The Truth about CBD Oil and Alcoholism

By | 22/02/2019

In previous articles I have discussed in detail the positive effects of CBD oil on fighting drug addiction and how this amazing product can help you quit smoking.

Today, I will expose the truth on CBD oil and alcoholism in terms of the power this powerful natural substance has against alcohol addiction.

What is Alcoholism

You’ve probably heard of alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism. 

The term Alcoholism isn’t used much anymore; it is regarded a bit narrow and generic. The term Alcohol Use Disorder (abbreviated as AUD) is used instead and it covers everything, from the occasional binge drinker to the chronic daily drinker.

So, how can you understand if a family member, friend or you suffer from alcohol use disorder?

It’s not difficult.

Read the following statements carefully

  • You drink more than planned
  • Even though you have often tried to reduce the quantity of alcohol intake or stop dinking you failed
  • You spend a lot of time drinking
  • You have cravings for alcohol
  • It’s more important to drink than do any other activities you used to do
  • You have experienced accidents or fights that have or could have hurt you while or after drinking
  • You don’t care if it makes you feel down, or damages your health and brain (memory blackouts); you have to drink
  • You have increased the units of alcohol intake lately because you need more alcohol to feel the effect it causes
  • Your drinking habit creates you problems with work, family and social environment BUT you still drink
  • When you don’t drink you have withdrawal symptoms like sleepless nights, shakiness, irritation, nausea, sweating, seizures, illusions.
  • You frequently have hangovers or you often get sick because of alcohol
  • Your need for alcohol surpasses everything else in your life

I must confess that I, somehow, lied to you. The above are not statements. They are warning signs.  You can call them symptoms, if you like.

If you or someone you know experienced two or three of them in the past year, then you suffer from a mild AUD . You have a moderate AUD in case of four to five symptoms. Six or more than six, it’s a severe AUD. I suggest that you ask for help.

Alcohol Use Disorder is a monster.

It can affect anyone; ethnicity, social class, sex, age; it doesn’t matter.

You can be the most intelligent and disciplined person in the world, you can be a highly educated person with a substantial economic status; it doesn’t matter.

As actress Claudia Christian once said:

It can get you, and when it gets you, it has you. You have no control over yourself because IT is in control.

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Statistics

CBD And Alcoholism

Before I start examining the impact alcohol has on your body and brain, let’s take a look at some really worrying statistic facts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.3 million people die every single year from alcohol related causes. Alcohol-related deaths make up nearly 6% of all global deaths per year. In addition to that, more that 5.1% of diseases or injuries worldwide are attributed to alcohol.

According to the WHO a person dies every 10 seconds from AUD.

A sad thing that statistics reveal, is that the vast majority (80%-90%) of the people who suffer from AUD don’t seek treatment. Why is that? Because they believe that they have to give up alcohol for their rest of their lives.

Of the remaining 10%-20% who do seek treatment (they usually suffer for about a decade before they decide to ask for help) up to 90% have at least a relapse within the first four years. I don’t think there is another disease with this abysmal of a success rate.

Cannabis and Alcohol on the brain, explained by a Neurosurgeon

Why do Conventional Treatments Fail?

A lot of people don’t drink because of a bad childhood or because they suffer from personal traumas. They, simply, drink because they are physically addicted to alcohol. And this means that once they start, they find it difficult, if not impossible, to stop. Sometimes, when addiction in any form is met on any side of the patients’ family, things get harder since the genetic predisposition couples with their behavior (in this case drinking) and they become addicts.

When people suffering from AUD realize they are not in the driver’s seat but the monster is, they seek every single treatment they can possibly find or afford.

They go cold turkey, sober and try to detox. Unfortunately, this method may cause the so-called “deprivation effect”. What is this?  In a few words, once the honeymoon period of sobriety wears off, patients are left with constant physical cravings for alcohol. What do these cravings cause? Not being allowed to drink (it’s cold turkey we are talking about!) they start isolating themselves from their families and friends because friends and family can drink and they mustn’t.

Even worse when they are in a full-blown binge, drinking anything and everything, going cold turkey may cause seizures and make them lose control of their basic motor controls.

If they don’t go cold turkey they choose other ways to set themselves free from AUD.

They go to rehab clinics to basically drink wheatgrass and do tai chi. They choose talk-therapy (sometimes for $200 bucks a session). They choose to be treated by hypnotherapists. They go macrobiotic or have their chakras realigned ( chakras=the various focal points in the subtle body used in a variety of ancient meditation practices). attend AA meetings. They try veganism. They do equine therapy. They pray until their knees turn black and blue. But they still relapse. And each relapse becomes worse.

