Everyone seems amazed by CBD's many therapeutic potentials. From epileptic seizures to insomnia, the compound boasts a solution to practically all health concerns.
When the world thinks it's heard all about CBD and its benefits, another emerges. For instance, CBD for alcohol withdrawal and other addiction-related concerns have been up for debate lately. Sources say CBD may help people manage alcohol abuse and withdrawal symptoms.
Does CBD Actually Help Manage Alcohol Withdrawal?
Before an answer, let's discuss the basic concepts – alcohol withdrawal and CBD
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol Withdrawal, collectively, refers to several bodily changes that trail a break from heavy and chronic alcohol use or abuse.
Alcohol withdrawal has become a global concern. For instance, stat says about 15 million Americans are alcoholics. Globally, there are over 300 million alcohol disorder patients.
Quickly, let's discuss some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
While the signs differ across patients, based on the severity of alcohol use and different brain chemistry, the following symptoms are common:
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Loss of appetite
- Withdrawal Seizures
- Delirium Tremens – involves shaking, confusion, and hallucination. This alcohol withdrawal effect shows up in about 2 to 5 percent of heavy drinkers who ceased.
Breathing issues, dehydration, disorientation, and sweating are also common symptoms. This condition, which is caused by an inadequate supply of blood to the brain, may cause death in severe cases.
What is CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol is one among many compounds found in cannabis – a plant family that includes marijuana and hemp.
Political, racial, and legal sentiments against the cannabis have rubbed off on CBD over the years. But with promising results from anecdotal testimonies, backed by early findings from ongoing research, the compound still soars.
One major ground held against the cannabis plant and its components comes from its psychoactive tendencies – it's potency to cause a ‘high.' Thankfully, CBD does not cause the high associated cannabis consumption.
For clarity, the compound responsible for the high in cannabis products is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is extracted, carefully, to avoid THC in CBD's end product. While many CBD products may contain a wee-bit of THC (.3 percent THC is the most legally accepted concentration), such a trace amount is insignificant to cause a high – even with increased dosages.
Now, let's discuss the heart of this article:
Can CBD Help in Alcohol Withdrawal?
Some reliable indicators say YES.
For instance, mice-based research shows a remarkable reduction in alcohol cravings after a week of CBD administration. The study mentioned that CBD might cut down inflammation biomarkers, inhibiting neurotransmitter production, causing an untamable craving and an eventual relapse.
Excessive alcohol consumption may leave severe damage to the neurotransmitters, wired to make you happy and in a good mood. The neurotransmitters prompt your brain to rely on alcohol supply rather than the self-generating amount of the naturally-occurring brain chemicals.
Chronic alcohol consumption reduces the nutrients needed for the adequate production of neurotransmitters. Worse, ethanol and related toxic products trigger pro-inflammatory compound production. This, in turn, hinders the production of serotine, GABA, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters.
Given the above analysis, CBD may help get rid of alcohol dependence in two ways:
- Research says CBD helps cut down on pro-inflammatory properties in the body, particularly the brain. This ‘silences' a key inhibitor of the production of mood-boosting brain chemicals. This may occur by managing oxidative stress the same way antioxidants do. And, next,
- CBD helps balance internally-produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). Research shows excessive alcohol consumption significantly reduces endocannabinoids, thereby obstructing typical body functions.
While the THC-CBD combo has also shown comparable results handling alcohol withdrawal, CBD seems most preferred – here are some reasons:
- Being highly psychoactive, THC neurotransmission alteration may be too drastic, compared to CBD.
- CBD will, at most, cause a feeling of calm and relaxation. THC is intoxicating.
- THC has been widely linked to paranoia and mental discomfort in users who have a history of anxiety.
Long-term THC doses may inhibit mental functions relating to learning, memory, motivation, focus, mood stability.
Heavy THC consumption may alter the brain's capabilities and, as well, inhibit proper blood supply to the brain.
Since alcohol reduces the supply of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, folate, zinc, thiamine, phosphate, and zinc, it's healthy to consume good portions of the vitamin when considering quitting the bottles.
Can I Consume CBD and Alcohol Together?
Although research is little on CBD and alcohol interaction, reports so far suggest a CBD-alcohol combo does not pose any significant side effects.
Even researchers say CBD reduces the brain's response to cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and related drugs. Someway, CBD may help curb cravings and pleasures associated with these drugs.
So, with difficulty in conquering the bottles and near impossibility of going Cold Turkey, a subtler approach may help – adding CBD to your alcohol consumption. While this isn't advised for long term dosage, you should, overtime, swap out the later for the former.
Besides, CBD will reduce your drinks' damaging effects and help improve overall health, supplying nutrients depleted by excessive drinking.
Using CBD Oil for Alcohol Withdrawal
When using CBD oil for alcoholism, begin with low doses. For instance, where the product label says to start with a full dropper per dose, instead, take half that amount. Take note of the effect after an hour or two and adjust the dosage accordingly.
Many have attested to CBD's potency in handling alcohol reliance and resultant withdrawal effects.
While handling your alcoholism, at the same time, CBD promotes a generally healthy life. If you wish to quit the bottles, consider infusing CBD into your plan today.
For a reminder, here's what CBD will do for alcoholics:
- CBD controls alcohol abuse
- Helps cut down on drinking
- Reduces cravings
- Eases withdrawal symptoms
- Reduces resultant liver damage