The Truth About CBD And Withdrawal
A note from the publisher: Since the publication of this article, the FDA has approved a CBD-based prescription drug for two special types of epilepsy.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is undoubtedly a new and popular alternative therapy. Increasingly prescribed by herbalists, naturopaths and even conventional physicians, it’s used to treat any number of health issues, such as depression, epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation and addictions. But what about withdrawal symptoms after treatment is halted?
With this rise in popularity come the inevitable questions about its safety. After all, the opioid crisis is upon us, and many can remember a time when opioids were prescribed left, right and center without cause for concern. Is CBD safe to use? Is there such a thing as CBD withdrawal?
Two questions need explorating here. The first is whether CBD causes withdrawal symptoms after prolonged use; the second is whether it is an effective treatment for withdrawal from other substances, such as marijuana or opioids. Both are timely questions considering that CBD is often advertised as the all-natural cure-all with no side effects. Is this really true? Can it benefit the harsh effects of withdrawal from other substances without causing ill effects itself?
What Are the Side Effects of CBD
The first question to clear up is about CBD’s safety record. Have researchers uncovered serious health concerns about CBD use? There are thousands of studies on CBD’s potential, ranging from its anti-tumor characteristics to its antidepressant nature. Surely someone somewhere has uncovered the truth about CBD’s side effects.
All medicine, no matter how benign, has some risk of side effect. Hemp CBD oil is no different. A 2017 literature review of the subject of CBD safety concluded that “the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. In comparison with other drugs used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.”
Cannabidiol is still going through an extensive preliminary research phase, but the information on side effects is quite promising. According to experts in the field, it looks as if CBD is entirely safe to use. Patients are given extremely high doses during clinical trials, but still tend to respond well to CBD therapy. It’s also a popular alternative for drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
Under normal conditions, CBD is safe to use even for the most sensitive segments of society. That said, it’s always best to discuss CBD use with a qualified medical professional. That’s particularly important if you are already taking prescription medications, are a parent exploring CBD for children, or you have other concerns. Make an appointment to cover all your bases. Learn more about the low-risk side effects of CBD here .
Does CBD Trigger Withdrawal?
As posted by one member of the CBD community on Reddit, “CBD, however, has not proven to be even remotely addicting [sic] or habit forming for m e . Still, though, zero dependency [sic] of any kind. It’s very nice to have because it helps my severe anxiety, but when I don’t have it, I find some of the mood boosting effects stay with me for quite some time. Days even. They fade so slowly that you hardly notice them going….It also helps that the effects are so mild and subtle, to begin with.”
As far as the research goes, there is no evidence of CBD withdrawal symptoms. Even compared with its famous cousin, THC, the difference of withdrawal symptoms is surprising. Medical marijuana still sells itself as safer to use than most pharmaceuticals, but heavy users report difficulty quitting. They also report going through withdrawal. Unlike THC heavy strains, there are no reported issues with tolerance, addiction or subsequent withdrawals from CBD.
CBD for Treating Withdrawals
Perhaps the most interesting use of CBD for treating withdrawal symptoms is for cannabis addiction. Yes, CBD and THC come from the same cannabis sativa family of plants, but CBD is used successfully to treat problems associated with prolonged THC use. Medical marijuana, while less habit-forming than other drugs, still carries a 9 percent addiction rate.
The University College of London has an ongoing clinical trial studying CBD as a possible therapy for severe cannabis addiction. The study was inspired by the pivotal case study of a profoundly addicted individual who cured her THC addiction with CBD therapy. More such cases exist, confirmed by a quick scan of the CBD community boards on Reddit. The ongoing trial could prove that CBD is a safe cannabinoid alternative to THC.
What about CBD for Opioid Withdrawal?
Conventional painkillers such as opioids are now very questionable prescriptions. The addiction crisis is visible from rural West Virginia to the downtown streets of Vancouver. Folks with a legitimate opioid prescription for chronic pain soon learn how quickly addiction can happen. No matter how badly someone may want to quit an opioid of choice, the withdrawal period is simply too powerful to overcome.
