Can CBD Help With Addiction?

Can CBD Help With Addiction?

Authored by Jane Squires

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas Matta

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Key Takeaways

  • CBD oil is a constituent of cannabis

  • When used in its purest form, it is non-psychoactive and non-habit forming

  • CBD is being considered as a potential therapeutic drug for substance abuse sufferers

  •  It is being explored if CBD can control cravings

  • Research done on CBD is limited and the evidence needs to be further backed up

Can CBD be Used to Treat Drug Addiction?


Since the legalization of CBD oil in 2018 in the United States courtesy of the Agriculture Improvement Act, the liquid that brings so many people relief mentally and physically has been a controversial topic.


CBD has been credited, rightly or wrongly, by people for helping with a myriad of issues from anxiety to pain to insomnia. Now, one of the areas CBD could help individuals with is the recovery and treatment of drug addiction.


There is a need for new treatments to be introduced to substance abuse recovery. CBD oil and CBD products could be the next therapeutic treatment option for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.


Questions still remain over whether the use of CBD for drug addiction treatment will really work. However, recovery isn’t just about adhering to certain rules. It is about individuals ending addiction to live a healthier lifestyle for themselves and those people around them.


CBD: What is it?


CBD is everywhere these days. A variety of products on the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy has it as an ingredient. There are also stores now dedicated to selling CBD products and marketing them as an all-new wellness item to help you live better. But what is CBD?


CBD is derived from marijuana. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is one of the hundreds of active ingredients found in cannabis. In the United States, more and more states are legalizing the use of marijuana for either recreational or medical usage. As the legalization of marijuana increases, the accessibility and use of CBD will too.


The oil is a constituent of cannabis. When used in its purest form, it is non-psychoactive and non-habit forming. Due to it being non-addictive, CBD is a very attractive potential therapeutic drug for substance abuse sufferers1Prud’homme, Mélissa, et al. “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), 21 May 2015,

Can CBD Help With Substance Abuse Treatment?


In addition to research into mental health and pain management, investigators are looking at CBD’s ability to possibly manage the symptoms of substance abuse. Research suggests the mental health conditions that many drug and/ alcohol users present can be reduced by using CBD as part of treatment.


Issues such as mood swings, sleeplessness, pain, anxiety, and depression can be reduced and managed by adding CBD to treatment. Individuals going through detox or treatment recovery could benefit greatly from the substance.


Opioid addition is a major problem globally and CBD could help individuals overcome it. Specific cannabinoid receptors and opioid receptors are co-localized in the brain. CBD could help withdrawal and detox from opioids due to the impact they make on the receptors. Both withdrawal and detox could be eased.


Opioid addiction typically occurs due to the amount of pain individuals suffer. CBD is a pain management substance that offers relief to users. CBD could reduce the symptoms of pain, preventing individuals from using opioids and becoming addicted to them. CBD could stop opioid addiction before it begins.


Research has also shown CBD’s possible effectiveness for cocaine and methamphetamine users. Moreover, the cravings that drug addiction cause could be reduced.

How safe is CBD to Use for Addiction Recovery?


CBD is believed to be a very safe medication to help people with substance abuse treatment and medical issues. Compared to some of the medications available, CBD offers a potentially safer option. Due to CBD’s low dependency risk, users may be able to use the substance without worrying about long-term addiction. The same cannot be said for medications such as opioids.


As it stands, there are no reports of CBD causing long-term health issues in the general public. However, the research done on CBD is limited and the evidence to support its use needs to be further backed up. The long-term effect of CBD on humans is one area that still needs to be explored.


CBD for Addiction Recovery – Sumamry


Since CBD is believed to be non-addictive, individuals that use it during substance abuse treatment recovery or after don’t have to worry about becoming addicted to something else. Individuals can maintain sobriety while using CBD to treat various issues.


A person’s definition of sobriety may change over time. Therefore, it is important for all individuals to decide whether or not CBD fits into their pathway of recovery.


Next: CHS Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

  • 1
    Prud’homme, Mélissa, et al. “Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), 21 May 2015,
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