How to Fight Drug Addiction?-CBD May Be the Answer

CBD Against Drug Addiction

Don’t laugh! I’m not kidding!

How could I be kidding with such a serious matter?

Globally, about 62 million (of these, 60% men and 40% women) have a drug use disorder, alcoholism not included. The main drugs that cause the problem are opioids, cocaine and its derivative” crack” and cannabis to some extent.

In the U.S., the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that about 7.4 million Americans had a drug use disorder in 2016. This disorder refers to drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, as well as the misuse of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs such as pain relievers and sedatives.

Sometimes numbers speak louder than words. Drug addiction is a very serious problem which impacts not only addicted people but their families as well. It also impacts society as a whole.

Drug addiction isn’t a “disease” of the poor. It affects people from all walks of life.

CBD Fights Drug AddictionBut can you cure drug addiction? IMHO you can’t.

Some ex drug-users never look back. Others may have periods of relapse and recovery, ups and downs. In both cases, even if the user stops using drugs completely, most of the times, he fights an exhausting battle to remain sober. He should always avoid relapsing. For this reason, I believe that an addict can be healed not cured.

The question is, how to fight addiction? Well, CBD may be the answer to that.

New hope is brought by the same plant, which Ronald Reagan declared war to, in 1982: Cannabis. In response to Nancy Reagan’s “Just say NO”, cannabis says YES and offers humanity one of the most abundant chemicals it contains, Cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike L9-THC, CBD is non-high inducing, it does not have psychoactive properties, it is non-addictive and could be a powerful weapon to fight drug addiction.

Let’s see how.


How does CBD Work for Drug Addiction?

CBD (and other cannabinoids) work by influencing what is known as the endocannabinoid system found in our body. A series of receptors known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors and chemicals produced by our body called endocannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system. Why is this system important to the fight against drug addiction? Because, according to a relatively recent study, the endocannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.

When endocannabinoids bind with CB1 or CB2 receptors, along with a number of regulatory effects on the human body, they are able to modulate the levels of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters CB1 CB2 Receptors

Image Source: Wikipedia

Neurotransmitters are chemicals located and released in the brain to allow an impulse from one nerve cell to pass to another nerve cell. They are responsible for controlling our mood, sleep, behavior, and appetite. Neurotransmitters like glutamine and dopamine are involved in addictive behavior.

CBD shows great potential as a non-toxic way to aid the addiction recovery process because it is non-addictive, non-psychoactive, there is no risk of overdose (t is safe to take in doses up to 1500 mg a day) and appears to reduce the drug cravings and anxiety experienced by addicts.

CBD against Opioid Addiction

Heroine isn’t the only opioid drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse with the term opioids, we refer to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

Studies on CBD for opioid addiction indicate that it can help by reducing symptoms such as anxiety and depression while having a beneficial effect on the nervous system and the neurotransmitters which influence addictive behavior. Furthermore, research reports that CBD inhibits the reward-facilitating effect of opioids such as morphine.

Chinese say that a picture is worth 1000 words.

The following infographic, I am sure has more than 1000 words to say

Fighting Opioid Addiction with CBD Oil

From Visually.

CBD against Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a naturally occurring and highly addictive substance, produced from the leaves of the coca plant. It is the second biggest killer after opioids.

It belongs in a drug category known as stimulants. IT acts as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which directly affects the balance of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. It increases alertness and energy.

Cocaine dependence is a psychological desire to use cocaine regularly. Repetitive use of cocaine can impact both mental and physical health.

Cocaine and other stimulants such as amphetamines are responsible for the dysregualation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor This dysregulation may contribute to alterations of neuroplasticity and/or neurotoxicity in brains of cocaine addicts.CBD Fights Cocaine Addiction

In a study, recently published in Neuropsychopharmacology (2018) , the researchers applied a gel containing CBD to the skin of rats with a history of daily alcohol or cocaine self-administration every single day for a week.CBD was completely cleared from the brain and plasma of the rats three days after the therapy was completed. Unexpectedly, five months later, experimental animals that had been treated with CBD still showed a reduced relapse induced by stress or drug cues. The researchers believe that “insight into the mechanisms by which CBD exerts these effects in future research may open new vistas for the pharmacotherapeutic prevention of relapse to drug use”.

