How Can CBD Help You With Alcohol and Substance Abuse?

CBD for Substance Abuse

A drink every once in a while is just dandy. Unwind after a long day with a finger or three of scotch. Everything is all good unless you are faced with the inability to abstain and your behavior becomes impaired.

This problem becomes a hindrance to interpersonal relationships and other regular ways of life. On top of it all, you cannot even recognize the significant problems with your behavior. Here is a tid bit, you are abusing alcohol and are addicted.

Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

Addiction and abuse are usually used interchangeably. However, they are a little different. The degree of use and the extent to which life has been disrupted determines whether you are only abusing or addicted.

For an alcohol and substance abuser, they will note the negative side effects of their habits and make positive moves towards changing that. An addicted person might note the negative effects but still keep doing it. This is due to the involvement of the brain in the matter.

Held Hostage By Cravings

Due to the consistent good feeling brought on by using the substance in question, your brain will ensure you continue doing it. It is just the natural wiring, to keep doing what makes us feel good.

Your brain gets used to the extra dopamine produced. The period without the stimulation is riddled with craving which is an attempt for your brain to restore the positive sensation. If it does not happen, it retaliates with withdrawal symptoms.


This is a mechanism for your brain to ask for the reinforcement it had gotten used to. Your body does not develop tolerance for the drug and/or alcohol because of acceptance. It develops tolerance because the parts of your body meant to object to the element are gradually dying off.

Consequences of Quitting or Trying to Quit

Withdrawal symptoms come in the form of depression, irritability, anxiety, severe fatigue, heart palpitation, tremors, seizures, and delirium tremens.

Delirium tremens accounts for up to 5% of alcohol withdrawal caused deaths. It is a combination of seizures, hallucinations and other neuro issues.

Risk Factors

The likelihood of you developing an addiction can be attributed to both your environment and genetic predisposition.

The environments could be poverty, childhood abuse, work related stress, family stress, and social affiliations. Some personality traits are also said to be at a higher risk of developing an addiction.

Thrill seekers, impulsive and aggressive people are more likely to cross the boundary from recreational use to abuse and eventually addiction.

The Approach of Treatments

Most treatments to abate abuse and addiction are focused on your cravings. A very high number of addicts who attempt to cure the condition, relapse within a four-year period.

This is due to the fact that your brain relates some very regular activities with substance use. It might be difficult to completely avoid the stimuli your brain relates to using a substance.

Thus, the need for a treatment regimen that can erase that memory. One that rewires your system such that the stimulus does not stimulate a craving.

A study at Indiana University looked into neurochemial changes associated with alcohol addiction. This and many other studies have proved beyond doubt that the chemical glutamate if tweaked would be effective in curbing cravings.

Glutamate is found in various parts of your brain including the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning. Glutamate accounts for 50% of your synaptic activity unlike the better-known dopamine, which is at less than 10%. It is involved in the reward motivation circuit, which is the basis of addiction.

A study with 35 subjects, 17 of whom were alcohol dependent. The other 18 were not. The level of glutamate was measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy prior to exposure of stimuli.

It was found that there was a decrease in glutamate upon exposure.

CBD on Glutamate

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective way to reduce alcohol and substance abuse. This is in addition to its efficacy in reversing the physical and neurodegenerative effects of your habit.

The first involves working with two aspects of your brain. The first is increasing neurotransmitter activity for glutamate production.

The second is the partial activation of your 5HT1-A serotonin receptor to enhance mood and abate anxiety, two conditions that follow quickly after your road to recovery starts.

A double blind placebo study on heroin addicts proved the potency of CBD. A single dose for three consecutive days was administered 1 hour, 24 hours, and 7 days following the treatment, the subjects were exposed to video and opioid related stimuli.

The CBD group exhibited restraint and hardly a reaction to the stimuli. They experienced little to no cravings. This effect lasted up to seven days.

