A new study has found that taking CBD capsules nearly halved the amount of cannabis smoked by a group of people with a “severe” cannabis addiction.
The study – which hasn’t been published yet but the results of which were presented at New Scientist Live this week – found a four-week course of CBD was remarkable effective for people trying to overcome cannabis dependence.
Is cannabis addictive?
While cannabis has numerous health benefits and can be a positive addition to many people’s lives, it can also cause serious negative effects if abused.
Estimates suggest that one in ten people who consume cannabis become dependent on it. I was one of those people. Interestingly, the same ratio of addiction applies to many other substances.
Truth about addiction
As I point out in my book, Overcoming Cannabis Dependence, this is because it is not the substance which is the driver of the addiction, it is the environment of the person (internal and external).
Substances provide relief from a negative environment – whether that’s a physical environment (a dysfunctional family home, for example) or a mental one (depression or anxiety, for example).
While some substances do create a physical dependence, all addictions are based on the desire of relief from a reality where needs are not being met.
CBD for addiction
Fascinatingly, CBD is showing great promise at treating addiction. A number of studies have shown it to be effective in the treatment of alcohol, opioid, cocaine, amphetamine, tobacco and cannabis addiction.
It seems that CBD inhibits the reward facilitating effects of many drugs, alters the attention bias of the brain (making triggers less triggering), while also reducing common drug withdrawal symptoms.
CBD also regulates emotions and reduces anxiety, which can help someone with a substance use disorder.
The new study
The new study saw 82 people – all classed as severely addicted to cannabis – given one of three different doses of CBD or placebo capsules, as well as psychological support.
While the lowest dose, which wasn’t mentioned in the article, didn’t work, the middle dose of 400 milligrams worked best. The highest dose of 800 milligrams was slightly less effective than the middle one.
What’s more surprising is that after six months, the group that received the 400mg dose halved the amount used compared with placebo.
The 400mg dose also more than doubled the number of days when people had no THC in their urine – urine analysis was used to gauge cannabis usage.
Using CBD to overcome cannabis dependence
In my book, I detail how CBD helped me take control of my cannabis usage and develop a healthy relationship with the plant.
I also outline techniques, products and consumption methods so that anyone can easily reduce their usage with minimal cravings or withdrawal effects.