A number of them continue to relapse and a significant percentage quit trying to free themselves from alcohol. Perhaps, because they can’t realize that doing tai chi or talk therapy or support groups or strong willpower won’t fix their biological addiction. They won’t fix their brain.

How about the so called “tough love” treatment by their social environment? Studies show that you humiliate an addict or make him hit rock bottom you do not help them. On the contrary, you make them feel worse.

Dr Keith Humphreys of Stanford University, the former senior advisor on alcohol and drug policy to the Obama White House said:

If addicts had a normal disease they would be treated with sympathy. Instead they are treated with a barrage of “Just say no” or “Why can’t you just stop drinking? “and a complete lack of understanding, compassion or empathy.   

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How alcohol screws up your Body

Why isn’t alcohol use disorder a normal disease?

Simply, because frequent and excessive alcohol consumption has severe effects not only on your body but on your brain as well.

I imagine, you have noticed that when you have strong alcoholic drinks you feel the need to go to the bathroom, more often than usual. Did you ever wonder why? The answer is simple.

Alcohol is a diuretic. It orders the kidneys to work overtime –and they do and you feel the results of your kidneys working double shift and the need to camp in the bathroom.

How does alcohol give this order to your kidneys? By reducing the production of a hormone called vasopressin, which tells your kidneys to reabsorb water instead of flushing it out. So, your body’s signal is turned off, your bladder continuously fills up with urine and you run to the bathroom all the time…

We all know that the liver is the organ alcohol affects most.

It has an important job to do: It filters the blood coming from the digestive tract, before letting it circulate into the rest of the body. Furthermore, the liver detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs and processes alcohol. To do so it needs water. And since your body’s water has repeatedly been flushed in the toilet, the liver will take water from other parts of your body, leaving you dehydrated and thirsty.

Beware! As soon as alcohol reaches the liver, it produces an enzyme called acetaldehyde, which is toxic and DAMAGES the liver and other parts of the body. Don’t forget that a liver failure threatens your life…

CBD Fights Alcoholism

How Alcohol messes with your Brain

Here comes the worst news.

When addicts drink, they get a huge reward from alcohol. It’s this reward that makes them want to continue drinking. Alcohol reinforces the addictive synapses in the brain making endorphins activate the part of the brain responsible for addiction.

Let’s make it simpler: Imagine a huge room full of endorphins living in your brain. Every time you drink alcohol, these endorphins rush to the door, get out and raise hell in your brain and your neuropathways. Scary, isn’t it?

There is more..  

Alcohol disrupts the natural neurochemical balance in your brain by increasing both dopamine and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

It does more..

As soon as you ingest alcohol an increase in CB1 receptor activity is caused. This is the reason why you feel that sense of fulfillment and reward. In case of alcohol abuse, CB1 receptors get consistently overstimulated; this leads to chronic decrease in their activity. To make things worse, your endocannabinoid system fails to produce endogenous cannabinoids, especially anandamide which is possibly one the most crucial endocannabinoids in your body.

In other words, alcohol destroys your brain’s chemistry and raises hell up there. Remember that it’s your brain that orders you to drink. You have to fix your brain to be free from your addiction.

This is where exogenous cannabinoids (like CBD) can come into play; they are able to help alcohol addicts rebalance their brain’s chemistry.

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How does CBD combat AUD?

There is a moment when an alcohol addict reaches the point where they would be willing to sell their souls to the devil to get free from the suffering of alcohol use disorder.

It’s a blessed moment because it means that they have finally managed to cross the bridge from denial to acceptance and acknowledgement. 

They are ready to combat the monster and win; the impact of a strong willpower is essential to start the fight. But they can’t win the war fighting barehanded. They need a strong weapon. CBD can be the weapon they need.

Let’s see how.

One thing is sure with alcohol addiction: Your brain is a mess. Your CB1 receptors are too tired to do their job due to the overstimulation they have suffered from alcohol. Your endocannabinoid system is a mess and doesn’t produce enough endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide.

It’s time that an exogenous cannabinoid like CBD came into play. 

The introduction of CBD in your body helps your endocannabinoid system increase the production of anandamide. Anandamide runs to bind with the CB1 receptors. The result is a sense of satisfaction, a reward you get without consuming alcohol.