CBD to Abate Resultant Neurodegeneration

Drug and alcohol abuse over an extended amount of time can lead to neurodegeneration. There is a progressive death of neurons due to the over activation of receptors. CBD has been found after studies to induce neurogenesis. This is the birth of new neurons to replace the dead ones.

CBD for Liver Damage

20% of heavy drinkers suffer from some form of liver problem due to alcohol. The first step is acute alcohol induced steatosis. This is caused by a disruption of function, which leads to fat deposits in your liver.

Your liver is then termed to be a fatty liver. The steatosis leads to a constant inflammation in your liver and cellular stress, which causes alcohol hepatitis.

The situation can then escalate to scarring which is called liver cirrhosis. The last step after this is liver cancer then ultimately death.

A study into the efficacy of cannabis on alcohol caused liver problems showed a 45% reduction in steatosis, 40% reduction in alcohol hepatitis, 55% improvement in cirrhosis and 75% improvement in liver cancer. This is the beginning of reversal of effects.

CBD to Rescue a Weakened Immune System

Substance and alcohol abuse leads to the inhibition of important lymphocytes. These are elements in your immune system whose responsibility is to guard your body from illnesses and infections.

With a weakened immune system, you are left vulnerable to treatable illnesses. This is why most addicts die of very treatable conditions like pneumonia.

CBD smoothens your cell production process. It strengthens your immune system through your endocannabinoid system. With the immunomodulatory properties of CBD, you can go back to being your healthy strong self. Probably healthier and stronger.

CBD for Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction will usually follow after you start to abuse alcohol and other substances. It stems from anxiety due to inability to muster up enthusiasm for the act.

It could also be as a result of trying too hard to hide the habit from a non-using partner. The bottom line is that abuse and addiction will affect your sex life.

CBD will act by both affecting change on the abuse front and then treating the secondary cause of your dysfunction. You may argue that the drugs and alcohol make for a better sexual experience but this observation is based on a long term.

CBD to Repair Skin

After the age of 20, you progressively lose collagen thus the aging look. Then in comes prolonged alcohol and substance use, you lose more skin elasticity. This results in that 10 years older look.

CBD is an antioxidant and works to regulate elastin through working with the endocannabinoid receptors on your skin.

How to Use CBD for Recovery

You must remember to cease your use of the substance prior to beginning your CBD treatment. It is best to administer the CBD after the denial stage has been bypassed and you have reached the acknowledgement stage.

Only then are you most likely to adhere to the requirements of recovery. CBD will combat withdrawal symptoms but that is not to say that recovery will be smooth sailing.

It will still be excruciating until your brain forgets the reward mechanism.

1) CBD Patch

The CBD patch is applied transdermally and absorbed through the blood vessels under your skin into your bloodstream. This way you have a constant supply of CBD throughout the day.

This is both effective and discrete in that it can be hidden under a sleeve. Studies have shown that a little bit of THC in the regimen works to alleviate withdrawal symptoms more effectively. Most patches have a CBD to THC ratio of 1:1.

2) CBD Oil and Tincture

Another way to keep you appropriately supplied with CBD is to infuse the oil or tincture in beverages and food. This method takes some time to effect change but when it does, it is glorious and lasts for a long time.

Even two CBD infused meals in your day will go a long way. One meal should be closer to bedtime. Getting off a habit is disruptive to sleep, the CBD will help you sleep a little better and be less anxious.

Not to mention the sexual experience that will follow after lights off.

3) CBD Topical

Since the disease will affect your skin, it is only prudent to include a topical so that the outlook of your skin is improved both from an intrinsic and extrinsic point.

Topical could be anything from creams to lotions. Even homemade topical will work well to improve your skin.

CBD: The Better Option

The national and global economies lose out on a lot due to alcohol and substance abuse and addiction. The cost of treatments and loss of revenue due to absenteeism is through the roof.

The traditional treatments cause a variety of risks. It may be counterproductive to use something that could potentially harm you to get off another harmful substance.

It is best to involve a medical practitioner when your decision to use CBD as a recovery tool is made.


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