I’m sure you have heard some of the buzz surrounding CBD, maybe you’ve heard that CBD will not give you a buzz while THC will. But what about addiction and withdrawals? What happens if you take CBD often or every day and then suddenly stop? If you quit CBD will you experience any withdrawal or withdrawal-like symptoms? Truthfully speaking, there is no need to worry about this and here’s why.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
For those who don’t know, CBD is the abbreviation for Cannabidiol. If you examine the name closely, you will notice the prefix canna- because CBD is an extract of the cannabis plant. Furthermore, it belongs to a group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
What’s interesting about cannabinoids is their unique ability to interact with a biological system appropriately named the Endocannabinoid System or ECS for short. All humans, mammals, and almost all living creatures have an internal ECS.
Addiction: CBD vs THC
Most people are aware of CBD’s more famous cannabinoid cousin: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, meaning that it causes intoxication (gets you “high”). When people use it excessively it can create a form of addiction known as cannabis use disorder (CUD).
THC can form this addiction because it binds to and activates cannabinoid receptors (known as CB1 and CB2 receptors). These special receptors are spread throughout the body and its various organs.
So, does CBD have the same effects as THC? Not at all! In fact, according to this 2007 study, CBD may actually reverse some of the effects of THC.
Is CBD Addictive?
So we’ve established that CBD will not cause intoxication. One other thing it will not do is create an addiction, but what makes one addictive and the other not?
Do you remember how we discussed the differences between CBD and THC? Well, when THC activates CB1 receptors in the brain, it causes an influx of dopamine in the areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Essentially, this means that the body’s natural reward system has been revved up and the user feels euphoria.
CBD does not cause this flood of dopamine and the user never develops a subconscious reward response because it interacts with receptors differently. While THC binds to receptors, CBD does not. It simply influences the receptors to perform at max functionality. But if CBD has the opposite effects of THC, wouldn’t it logically cause unhappiness or displeasure? Fortunately for us, this is not the case.
CB1/CB2 receptors are part of the ECS which controls various processes in the human body. CBD acts as a modulator and homeostatic regulator to induce a healthy state of balance known as homeostasis.
Can You Develop a Tolerance to CBD?
Another interesting fact about CBD is that there is no need to worry about developing any tolerance. Pharmacologically speaking, tolerance refers to a specific compound’s decreased efficacy following its repeated use. In other words, if you take something for long enough, it eventually won’t work as well and you’ll have to increase the dosage amounts.
This is another way in which CBD is different from THC. According to the research, regular THC use causes tolerance and the dosage amounts to be increased in order to reach the same desired effects. This results in decreased dopamine brain reactivity; suggesting that repeated THC use “burns out” the body’s CB1 receptors.
However, CBD has the opposite effect: it actually increases healthy CB1 activity (without causing intoxication or addiction). Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence that CBD may actually cause reverse tolerance, meaning that users have reported needing less CBD to achieve the same effects.
Can You Get CBD Withdrawal if You Quit?
Absolutely not! There are no withdrawal symptoms from quitting CBD, even if you have been using it for a long time and at relatively high doses. Remember, you may even develop reverse tolerance and can easily decrease your dose while still enjoying all its benefits.
What is Cannabis Withdrawal?
Opposite to CBD, if a person uses marijuana (THC) excessively and develops cannabis use disorder, then they may experience withdrawal symptoms like:
- Feeling irritable
- Feeling weak
- Excessive sweating
- Chronic or acute insomnia
- Feeling restless
- A decrease in appetite
- Nausea and/or abdominal pain
- Powerful cravings for marijuana (THC)
These withdrawal symptoms usually reach their peak within the first 7 days of quitting the substance and can last up to 2 weeks. Furthermore, some other relevant facts about cannabis use disorder include:
- Research from 2015 suggests that women suffer from cannabis use disorder withdrawals more than men. These are still preliminary findings, however, and more research is needed to understand precisely what is happening in this context.
- According to this study from 2008, approximately 30% of marijuana (THC) users will develop some form of a cannabis use disorder, ranging from mild (dependence) to severe (addiction).
- A large-scale study published in 2015 concluded that people who began using marijuana (THC) before the age of 18 are 4 to 7 times more like to develop cannabis use disorder.
Can CBD Decrease THC Withdrawal Symptoms?
Surprisingly, CBD can be used to manage THC withdrawal. Remember, in some respects, CBD and THC are mirror images of each other. As such, it stands to reason that CBD will potentially reverse or mitigate the damaging effects of THC, including its withdrawal symptoms.
As you can see from the wealth of research, CBD does not have any of the potential drawbacks that THC does, which are:
- Addiction (cannabis use disorder)
As a result, CBD is an exceptionally safe product. There are various CBD products available to fit individual needs. Furthermore, because it does not cause any of the above conditions, it can be taken daily. In fact, this will greatly increase its efficacy and efficiency and help the user consistently reach a state of homeostasis.
So, as you can see there’s no need to be afraid of trying CBD, you can try it out worry-free and stop any time with no complications. Why not try some today?