A typical withdrawal experience begins as quickly as four to six hours after the last dose. The first sign is usually a headache, followed quickly by increasingly severe and rapid onset of symptoms, including depression, fever, stomach cramping, diarrhea, sweating, problems sleeping, muscle pain and rapid heartbeat.
This is where CBD comes into play. Increasingly, research is honing in on its relevant characteristics for substance addiction. Of particular interest is its antipsychotic, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and pain-relieving properties, each explored extensively in other fields of study. These features are now of interest for treating severe drug-withdrawal symptoms.
A review in Substance Abuse , “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence,” proposed that CBD was useful for many phases of drug addiction. For example, during the intoxication phase (active phase of addiction) CBD reduces the reward-facilitation of opioids, or the euphoric sensation, and thus the fundamental addictiveness.
The review also concluded that during the withdrawal stage, CBD plays a vital role in reducing the severity of symptoms. It also notes that it seems to work better in combination with other cannabinoids, such as THC, taking advantage of the Entourage Effect .
Finally, and perhaps where CBD most shines for treating drug addiction, is the relapse phase, post-withdrawal. In one animal study included in the literature review, morphine-addicted mice benefited significantly from CBD treatment in the relapse phase. Cannabidiol therapy reduced the morphine-seeking behavior for up to two weeks when compared with the control group that received no CBD.
In study after study, CBD continues to be proven safe to use even in high doses. As far as we know, there are no reported instances of CBD withdrawal. Plus, it may prove to be one of the safest therapies available for those going through the withdrawal phase of drug addiction. According to current research, it’s already thought to have a positive benefit during the intoxication phase, the withdrawal phase and the relapse phase.
SOL*CBD explores whether CBD causes withdrawal symptoms after prolonged use; and whether it is an effective treatment for withdrawal from other substances.
Can too much of a good thing be bad? We’re sure you’ve heard this question before. It is as old as time itself. Just think of what happens when you have too much coffee. Or too much to eat. Or too much to drink. Not good right?
What about CBD withdrawal?
In the eternal words of the famous Greek storyteller Aesop,
“It is possible to have too much of a good thing.”
With the rise in popularity of CBD and how easy it is to acquire CBD online , we started getting this question more and more. People, especially new users are concerned about either overdosing, or getting addicted to yet another substance.
The concern is a good thing. With the incredible rise in alcohol use disorders, and the current opioid pandemic the United States is dealing with, the question and concern are very legitimate.
The answer to the question is not a simple yes or no either. That is because there are many ways to interpret this dilemma. Two specifically come to mind.
Some people are concerned about taking too much CBD and overdosing. We all know what happens when you take too much medicine.
You can physically die, which is not what you take medicine for.
Others have concerns about becoming addicted to CBD. Which makes sense, when you consider the top three reasons people purchase CBD online for:
- CBD for anxiety relief.
- CBD as a sleep aid.
- CBD to help with pain management.
The traditional medicine that helps with any of these ailments can and most of the time is very addictive.
What’s worse, the withdrawal symptoms and dangers of stopping cold turkey are scary and can be severe. In some cases, deadly.
We thought it was important to cover both topics, so you can have a better understanding before starting on your CBD wellness journey.
In recent months CBD has also been getting a lot of attention as an aide in assisting with addiction treatment and some help with easing withdrawal symptoms. Especially from alcohol and benzodiazepines. We’ll briefly cover what the studies say in those cases.
So let’s get started, shall we. The main topics of discussion for us will be:
Can you overdose on CBD?
Can CBD oil cause withdrawal?
Can CBD help with alcohol withdrawal?
CBD for benzo withdrawal.
Who’s ready to learn?
Can you overdose on CBD?
This is something we covered in more detail in our previous blog. It can be found here , for your easy reference.
The short and quick answer is no. There have been zero deaths linked directly to CBD.
