Is CBD oil addictive?
November, 13, 2020 | posted in
Are you worried that you may become addicted to CBD oil? You needn’t be! Is CBD oil addictive? It’s a common question we at HempMeds® get asked by consumers who are interested in the natural benefits of cannabidiol, but are concerned whether it has addiction potential.
It’s true that marijuana addiction, though rare, is a real possibility. But what about CBD oil that’s made from the other Cannabis sativa plant — hemp?
In short, no. CBD oil is not addictive. Here’s a look at why:
What makes a substance addictive (or not)
Addiction is a chronic and often relapsing brain condition that compels a person to seek a particular substance, regardless of whether it holds harmful consequences. The reason that addiction is called a brain disease is because over time, repeatedly taking a particular substance can actually change the structure and function of the brain.
Whether a substance can be addictive depends on whether it disrupts the ways nerve cells in the brain send, receive, and process information.
Nearly all potentially-addictive substances target the brain’s dopamine-based reward system. Often called the “pleasure hormone,” dopamine produces feelings of happiness or euphoria when released in the brain.
Substances that overstimulate this reward system, which is typically only triggered during survival events like eating or spending time with loved ones, sets in motion a pattern that teaches people to repeat the behavior.
Over time, the regular use of the substance causes the brain to adapt to those surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine on its own. This forces a person to keep using drugs to experience happiness again.
What’s in CBD oil?
Before we dive into why CBD oil is not addictive, it’s best if we do a quick refresher course on what is in CBD hemp oil.
Extracted from the inflorescences of cannabis (hemp) plants, CBD hemp oil is dominated by cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring and non-psychoactive cannabinoid that interacts with our native systems.
Full spectrum CBD oil also contains other relevant substances such as terpenes, flavonoids and trace levels of other dozen different cannabinoids.
Unlike marijuana, CBD hemp oil contains only trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive cannabinoid known to cause a high. This means that CBD oil, which instead is made up mostly of CBD, won’t cause you to experience any intoxicating effects.
Are any of the substances in CBD oil addictive?
First of all, it’s important to understand that CBD oil is not addictive. This is because it contains little to no THC.
You may have heard of the term “cannabis use disorder,” a condition related to the use of marijuana. Cannabis use disorder is listed in the official manual of psychiatric diagnostics (the DSM-5) and defined as “the continued use of cannabis despite clinically significant impairment, ranging from mild to severe.”
It’s the active ingredient in marijuana – THC – that causes it to be addictive in some people.
THC directly binds with the brain’s cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. It’s this action on the CB1 receptors that is responsible for triggering the intoxicating effects often associated with marijuana use.
Researchers have also found that activating CB1 receptors affects the brain’s reward system and the release of the “pleasure hormone,” dopamine, explaining why THC can be addictive.
Because CBD oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC cannabis plants, it is non-addictive. CBD does not stimulate the brain’s dopamine-based reward system.
A report last year by the World Health Organization, a United Nations agency that focuses on public health, declared that CBD is non-addictive, writing, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” According to WebMD, CBD is well-tolerated and safe for human consumption.
What about CBD oil that contains trace amounts of THC?
It’s true that CBD oil can contain very small amounts of THC. However, the amount of THC found in hemp-derived CBD is almost zero. It is by far less than the amount needed to cause a high or carry an addiction risk.
While marijuana typically contains THC levels ranging from 10% to as much as 30%, hemp-derived CBD oil has no more than 0.3% THC.
CBD even serves as a “negative allosteric modulator” of CB1 receptors. This means that CBD actually reduces the binding effect of THC with the cannabinoid receptors, toning down its effects. Neuroscientists from Indiana University recently found evidence that CBD protects from the negative effects of THC.
Can you take too much CBD?
Consuming CBD oil products is a low-risk endeavor. CBD is considered to be safe and non-toxic for humans, even at high amounts.
The side effects that are possible with CBD are minimal and often easily alleviated. Dry mouth, low blood pressure and drowsiness are the most common side effects tied to CBD. CBD oil can also have a soothing, calming effect. Many of our customers have reported feeling “relaxed” after taking their serving.
There are no reported cases, ever, of a CBD or cannabis overdose causing death. This is possibly because CBD and the other cannabinoids found in cannabis do not interact with receptors in the brainstem, the back part of the brain that controls breathing and heart rate.
Even large doses of CBD have been found to be safe. In 2011, researchers investigating the safety profile of CBD administration in humans concluded that chronic use at high doses of up to 1,500 mg of CBD per day was well tolerated. Five years later, another review found the same results, confirming the excellent safety profile of CBD.
While there are no known serious side effects of taking too much CBD, when starting a new CBD oil routine it is suggested that you begin with a low potency and gradually increase your intake of CBD as you best see fit.
Get started with CBD oil
Still have questions? A HempMeds® rep would be happy to discuss CBD and answer any questions you may have about our CBD products to the best of our knowledge. You can visit our site or call +1 866-273-8502 today.
For Wholesale CBD orders, visit here, or become a HempMeds® Affiliate.