In a review of the scientific evidence, CBD is claimed to be a potential intervention for addictive behaviors because “it is an exogenous cannabinoid that acts on several neurotransmission systems involved in addiction. CBD has several therapeutic properties on its own that could indirectly be useful in the treatment of addiction disorders, such as its protective effect on stress vulnerability and neurotoxicity”.

Finally, an ongoing research (estimated study completion date: December 2019) refers to CBD as “a natural cannabinoid with a favorable tolerability profile and discrete neurobiological actions that are linked to neural circuits closely involved in addiction disorders” and assumes that CBD “is an interesting pharmacological contender to decrease cocaine craving and treat cocaine addiction.”


CBD against Marijuana “Addiction”

Why “Addiction”?

The term Marijuana Addiction is a bit controversial. A lot of people say that marijuana can be as addictive as chocolate. On the other hand, NIDA claims that we can say that a person is addicted when he experiences changes in his brain or behavior as a result of a drug. It’s possible to be dependent without being addicted, so there aren’t reliable statistics on marijuana addiction.

OK!! I agree!

Dependent doesn’t mean addicted.

How about Marijuana Use Disorder instead of Marijuana Addiction? The exact term NIDA uses. CBD Marijuana Use Disorder

Around 30% of cannabis users suffer from this disorder, especially those who start using it at a young age. In a few words, it means that its use becomes a priority over everyday activities and begins to interfere with work, family and social life, Regular users who try to quit may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Cannabinoids in marijuana affect the body in a similar way to the endocannabinoids our body produces naturally. One result of frequent cannabis use is that the body reduces the production of endocannabinoids and becomes less sensitive to them

When a user stops smoking pot, his body needs some time to start producing the desired amount of endocannabinoids until the normal levels are restored. As a result of this time-gap, the use experiences withdrawal symptoms which begin 24–48 hours after quitting the drug, they peak at 4–6 days and last up to three weeks.

What does CBD Exactly Do?

1. CBD reduces cravings

Research has found that the symptoms of craving are “mediated by increased transmission of the neurotransmitter, glutamate found in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus”. The hippocampus is located in the brain and is responsible for learning and memory. Cravings such as anxiety, irritability, sweating, and palpitations can occur years into abstinence, when a situation or person stimulates a drug-related memory, creating a greater risk of relapse.

In a placebo study a single dose of CBD was administered to a group of heroin addicts over 3 consecutive days while a placebo dose was given to another similar group. Both groups were, later, exposed to opioid-related and neutral video stimuli at 1 hour, 24 hours and 7 days after the CBD was given. Compared to the placebo, the group that had taken CBD found their cravings were lessened, an effect that lasted for 7 days after treatment.

2. CBD lowers anxiety

The above study brought additional evidence regarding the reduction of anxiety levels of the participants. The author of the study underlines the “potential therapeutic efficacy of CBD to reduce negative states in opioid-dependent individuals, which may, in turn, predict reduced craving and hence reduce the likelihood of relapse behavior.”

You can find more information about CBD and anxiety here and here .

3. CBD protects and repairs damages caused to the brain by addiction

It’s no surprise CBD has been patented the US Federal government as a neuroprotectant. (!!!) What does neuroprotectant mean? It means that protects and even repairs the brain from the damages caused by substance abuse. CBD has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to inhibit glutamate transmission which makes it a powerful weapon in combating the damage caused drug abuse.


How can you Use CBD to fight Drug Addiction?

You consume it!

By this, I mean that you consume specially formulated CBD products. The market is full of a plethora of products to choose from. CBD Oil, tinctures, edibles, e-liquid to vape, gums, crams, water. You can find even beer containing CBD.

Consult your physician and choose the product that suits you and your lifestyle. You can find more information here

There is hope

If you, or somebody you care about, is being affected by addiction, try to get all the support you need. In case, you want to try CBD, please consult a qualified health care expert.

Fighting drug addiction is a desperate and frustrating battle. CBD brings us hope and promises but needs further investigation. Even in cases where CBD is ineffective at fighting addiction, it has preventative effects against drug-induced brain inflammation and liver toxicity. For this reason, it can be used as a protective agent during periods of drug abuse.

If you have any questions or want to share your personal experience with CBD, leave a comment below.

If you want to know if I have published a new article, or get information about CBD news, product releases or promotions, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list!

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute  professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.


