CBD, scientifically known as cannabidiol, has proven to be somewhat of a medical marvel in recent years. The non-psychoactive molecule found in the cannabis plant has grown in popularity due to its diverse catalogue of remedy treatments. This powerful cannabinoid has proven effective for sufferers of a variety of ailments, as well as offering comfort to people that struggle to cope with the cravings of addictive habits. Now, a recent study focusing on whether CBD could be used to fight heroin addiction has proven to be effective.

Speaking with CNN, Yasmin Hurd, the lead researcher on the study said, “The intense craving is what drives the drug use. If we can have the medications that can dampen that (craving), that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk”. The study was designed to identify as to whether CBD had a positive impact on anxiety and could reduce cravings that heroin plagues its users with. Not only did the study prove CBD’s efficiency, offering immediate relief, but the relieving sensation also lasted for a week.

What did the study consist of?

With her team, Hurd’s study consisted of 42  dependants suffering from heroin abuse for an average of 13 years. All subjects had used heroin within the past month. After dividing the participants into groups of two, one taking a placebo, with the other being given 800 milligrams of CBD. The study was conducted with the only FDA-approved CBD-based medication, Epidiolex. During the following two weeks, the participants were shown both videos and photographs of scenes that illustrated drug abuse, along with opposing scenes of a calming nature.

Naturally, those prescribed with a placebo experienced fewer benefits than those prescribed with CBD. The participants prescribed with the 800 milligrams of CBD saw their cravings reduced by up to three times. Final research also showed lower levels of the so-called stress hormone, cortisol, among those prescribed with CBD.

Over recent years medical cannabis has received nationwide acclaim throughout the United States for its impact on the opioid crisis. Since cannabinoid-based oils have flourished in the country, more than half of opiate-based prescription patients have exchanged their medication to cannabis. Hurd wishes to conduct further research with regards to CBD’s ability to aid with addictions where she will follow subjects over a six month period.

Why has CBD become so popular?

Since the discovery of our endocannabinoid system towards the latter part of last century, cannabinoid research has flourished. CBD is abundant in the cannabis plant, particularly in its member, hemp. A powerful anti-inflammatory with a growing reputation due to its abilities to curb symptoms to a variety of ailments. Also, as it’s non-intoxicating, unlike the infamous cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it has proven popular among medical patients worldwide. CBD has in fact proven a viable medical remedy for all mammals.

As a diverse and efficient natural remedy, CBD offers a universal solution. Widely touted as a “well being” supplement, the impressive molecule appeals to all age groups. Children suffering from epilepsy have reaped the benefits of CBD, as do the elderly due to its potent value as an anti-inflammatory agent. Compared to pharmaceutical medication, cannabidiol products are cost-effective, with very few side effects.

CBD for other addictions

When Hurd spoke of CBD’s benefits after her research, she stated that ”It’s not addictive. No one is diverting it. It doesn’t get you high, but it can reduce craving and anxiety… This can really help save lives”. With that, CBD is now an alternative for a variety of addictive substances, whether recreational or harmful pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD for Alcoholism

Alcoholism is one of the largest epidemics within the world of addiction. In the United States alone, on average, alcohol claims the lives of 88,000 people. Alcohol abuse can lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, stomach ulcers, immune system dysfunction, brain damage, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

Beyond the reasons to quit, it is worrying to know that alcohol withdrawal can be more dangerous than actually drinking. Alcohol disrupts the balance of our CB1 receptors which in turn, affects our substance dependency. CBD’s natural relationship with our endocannabinoid system enables the molecule to rebalance the brain’s chemistry.

CBD for Nicotine addiction

When it comes to CBD as an aid to quit smoking cigarettes, it is not just its ability to rebalance our brain’s chemistry. As cannabidiol has also been proven to reduce stress and anxiety (a common withdrawal symptom), CBD offers huge relief and assistance for those seeking to quit the habit.

The popularity of CBD vaporizers has risen among cigarette smokers due to its many health benefits. Smokings dangers include an increased risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, plus a wide range of medical ailments. From the many addictions that plague the global population, the hardest habit to kick is perhaps smoking cigarettes.

CBD for Prescription Drugs

Although modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry has cured a variety of diseases or at least provided relief and support, their many side-effects can become unbearable. A variety of pharmaceutical drugs may have proven successful in treating a range of physical and mental health problems, however, one of their side effects can be an addiction. CBD has helped a staggering amount of patients who had become dependant on drugs such as Xanax, anti-depressants, and many opiate-based drugs.

The legalization of medical cannabis throughout many US states is receiving praise for its arrival during the opioid epidemic. With further research surrounding CBD, its future in medicine looks promising. As for cannabis and its other cannabinoids, the potential discoveries appear limitless.

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