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Using Hemp CBD With Withdrawal Symptoms

To understand withdrawal it’s important to understand addiction.


Up until the 1930's addiction was believed to be a moral problem or perhaps lack of willpower. Those who had any addiction other than tobacco were often punished for it and definitely shunned. According to an article in the Harvard Newsletter we now know that addiction “hijacks the brain.”

There are three ways that it does this. The first is by craving the item or items causing the addiction. The second is not having any control over using it and the third is knowing it is doing something bad but being unable to stop doing it.

When it comes to withdrawal there can be added problems because the substance or substances have made changes in the body. Not all things that are addicting cause the same physical symptoms. However CBD could be able to help many of these physical challenges as well as some of the mental ones.

Tobacco: Anyone who has ever tried to help a long-term smoker quit knows that it is extremely hard. Besides the cravings the person will most likely be irritable and anxious. Difficulty concentrating is reported as is insomnia. Because nicotine is an appetite suppressant those who quit are likely to eat more. As it is also a metabolic stimulant they are also likely to be more sluggish. These both lead to weight gain.

Quitting the use of tobacco also has a societal type problem. Smokers have little rituals they do when preparing to smoke. One person told an interviewer that he didn’t know what to do with his hands because he no longer did those things. Another is that smokers often have friends who smoke. Quitting puts a strain on that relationship as well as endangers the former smoker to light up again.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine focused on whether or not CBD could help with withdrawal symptoms from nicotine. The study participants weren’t actually looking to quit smoking which made them ideal for the experiment. After two days without smoking half the participants received CBD and the other half received a placebo. When tested those who took the CBD clearly benefited. They felt the same satiation as if they had smoked. The others did not.

Heroin and opioids:

At first these drugs were a godsend. They could help relieve some of the most severe pain. Unfortunately it only takes a few weeks on this class of drugs to become dependent. While some of the statistics are dated they do point out how we got into this crisis. In 2016 doctors prescribed two hundred fourteen million opioids. Eleven million people were abusing the drugs and about a thousand a day had to go to the emergency room for overdoses. Two thirds of the overdose deaths that year involved opioids.

Nearly one million people used heroin in that time frame. More are turning to it as doctors are now cutting back on the amount of opioids they are willing to prescribe. Some of these are people who are in severe pain and others have become addicted. The fastest growing segment of those who are beginning to use the drug are young people… those between eighteen and twenty-five. The use of heroin is worse in many ways. One of those is it only takes a few uses of the drug to become addicted.

The withdrawal symptoms for these are similar and a lot worse than tobacco. The first symptoms are muscle aches, a runny nose, yawning, anxiety and insomnia. After that the pupils dilate, the person starts sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and goosebumps.

The good news is that the endocannabinoid system and the opioidergic system are closely related. Preliminary studies suggest that this makes CBD a viable therapy for the symptoms of withdrawal and the cravings. It is also more readily available and in sufficient quantities than some of the current treatments.

Meth Problem:

Crystal methamphetamine is a growing problem in the United States. In 2017 there were around a million people who were dealing with the addiction and/or withdrawal. Of those sixteen thousand of them were children between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

Meth causes a lot of health problems on its own. A condition called “meth mouth” is prevalent and is characterized with missing teeth and gum disease. According to the CDC overdose deaths are rising rapidly.

While withdrawal from meth use is not as physically painful as opioids the mental and emotional aspects of it are very hard to deal with. Meth use increases the dopamine in the brain significantly. About twenty-four hours after it’s stopped the dopamine disappears. A condition called anhedonia develops and leaves the person deeply depressed, lacking motivation and having difficulties liking anything. The depression can get so intense that the person will go back to meth to relieve it.

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that high doses of CBD may reduce the depression and the craving for the drug. This study was done using pigs and will probably be studied for quite some time before there are human trials, but it is promising.


This drug is made from the coca plant grown in South America. Scientists believe it first grew in the Amazon rain forest and then spread to the Andes. The indigenous people of these areas pick and chew the leaves and have for centuries as it is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the region. Some say it’s how the people that live high in the Andes Mountains can handle the altitude.

In the 1860 a German scientist isolated the active principle of the leaf, cocaine. One of his observations was that it numbed his tongue. The numbing aspect of this chemical has since found its way into dental procedures, sunburn products and other topical pain relief.

At first it was declared a wonder drug. The French bottled it in wine and the original formula for Coca-Cola contained the drug. However it soon became apparent that cocaine was addictive. The first of the U.S. drug laws, the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 outlawed cocaine and opium products.

That hasn’t stopped the sale and use. In the 1970s so much of the white powder was available in the U.S. that dealers began looking for a new way to market it. That’s how crack cocaine was developed. It produces a high that only lasts a short time but is very intense. It is also far more addictive.

The signs of addiction are in some ways similar to that of meth as both are psycho stimulants. The person may become more talkative, energetic and in many cases more aggressive. If they are snorting it there may be white powder around their noses. Those who inject will have needle tracks. Signs of smoking it don’t have the latter two giveaways.

As the addiction continues the person will probably have financial problems due to the expense. Nosebleeds, lack of self-care and moodiness. Withdrawal symptoms are similar to meth and other drugs with the exception that going cold-turkey without medical help could be deadly. It can cause cardiac problems as well as seizures.

Several studies have been done on how CBD can help with the symptoms of withdrawal that involve relapse, nausea, vomiting and so forth. More research is needed for further uses. However when it comes to cocaine addiction it is very important to have a medically supervised withdrawal in order to prevent heart attacks and other major problems.


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