As the pandemic continues to spread, the number of drug and alcohol abuse has skyrocketed.
With new COVID-19 variants coming to the surface, people are uncertain about what the future holds for their jobs, health, relationships, and financial status. The pandemic has caused a global mental health crisis. With continuous social distancing and the number of medical staff decreasing, people have taken matters into their own hands through self-medication with drugs and/or alcohol.
Although this might offer a temporary solution for some, this adds to another issue that politicians and health advocates have been fighting for decades: the war on drugs. In the United States alone, pharmaceutical drugs, specifically opioids, have increased causing high numbers of substance abuse and overdoses within the last two decades. And as many people recovering from addiction are running out of options for a drug-free lifestyle, research has been pointing to another holistic option: cannabis.
Cannabis in the wellness industry is booming. With thousands of products being infused with CBD, experts are slowly discovering the positive effects CBD can have on opioid and heroin addicts. Yet even though cannabis is gaining in popularity, it’s had a checkered past.
Dating back to the late eighties, many people were exposed to the “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” era. Combining a frying pan and an egg, TV commercials convinced the world of the evils of drugs. Weed has also been dubbed the gateway drug, which would transition you into exploring other drugs like cocaine, LSD, and heroin. It’s why so many consumers are still afraid of using CBD/THC in their wellness regimen as the stigma continues. But with legalization spreading across continents, researchers and scientists are picking up on the positive benefits cannabis might have on those battling drug addiction.
How does CBD products help with heroin or opioid addicts?
Research shows that our endocannabinoid system plays a big part in why cannabis can help with certain addictions. But first, we need to go deeper and ask how do you become an addict?
When it comes to addiction recovery, once the drug chemical enters the brain it gives a “feel-good” signal. This sends signals to the brain to crave more of the “feel-good” hormone (or dopamine) which can make withdrawals unbearable for recovering addicts. CBD has been in a conversation when it comes to addiction recovery because of our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS receptors can provide an easy transition because CBD is non-rewarding and can mediate the responses of people who are recovering from addiction.
While there’s still research and information that’s being discovered, CBD can offer a possible treatment that is less harsh and addictive when compared to pharmaceuticals. In a 2019 study, research showed that CBD reduced the reward association with opioids and it lasted for two weeks in patients. Although it’s newfound data, it demonstrates how CBD has the potential for long-lasting benefits for people with substance abuse.
Alcohol and drug use have an adverse effect particularly in women and it’s important to do your research. It’s safe to note that although cannabis can be used as a healthy and holistic option, it can also have addictive qualities. CBD does not have addictive qualities, but there are some in THC products. Make sure you speak with your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of cannabis addiction. CBD may not be the holy grail of addiction treatment, but studies are coming to the conclusion that CBD does more good than harm.