Is CBD addictive?

by Chloe Palmer

CBD products are becoming ever-present, and like many other supplements and treatments, its rising popularity provokes many misconceptions. While it is a fantastic compound that some people may use to relax or get better sleep, the myths surrounding it cause some to avoid it and potentially lose out on the marvellous benefits it may provide.

One of these misconceptions is the question of dependence. Being a soothing compound, people may consider the possibility of addiction. These concerns are often magnified as a result of knowing that CBD can be extracted from the same plant family as cannabis, which is an illegal substance in the UK. So, is CBD oil addictive? Let's find out.

Is CBD addictive?

CBD does not have an addictive effect, as it is not psychoactive. In the UK, CBD is exclusively produced from the hemp plant — while it is of the same species as cannabis, it does not contain THC. This is known for producing feelings of euphoria. So, THC has the potential to cause addiction because it attaches to the endocannabinoid receptors that are located in areas of the brain which influence pleasure. CBD does not have the ability to do this. Research shows that it has the same effect as a placebo in a trial studying CBD and THC, meaning it doesn’t cause any behavioural or physiological effects.

What are the benefits of CBD? 

Now that we know CBD is not addictive, you may be left wondering why people use it in the first place. This can be easily cleared up, as many medical professionals have studied the potential benefits of CBD. Although research into this field is still in its infancy, what we do know looks promising.

Improves anxiety 

There is some evidence that CBD can be prescribed as a treatment for anxiety disorders. A large retrospective case series of people with anxiety found that 79.2% of patients experienced a decrease in their symptoms, starting within the first month of taking the CBD capsules and sustaining for the duration of the study.

Combats depression

While research on the effects of CBD regarding depression is in its early stages, some animal studies have shown that the compound can induce quick and sustained antidepressant-like effects. In humans, CBD was shown to help tackle stress which is hypothesised to be the cause of many people’s depression.

Mitigates inflammation

CBD may possess some anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, which can help combat diseases that usually go hand in hand with oxidative stress. 

Regulates the immune system

Our immune system is often unbalanced, and strengthening it, especially during flu season, is essential for our health and wellbeing. By interacting with the Endocannabinoid System, CBD has the potential to balance the immune system as it activates TRPV2, a protein that aids the communication of cells within our body’s and plays an important role in a healthy immune function.

What are the adverse side-effects of CBD? 

CBD may offer a world of benefits to people and does not cause addiction, but it can have some adverse side-effects. These are not typical, as CBD is generally tolerated well by most individuals in varying quantities. That said, it can be a case of trial and error to determine your correct dose. Though, the most common side-effects are mild — we recommend starting with a low dose between 15-30mg a day. You may experience effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dizziness, drowsiness and nausea
  • Fertility problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Mood changes
  • Diarrhoea

Summary

There is no evidence to suggest that CBD can cause addiction. It’s perfectly safe and legal to use, and the potential it has for your health is why so many people are getting their hands on the latest CBD products available. Of course, it’s important to remember that research is still very much underway, but what we do already know is positive. However, some side-effects can occur naturally when taking the compound — you’ll want to check out any potential interactions with current medicines you are taking. Starting with low doses is always recommended, and consulting with your GP before introducing CBD into your daily routine is also a good starting point.

If you're ready to start your CBD journey, why not try our flavoured oils or drinks?

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