  1. Very informative article Effie! I learned a lot that I didn’t know and the pictures are very helpful. With such a major opioid crisis here in the United States, I think that CBD oil certainly has a lot of potential! While it helped me a ton with stress and anxiety, I really wasn’t aware of what it could do for those addicted to drugs. Hopefully in the very near future, a lot more testing will be done with CBD oil and those with substance abuse issues. The potential benefits of CBD oil is very exciting for sure!

    1. Dan, I am sure that we know almost nothing about the potential benefits of CBD oil. Research will bring more of them to light! All we need to do is be patient.

  2. Thanks Effie.

    The weening process is a tried and tested method.

    This seems like a good cannabis version of methadone for Heroin users.

    Cannabis and cocaine misuse is a massive problem in my area, and indeed in the UK as a nation.

    Thank you for the information,

  3. This is something that anyone that has dealt with a close friend or family member going through would most likely say it is worth giving a try. It is truly something to say if it had good results in helping someone who suffers from a heroin addiction to ease the craving after 7 days of not using. It is amazing how many different ways are being proven that this so called drug is helping people live better lives.

    1. Research findings are really astonishing and I believe we will be amazed by the benefits of CBD to fighting addiction. There is big ongoing study that hasn’t been published yet (publication date estimated : December 2019) which will add more information on the subject. Stay tuned!

  4. This is a really interesting approach that is well worth trying. Your explanations are very thorough yet easy to understand. The infographic does say it all. Visually it’s pleasing to the eye and informative. I wish you all the success in the world getting your word out there to all that it could help!

  5. Opioid addiction is a serious problem right now. Thankfully I do not have an addiction of any sort. But I am trying to help someone I know who does. Actually she doesn’t think anyone knows she has a problem. I would love to find some alternative ways to help her, as I know she would never head in and just admit it to a doctor. This might just be a great path for her to take. Looks like might be a great way for her to rely less on unhealthy drugs, and go down the right path.Thanks for the great information.

    1. Thank you for sharing Leahrae! I am sure that with your love and care and the help of CBD, your friend may change her path and choose the right one. I advise you to try to convince her to ask help from an expert. Please, keep me posted on her progress.

  6. Good evening Effie,

    Really good post and I agree with you. We have used CBD oil for health reasons and I even gave it to my old dog who had pains. Luckily I was not addicted to drugs but I love my glass of red wine and that good piece of black chocolate.

    To use CBD to fight drug addiction is a good idea. One should ask the question why it is that the U.S. has the highest opioid addiction rate. Personally, I think it is because we have turned away from nature. We get all kind of ailments which are related to the modern way of life. How we live and what we eat has such a huge influence on our health. Too much man-made foods and medicine with side effects. 

    To use CBD which has no side effects to help overcome these addictions is probably the best solution.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Taetske, you have a point here and  I totally agree with you. Remember that being addicted to prescribed meds is a big problem too. How many people are addicted to psychotherapeutic drugs such as pain relievers and sedatives out there? Millions. As far as your dog is concerned,  you can find interesting information about dog anxiety and CBD in my article CBD oil for Pet Anxiety – Dogs first

      1. Good Morning Effie,

        Sadly, Cindy, my dear Rottweiler lady is no more. I picked her up from a dog shelter, she was 1 year old at that time. She had more than 11 happy years on my farm. I really miss her.

        Regards, Taetske

        1. Nice to hear from you again Taetske! I am really sorry Cindy has passed. I know you miss her. But I am sure there are lots of dogs out there waiting to love and to be loved.

  7. This article is really meant for me. I’m addicted to drugs and it’s not easy to stop what you have been addicted to but I wish to stop this. I think I will try CBD and I will do that by visiting a doctor like you said. Thanks for sharing this information. I will keep following you to get more updates from you.

    1. I’m overwhelmed by emotion now. Your comment is immensely rewarding. Just the thought that my article might give help and , above all, hope to a person struggling against addiction, brings tears in my eyes. i really hope that it opened you a door towards freedom. Please, keep me informed on your health! I wish you all the best. !! 

  8. I have been hearing about CBD a lot recently. I know that it has a lot of health benefits and can cure lots of diseases. But after reading this article, I was surprised to know that it can also cure drug addiction which is one of the hardest aspect of a human being. This article had so many explanations to prove the point that CBD can cure drug addiction.Thank you so much for sharing this article.

    1. Well.. Thank you for your comment! I would like to make a point here: In my opinion drug addiction can’t be cured. Ex addicts have to struggle all their lives to remain sober. In the article I used the word “heal”. And yes, CBD can help an addict be healed. 

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