As cannabis legalization efforts advance globally, there is an increasing interest in the potential benefits of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) for a variety of health conditions. One controversial issue making headlines recently is the potential use of CBD and CBD flower to aid in quitting weed. While some people swear by its efficacy, others argue against using one cannabinoid to quit another. This article aims to explore the current research on the topic, debates around it, and alternative ways to quit weed.
CBD: a brief overview
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over a hundred naturally occurring compounds found within the Cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive; meaning it won't cause the 'high' commonly associated with marijuana. Many anecdotal claims suggest that CBD has numerous therapeutic effects, including pain relief, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, CBD products are becoming increasingly popular, available in various forms such as CDD oil, CBD capsules, and CBD flowers.
Can CBD really help you quit weed?
The theory behind using CBD as a tool to quit weed stems from the assumption that some individuals may be experiencing addiction to THC because of an imbalance in their body's natural endocannabinoid system. CBD is believed to interact with this system, possibly helping to restore balance and reduce withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit weed. Some recent studies provide insights into this potential therapeutic effect:
Research on CBD and cannabis addiction
- A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2020 revealed that individuals using CBD-rich cannabis reported lower levels of THC use and exhibited fewer cannabis withdrawal symptoms compared to those using low-CBD varieties. The authors concluded that CBD might have the potential to reduce cannabis consumption without increasing withdrawal severity.
- A 2019 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry investigated the effects of CBD on cue-induced cravings among people with a history of cannabis abuse. It was found that a single dose of CBD successfully reduced subjective craving ratings, suggesting a potential for therapeutic use in managing cannabis addiction.
- In a landmark clinical trial from 2018 published in Addiction, researchers provided participants with CBD as an adjunct treatment to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for cannabis use disorder. The results demonstrated that those treated with CBD were almost twice as likely to remain abstinent from cannabis than those who received a placebo.
While these studies offer hope to those looking for alternative ways to quit weed, it is crucial to note that the research on CBD as a treatment for cannabis addiction is still in its early stages. Furthermore, future studies may be necessary to determine the correct dosage, method of administration, and duration of treatment for optimum results.
Debating the benefits of CBD for quitting weed and addressing concerns
Opinions about using CBD to quit weed are divided into two main camps. On one hand, supporters argue that CBD offers a less harmful alternative to traditional medications used to treat cannabis dependence or withdrawal symptoms. They point to evidence of CBD's ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system and existing research demonstrating its potential in reducing marijuana use and cravings.
On the other hand, sceptics question the logic behind using one component of the same CBD flower to treat addiction to that plant. They worry about possible risks associated with long-term CBD use and highlight the need for more extensive research before advising individuals to use CBD to quit weed. Additionally, some critics emphasize that relying solely on CBD might not be enough, as cannabis addiction often involves additional factors such as life stressors, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and emotional dysregulation. For these individuals, addressing underlying causes with the support of professionals or self-help groups may yield better results than using CBD alone.
Alternatives to quitting weed
If you're considering using CBD to quit weed but aren't sure it's right for you, there are other approaches that can help in overcoming marijuana addiction:
- Seek professional treatment: Working with a mental health or substance abuse professional can provide guidance, structure, and resources to help you set goals, identify triggers, and build healthy coping strategies for quitting weed. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and 12-step programs are just a sample of treatments that have shown success in helping people overcome cannabis addiction.
- Build a support network: Engaging family members, friends, or joining a support group like Marijuana Anonymous (MA) can create an environment where you feel understood, motivated, and held accountable during the process of quitting weed.
- Medications: If withdrawal symptoms are making it difficult to quit, your doctor might prescribe medications that can help alleviate certain physical and psychological symptoms associated with quitting marijuana: nausea, irritability, anxiety, or sleep disturbances.
- Lifestyle changes: Adopting healthier habits such as regular exercise, proper diet, and adequate sleep can make a significant difference in managing cravings and maintaining abstinence from marijuana use.
In conclusion, while preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may have some potential to aid in quitting weed, the research is still lacking. It is essential to consider the limitations of the existing studies and weigh the benefits and risks before using it as a tool to overcome cannabis addiction. Alternatives such as professional treatment, support networks, and lifestyle changes may prove more effective for many individuals facing marijuana use disorder or withdrawal symptoms.