There are physical and mental (=cravings) constituents of alcohol addiction. To fully understand how exactly CBD combats alcohol addiction, I think we should break down the whole thing a bit.

How does CBD fight the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

The most common physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Shaky hands
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle pain

In a former article I brought evidence that CBD helps with anxiety and depression. It is also a potent nausea reducer. Furthermore, since CBD regulates the endocannabinoid system, it assists with every physical symptom of withdrawal.

How does CBD fight the mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?  

CBD Helps Alcohol Withrawal
Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Marc Lane, U.S. Air Force

Cravings are the direct result of increased glutamate transmission. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter and responsible for more than 90% of the total connections in the brain.The exact opposite of glutamate is Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain.

  • Insomnia
  • Sedation
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Lowered inhibitions

are the result of large levels of GABA.

CBD interacts with the GABA system. Instead of increasing its levels, it alters the shape of GABA receptors and amplifies the brain’s sensitivity to GABA safely. (It is non-addictive)

By amplifying the brain’s GABA sensitivity, it regulates the glutamate activity. This action has a direct impact on the intensity of cravings and enables the addict to gain control over his body again.

PLUS: CBD regenerates body and brain

Studies have found that CBD protects the liver from binge drinking. Furthermore, it can attenuate inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS), which is commonly associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

AUD causes serious damage to the brain. CBD is a neuroprotectant (for this reason it has been patented by the U.S. government). CBD has potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and contributes in healing the damage caused by alcohol addiction.

Grab a dropper not a glass!

A study by Yarahudri Vinod and colleagues proposes that agents which

“modulate the endocannabinoid tone or CB1 receptor function might have therapeutic potential in the treatment of alcohol”

Imagine a world with less alcohol addicted people. Imagine the profound impact that would have on society. Less addicted people means less broken families, less abused children, less lost days of work, less insurance costs, less accidents, less crime

CBD can teach you to Ctrl-Alt-Del your or your beloved one’s addiction to alcohol. It’s time you stopped being powerless. It’s time you took the control of your life in your hands. It’s time you kicked the monster out and sat in the driver’s seat. What are you waiting for?

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If you have any questions or want to share your personal experience with Endoca and their products, leave a comment below.

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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.

30 thoughts on “The Truth about CBD Oil and Alcoholism

  1. Akbar Zaib

    I know that CBD oil has therapeutic potential against many brain-related disorders like Seizer, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. But can it be used against AUD, it’s something novel.
    If it does so, then it can be a miracle for those suffering from alcoholism. Is there any clinical trial conducted in people?

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Akbar, it is known that CBD interacts with the human brain and the ECS.The video embedded in the article gives further details. Scientific research regarding cannabis is at an embryonic level due to the fact that it was prohibited worldwide. In my article, I present studies contacted in humans regarding the way CBD impacts the brain to fight the mental symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

      Reply
  2. Michael

    Is CBD oil really used for all these issues?

    It appears that it is some kind of wonder drug.

    That being said, I have visited a local store in my city and CBD oil is very expensive. So expensive in fact, that anyone suffering from any kind of drug or alcohol dependencies could probably not afford it.

    I suppose that it may be best to use it if you have any of the warning signs and nip it in the bud before you even have a problem.

    I know you are a genuine researcher and proponent of CBD oil, but is anyone looking in to the negative aspects of CBD oil itself, if there are any?

    Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but it can’t really be that good?

    Either way, thanks for the info Effie. Very enlightening as usual.

    Cheers,
    Michael.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Hello Michael! Yes, CBD is really used for all the issues I write about. Quality CBD is expensive, but it’s our health and wellness we are talking about, isn’t it? Alcoholic drinks aren’t cheap either but people addicted to alcohol or drugs pay as much as they are asked to get the stuff they need. In my article regarding CBD and the brain, I have explained the relationship of phytocannabinoids with our endocannabinoid system. Perhaps, this is the reason why CBD does wonders.

      Reply
  3. Raymond

    Your articles get more interesting and more relevant every time I read them. Most of us know of someone, a relative, a friend, or a neighbor with an addiction to alcohol. And we’ve all heard an alcoholic, I mean someone with AUD, state, ” Everyone knows that a drink a day is good for your health, so I’m just very healthy.” Maybe you’ve heard an AUD sufferer say, “I haven’t had a drink in three days and 4 hours and 13 minutes, so I can’t be and alcoholic.” Those who suffer from AUD are not usually bad people, but they often become people that no one wants to be around. I wish that everyone who drinks too much or knows someone who drinks too much would read your post. Thank you for the service you provide.

    ray

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I don’t understand why no one avoids someone with diabetes while most of the people don’t want to be around an alcoholic. They are both suffering from a disease. Perhaps this is the reason: people have to realize that being addicted to alcohol isn’t a choice but a health issue. Only then, the AUD stigma will vanish and AUD sufferers will be treated as patients, with empathy and understanding. Thank you for your comment Raymond.

