinances to determine whether personal use marijuana is legal. In some states, small amounts for personal use are now legal.
- There are not many regulations on the CBD industry yet. Take the time to learn what you are buying.
- CBD that comes from China may not be safe due to toxins in the soil in which it is grown. Buy American, or organic from Canada.
- All reputable CBD manufacturers have third-party tests done to ensure low levels of THC, adhering to regulations of less than .03% and will produce these tests for you to see. Many have the information readily available on their websites.
- CBD use should not trigger a positive drug test result since the tests for marijuana use are looking specifically for THC. If you used an extreme amount of CBD you might trigger a positive but with less than .03% THC, that would take a lot.
This is a good overview. You should learn more about CBD by reading some of the millions of articles out there. Keep in mind that not all information is going to be correct and some may intend to sway you by embellishing the ability of CBD. The point of this article was to give you an overview and set your expectations accordingly. CBD does have remarkable abilities to help you, but the bottom line is that you must want the help and you must be the one to help yourself first. CBD can help to hold your hand and get you through the worst of times.