As a matter of fact, in a 2017 W.H.O. report, the World Health Organization classifies cannabidiol as non-toxic, well tolerated by the human body and not exhibiting effects pointing to abuse or dependence.
Doesn’t get any clearer than that.
What’s more, according to a write up on cancer.gov :
“Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur. However, cannabinoid receptors are present in other tissues throughout the body, not just in the central nervous system, and adverse effects include the following:
- Conjunctival injection.
- Muscle relaxation.
- Decreased gastrointestinal motility.”
There was also a 2011 review which confirmed that CBD usage, even in high amounts such as 1,500mg a day is pretty well tolerated by the human body.
Keep in mind, 1,500mg a day is an extremely large dosage. Vast majority of daily users keep their dosage between 30 to 80mg a day.
Can CBD oil cause withdrawal?
Wondering if there are any CBD withdrawal symptoms?
It’s very unlikely that you will develop any CBD oil withdrawal symptoms if you stop using hemp extracted cannabidiol cold turkey, after a prolonged period of use. That is if you are using hemp derived oil, and not the marijuana version.
The marijuana derived cannabidiol extract will have a much larger THC content. THC can have withdrawal symptoms including:
- Diminished appetite
- Sleep issues
- Loss of focus
Not something you are likely to experience when stopping CBD.
Some users have reported an increase in the symptoms they originally took the oil for.
For instance, people who suffered from anxiety and for whom CBD has helped can sometimes find their anxiety returning within days of stopping their daily CBD regiment.
While there most likely will not be many withdrawal symptoms if you stop abruptly, it’s always best to dose down for a week or two.
Especially if you have been taking high amounts, for a long period of time.
Most likely you won’t be in any danger when stopping but dosing down will help you ensure you are as comfortable as can be.
After all, there’s a reason you want to stop. This way, you can be more successful.
Can CBD help with alcohol withdrawal?
In the current state of the world, Alcohol Use Disorder is on the rise. A rapid rise.
Sales of alcohol have been skyrocketing in every market, leading some doctors to worry about safe withdrawal from this deadly substance.
Detoxing from alcohol, if not done properly can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms including death.
PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE if you think you might suffer from moderate to severe symptoms. For a list of symptoms and treatment options, check out this helpful guide from medlineplus.gov .
Discuss your options and detox plan with your doctor. This includes your desire to add CBD to your recovery plan. While CBD on its own should never be used to detox without a doctors’ approval, theoretically it can help.
Some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures, are exactly the reason people try CBD.
Again, while potentially beneficial, make sure to discuss all your detox plans with a qualified medical professional.
If you’d like to learn more about CBD and Alcohol Use Disorder, how it can help with recovery head on over to our detailed blog here .
CBD for benzo withdrawal.
In short, treat benzodiazepine withdrawal as seriously as alcohol withdrawal. If not done properly, both can be fatal . YOU CAN DIE FROM BENZO WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.
Discuss all your options with a qualified medical professional, including your desire to use CBD for benzo withdrawal. While it can be helpful, it is extremely important the detox is done the right way.
In closing, it’s always important you do your research before you try to get off any substance that you’ve taken for a bit of time. Just to make it as comfortable experience as possible.
Remember, when looking to purchase CBD online , to look for the best and most reputable source. That’s why at The CBD Haven, we only work with quality, natural CBD brands for sale online. Our current list of partners includes:
For a full list, browse Our CBD Brands here.
We offer a wide variety of CBD products in all types of spectrums. We also offer fast, free shipping within the United States. Use code WELCOME15 at checkout to get 15% off your entire purchase. No exceptions.
So why not give CBD a try. We hope to see you soon.
Can too much of a good thing be bad? We're sure you’ve heard this question before. It is as old as time itself. Just think of what happens when you have too much coffee. Or too much to eat. Or too much to drink. Not good right? What about CBD withdrawal? In the eternal words of the famous Greek storyteller Aesop, “It i