      Reply
  4. Rachael

    Nice article Effie! Very interesting. In the recovery community, CBD oil is generally frowned upon. I wonder if they really have the facts. With the abundance of people who suffer from AUD, this is a great topic for discussion.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Thanks for the visit and the comment Rachel! Have a nice day !

      Reply
  5. jagi

    I really enjoyed reading your CBD oil and alcoholism article. It actually hones in on some symptoms non-drinkers miss. Good for you for bringing light to this topic. Many brush it under the carpet.

    Alcoholism has severely affected my family’s life. It was also the reason for my marriage breakdown; my ex-husband refused to put down the bottle.

    All the symptoms that you’ve described in there are exactly what he was bringing to light at that time.

    CBD oil I have personal experience with. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was one of the first oils my family recommended I try.

    Have not stopped using it since my cancer is now in remission.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Welcome Jagi! I’m so sorry to hear about your marriage breakdown because of your husband’s AUD. But I am really GLAD CBD has put your cancer in remission. I want to thank you for sharing your personal experience with us.

      Reply
  6. Matt's Mom

    Wow, I wish I had this information years ago. I was married to an alcoholic, so I know all about the disease and the affect it has, as well as the affect on the family. This would have been a great alternative. Although, the alcoholic has to be willing to quit first of all. Which my ex did, but he had to enter in a psych ward in order to do it. Thankfully I had removed myself and my children from this toxic relationship. I might have to offer this information to him.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Unfortunately, AUD is a disease which, unlike other diseases, affects not only the patient but his immediate social environment as well. It destroys marriages, families.. i’m glad you and your kids don’t have to live toxic relationships any more.
      Of course, willpower is necessary to combat AUD but a weapon is also needed; CBD can play this role. I hope that your ex-husband will to win the war against his monster one day. Thanks for sharing Leahrae!!

      Reply
  7. Dan

    Hi,

    Do you know if vaping CBD is harmful to the lungs – or if it can have any other negative side effects?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Hi Dan!
      Vaporizers work by heating CBD oil to its vaporization point which is around 320°F to 356°F ( 160°C to 180°C). Its combustion point is at 450°F (232.2°C).
      Remaining below the combustion point, you are sure that what is produced and inhaled is vapor, not smoke. This helps you avoid toxins, carbon monoxide that smoking introduces to your body.
      On the contrary, when smoking a cigarette, the temperature of the burning tobacco can reach up to 900°C or 1652°F. This arrives far beyond tobacco’s combustion point!! Knowing this, it is easy to understand why smoking is so unhealthy for your lungs and body..
      CBD is generally considered safe but it can cause reactions like diarrhea and fatigue in some people

      Reply
  8. Theresa

    I had never heard that CBD oil can help someone break the alcohol habit. I battled alcohol addiction for several years as a young adult but since I did almost all of my drinking alone, I was ashamed to ask for help. (Almost) no one knew that I had a problem. No one knew how bad it was or that it was completely controlling my life. I wonder how it helps with other, more acceptable, addictions such as food? After I stopped drinking, I turned to food to self-medicate. Later, I turned to exercise. Now, because I have some physical issues that keep me from exercising the way I used to I catch myself nervously snacking. Seems to me that it might be worth a try.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I’m glad you kicked the habit Theresa. I’m sure it can help with food addiction because, as I explain in the article, it “fixes your brain”. I promise I’ll investigate if CBD can help with addictions like the one you mention and I’ll let you know asap

      Reply
  9. Todd P Matthews

    Hi, Effie, it’s amazing what CBD oil can do to help others cope with alcohol withdrawal. I’ve been reading substantial articles about the benefits CBD oil has on numerous disorders and it also appears to benefit those struggling with alcohol withdrawal. CBD is definitely going to be a widespread treatment of the future and the more we come to know about it, the substance is going to have its place as a universal treatment of choice, maybe even a cure or prevention as well. Right now, the sky is the limit.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Welcome Todd. You are absolutely right. CBD seems to have a great potential and a lot of researchers study its benefits to all aspects of human health. It’s really amazing what it can do.I agree, the sky is the limit. Let’s hope that big pharma companies won’t take this sky away.

