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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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:
- Shaky hands
- 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?
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.
- 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?
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.