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Can You Experience CBD Withdrawal?

canabidiol-withdrawl CBD Withdrawal

Being popularly used as an alternative therapy, cannabidiol (CBD) is prescribed for health issues like anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and even addictions. However, do CBD products cause withdrawal symptoms like antidepressants once you stop taking them?

Though research on the effects and safety of CBD is in the nascent stage, what's widely known is that the side effects of CBD withdrawal are minimal, making it entirely safe for use. On the contrary, CBD is being used to cope with withdrawal symptoms caused by other drugs. Coming from the cannabis plant, well known for its psychoactive compounds, why does the use of CBD products not cause withdrawal symptoms? Find out below.

  1. Dopamine release:
    Using addictive substances leads to the release of dopamine, the chemical responsible for the euphoric feeling. Dopamine makes the body dependent on the substance, causing withdrawal symptoms. Such withdrawal symptoms can be seen in products like nicotine and opioids. As CBD doesn't release excessive dopamine, it doesn't trigger euphoria. This is one of the main reasons behind the popularity of CBD products for treating a host of illnesses.
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    Since CBD is not addictive and helps balance the neurotransmitters in the brain, it doesn't cause any withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

  2. Difference between THC and CBD: Extracted from the same plant, both the compounds (THC and CBD) have different properties. While THC is addictive, CBD isn't. The main difference lies in how each compound impacts the body by interacting with receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. Repeated binding of a compound to the receptors causes addition. THC binds itself to receptors and causes addiction, whereas CBD doesn't bind itself to the receptors. THC changes the information processed in your brain leading to delusions and hallucinations. On the other hand, CBD isn't psychoactive.

  3. Level of THC in CBD products: We know that THC is addictive, and many CBD products contain some amount of THC. Thus, to know whether a CBD product will cause any withdrawal symptoms or not, you need to know the THC content of the product.

    CBD oil is extracted from either hemp or marijuana. CBD extracted from hemp contains very little THC (less than 0.3%) and doesn't put the user at the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Unlike CBD from hemp plants, CBD from marijuana usually contain levels of THC that exceed the recommended limit of 0.3%. CBD oils with less than 0.3% THC are only found in the US.

  4. CBD for treating withdrawal symptoms: If you're taking conventional pain killers, you are already aware of how quickly addiction can happen. You also know how difficult it is to overcome any addiction. This is where CBD is known to help. Its antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties play a significant role in reducing symptoms like depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety.

    When used in the intoxication phase, CBD can reduce the euphoric sensation, the prime reason for addiction. While in the withdrawal stage, it reduces the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. Thus, CBD is considered safe for treating addiction. It's also considered one of the safest therapies for those going through the withdrawal phase of addiction.

  5. Tolerance to CBD: CBD oil is known to regulate the reward system and since it interacts indirectly with the brain's receptors, it doesn't cause any addiction. However, is it something that the body gets used to after repeated use? The answer is no. Studies suggest that CBD has a neuroprotective effect without developing tolerance after repeated use.

  6. Minimal side effects: Most CBD products with less than 0.3% THC have minimal side effects like drowsiness and fatigue. Since it has a low risk of addiction and substance abuse, CBD withdrawal symptoms are minimal when compared to its healing benefits.

  7. Stopping the use of CBD: Though CBD may itself have no withdrawal symptoms after you stop using it, the symptoms of the disease you were treating may resurface. Even then, these symptoms won't be as strong as those compared to other medications like prescription opiates. 

Conclusion: It's proven that CBD remains safe for use even in high dosages. Since CBD is not addictive, its withdrawal symptoms are minimal. CBD has been used effectively to treat epilepsy in children and is beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. CBD has also been used to treat chronic pain conditions like arthritis.

Although CBD is often prescribed by herbalists for various purposes, it's advisable to talk to your doctor if you want to switch from pharmaceuticals to using CBD. It's important to talk to your doctor about this shift as a doctor can help you with your treatment plan and monitor you closely. 

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