Alcoholism is on the rise, with it now affecting one in eight adults in the United States.
You read that right. Today, almost 13% of the U.S. population is positive for alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol doesn’t only make people do stupid stuff. That’s bad enough as it is, but what’s worse is how it causes pancreatitis, liver diseases, cancer, and so much more.
Then, there’s the fact that alcohol claims 88 thousand lives in the country every year. No wonder alcoholism is the third-leading preventable cause of death in the nation.
Here’s some good news though: CBD oil and alcohol use disorder seems to be a great fit. Several studies have found that this marijuana compound can help prevent relapse.
But what exactly is CBD oil and what role does it play in an alcoholic’s treatment? Keep reading, as we’ll uncover the truth behind this so-called miracle cannabis compound!
What in the World is CBD?
To understand how CBD for alcoholism works, let’s talk about three-letter acronym first.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the 420 (no joke!) something constituents of cannabis. To be more precise, it’s one of the 60+ known cannabinoids found in both the hemp and marijuana plants.
Cannabinoids are the naturally-occurring compounds that give the cannabis plant its trademark effects. By that, we mean its recreational (AKA the high), medicinal, and therapeutic effects.
Although CBD is a cannabinoid, it doesn’t mean it’ll leave you in a psychoactive state. It’s the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that has that effect. That’s why pure CBD oil doesn’t make its users high — it only gives them relief from various health problems.
Yes, in case you haven’t heard yet, studies have found CBD to help with conditions like back pain. In fact, most people cite pain-relief as their main reason for using medical cannabis. Many studies, like this one, showed CBD’s effectiveness in pain management.
The Link between CBD Oil and Alcohol Consumption Reduction
So, what’s the link between CBD oil and alcoholism then? One way to look at this is how people with chronic pain turn to alcohol for pain relief. Recent studies show that over a quarter of them do exactly that.
One study also discovered as many as 25% of people suffering from tooth, jaw, or arthritis pain also do this! They use alcohol as a form of self-medication for the pain they’re experiencing.
Then, there’s the fact that one in five people with social anxiety disorder also depend on or abuse alcohol. Many of them drink copious amounts of alcohol to help ease the extreme worries they feel.
Aside from the risk of alcohol abuse, this also makes them more susceptible to other ailments. Especially those that arise from excessive alcohol consumption. Nerve, liver, and brain damage are only a few such effects.
Whereas extensive research on CBD in humans confirmed its “favorable safety profile“. Its use can still cause some side effects, such as diarrhea and tiredness. But as you can see, these are still far less severe than what alcohol can cause.
Also, in comparison with the drugs used for these conditions, CBD is way tamer. You only have to think of the 72,000 lives lost in 2017 due to pain-relieving opioid overdoses.
A study also found a link between anti-anxiety drugs and increased death risk. University of Warwick researchers noted that some of these drugs double mortality risk.
CBD and Its Impact on Substance Abuse and Addiction Relapse
Aside from helping prevent substance addiction, CBD may also help prevent relapses. In one study, researchers gave CBD oil to rats that consumed alcohol or cocaine on a daily basis. They administered CBD in gel form for one week.
After only a week, the scientists found that CBD led to the subjects taking less alcohol and cocaine! They consumed less of the substances even when in high-anxiety situations. The study also noted reduced anxiousness and impulsiveness in the rats.
But that’s not the end of the story! The study also found that even after CBD exited the rats’ system, they still had a lower relapse rate. They exhibited the reduced relapse rate five months after the treatment.
This came as a (welcome) surprise to the researchers, who said that it was “quite unexpected”. Of course, they noted that this needs more research, but their initial findings are still a huge deal.
Especially to the thousands and thousands suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
Seeking Professional Help for Alcohol Abuse or Substance Addiction
If you or anyone you care for suffers from alcoholism or substance addiction, CBD oil may serve as a way to curb it. But don’t forget that it’s best to seek the help of professionals who deal with these conditions. Rehabilitation centers that provide custom treatment plans, such as Chateau Recovery, can help.
What’s important is to acknowledge one’s dependence or addiction to a substance. Acknowledgment is key to realizing that one needs help in the first place. From there, surrounding oneself with compassionate people can make their recovery more achievable.
CBD in Your Day Can Keep the Addiction Away
The link between CBD oil and alcohol no doubt needs further examination. But as mentioned above, cannabidiol holds great promise for alcoholics (and addicts). Not only them, but also those with chronic pain, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s disease!
With the long list of CBD benefits, it can be the all-natural treatment to health issues you suffer from. Plus, high-quality CBD products from hemp are legal, so no need to worry about that too. You only have to make sure you source them from a reliable manufacturer.
Want more insider info on how CBD works? In that case, check out our extensive guide on cannabidiol.