Is CBD Addictive?

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With its popularity soaring, CBD can be found just about anywhere, including convenience stores, gas stations, internet shops, and health food stores. With everyone and their brother touting the usefulness of this helpful compound derived from a plant, it’s important to understand what it is and the effects it can have on the body.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally produced chemical (called a cannabinoid) found in cannabis plants. The other major cannabinoid found in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the “psychoactive” component of cannabis.

Products containing CBD are generally used to manage health concerns such as anxiety, pain, neurological conditions (such as epilepsy and autism), and even help curb addictions.

So, is CBD itself addictive? In a word, no. Most CBD products contain little to no amounts of THC, and do not provide a “high” that may otherwise be experienced when using products containing THC. CBD creates a therapeutic effect in the body, activating receptors in the brain that help users find relief from various conditions, such as anxiety, depression, migraines, seizures, and chronic pain.

When individuals who use addictive substances no longer have the drug present in their bodies, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, headaches, temperature fluctuations, depression, and anxiety. However, when CBD is no longer present in the body, users do not experience withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect on the body, and therefore it does not create a physiological or psychological addiction. Addictive substances, such as cocaine or other opioids, trigger a release of dopamine in the brain’s pleasure centers. Over time, the body and brain become dependent on this substance.

Research indicates that CBD is not addictive, and may in fact aid in the recovery of individuals who are detoxing and healing from addictions of other substances known for their high potential for abuse, such as alcohol and opioids. CBD can help rewire the brain to provide therapeutic, beneficial effects for those with substance use disorder.

CBD does not produce a release of dopamine in the body when consumed, and no euphoria is associated with its use. CBD users will not experience withdrawal when they stop “cold turkey”—something that users would experience when discontinuing the use of psychoactive drugs, or even cannabis products with THC contained within them.

When using CBD oil, some common side effects are generally drowsiness and fatigue but typically only when CBD oil is taken in large amounts. Due to its low potential for addiction and abuse, CBD can be safely used by children and adults of all ages, and even pets! However, it is important to remain educated on the potential risks versus benefits before trying any CBD products.

Simply put: CBD products sold in the United States are not addictive. They cannot make an individual feel “stoned” and do not create withdrawal symptoms when no longer present in the body.  Individuals who consume CBD products can be assured that they will not become addicted or physically dependent on it and can use it safely without concerns for addiction.

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