      Reply
  10. Dan Strong

    Hi Effie,

    I have known many people that suffer from alcoholism and it is quite a tragic disease for everyone that’s involved, particularly for the sufferers themselves. I found this article very interesting. It was particularly interesting to hear how CBD works with the GABA system in a safe way to help someone suffering from alcoholism. Alcohol screws up your brain so badly and many people don’t realize it sadly. I think that it certainly seems like CBD oil can be a huge help to someone suffering from alcoholism based upon this. Hopefully there are some trials being done so people can get some help with CBD oil. Thank you for the great article as usual!

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      It’s impressing isn’t it? I was surprised to know that it doesn’t increase the levels of GABA system but it alters the shape of its receptors.In 2017, researchers received a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to investigate CBD therapy for AUD in patients with PTSD.This proves the increasing interest on investigating its potential. CBD is being examined and researched thoroughly right now and a lot of its secrets will be revealed in the future

      Reply
  11. John

    Hi Effie,

    Thank you for sharing this information. I have certainly learned something new. All my questions were answered and I learned some new terms like: AUD

    If Cannabis oil is so beneficial I have to wonder why it was ever banned from so many countries? Perhaps you know?

    I do know that people fear that which they do not always understand.

    Me, being a smoker, did not know that CBD oil can help me quit. It gives me all the reason in the world to give it a go.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,
    John

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Hello John! IMHO, Cannabis was made illegal because of big pharma companies and their chemical, loaded with side effects products.It’s money we are talking about, my dear friend. Billions of dollars on meds that cover the symptoms or cure creating another health problem that you will have to treat buying other medicines. It’s a vicious circle, I’d call it a buck-producing machine. People fear what they don’t understand, you are right. In this case, though, people fear what was forbidden for them to know and understand.

      Reply
  12. Nida

    In my practice as a nurse, I have experienced dealing with a lot of patients suffered with the bad effects of alcohol abuse. It ranges form liver disease, mental issues, muscular weakness, stroke etc. And these type of patients are the frequent fliers most of the time as they regress either because most of them lost their support system (they got tired of them), lack of financial support (their unable to hold jobs), non compliant and has given up. But I have dealt with quite a few professionals and well off individuals who has succumbed to alcohol addiction. You are right, alcoholism is a problem that can’t just be treated by being cold turkey and it can affect anybody. So thank you for this awareness and will surely pass on this information to my colleagues.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Hi Nida! Thank you for sharing your professional experience regarding the alcohol use disorder with me and my readers!

      Reply
  13. Karen

    Hi Effie,
    wow this is an incredible article, thank you for sharing it. You are right, there is much more to it than just drinking too much. This information gives a detailed insight in what happens to your body and mind.
    What is your opinion on people who do not drink that much, but every day one or two glasses? I did not recognize this particular situation in your statements. Don’t you think that they also have a problem?
    Have a great day!
    Karen

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Research says that a glass of red wine daily does exactly the opposite that harm you. Remember the warnings list? The answer is there! I personally think that the secret regarding alcohol consumption is not letting IT have you. You should always be in the driver’s seat.

      Reply
  14. Lorraine Whitworth

    Hi thank you for this article. I have worked in the substance misuse field for 11 years and have seen first hand the devastation that alcohol and drugs can do to the person, their families and the community. There are people who want to recover and do well and there are others that are only wanting to recover because their families have given them ultimatums. I have found like anything that the ones that want to do it for themselves are the ones most likely to succeed. I agree that people will look to find answers and perhaps try every therapy they can. The families have sometimes found it difficult to understand that someone who is a dependant drinker can not just stop drinking as they may have seizures which could be fatal. Either a supervised medical detox is needed or a reduction programme for a dependant drinker to be alcohol free safely. I am interested in the benefits of CBD oil and it will be interesting to see further research. I feel the more awareness of CBD gives people more choice and you are certainly raising the awareness, so thankyou. This was a very informative and interesting article
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      I should thank YOU Lorraine for sharing your professional experience with substance misuse with us!!!

      Reply
  15. mil

    This was very eye-opening. Thank you for informing me about this issue, it affects everyone, everywhere in all communities.

    Reply
    1. Effie Post author

      Welcome to my website my friend! Unfortunately you are right. It can affect all of us. Fortunately nature has given us a strong weapon to fight it .

      Reply

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