CBD Oil: Superhero for the Opioid Crisis?

CBD Oil: Superhero for the Opioid Crisis?

CBD Oil: Superhero for the Opioid Crisis?

The reality of opioid addiction in America has been a festering secret among many households, with only a few organizations truly devoting their time and energy to illuminating the stronghold that opioids have on several pain sufferers. It’s a simple statement: Stop the opioid crisis. But it is not a simple act, for several reasons.

Opiates are Addictive.

This is a given. However, it’s important to really understand this statement. Many pain sufferers and users would do anything to not feel the chronic conditions that keep them from work, family and daily activities. Opiates are present in a lot of prescription drugs (ex: codeine and hydrocodone). They are prescribed either as a last resort, or a fast relief for chronic pain conditions. When taken, they offer almost immediate relief by creating artificial endorphins in the brain—a lot of them; but, they are just that, ‘artificial’. The user’s own receptors and endocrine system are doing none of the work. They are effectively outsourced. And that’s where the opioid use becomes an issue. The body becomes tricked into feeling these positive feelings only when the drug is present in the user’s system. A body can’t feel ‘good’ or ‘normal’ without the opiate presence. This lends many users to one option: continue taking the opiates.

Opiates Have Side-Effects

You could make the argument that someone under an opiate need should just continue taking the opiates. Apart from the fact that the body’s dependency on anything is very dangerous, there’s another issue. Opiates present a myriad of side-effects that researchers are still uncovering. As of now they include: dizziness, vomiting, hormonal dysfunction and respiratory depression to name a few (very few). Bottom line: they can be unhealthy and dangerous.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction is Expensive

While administrative efforts are exercising their abilities to diminish the opioid crisis, it may fall on financial issues to ultimately decide. It’s not as easy as putting opioid addicts in a room and sweating it out. Weaning from opioid use is hard work; it’s painful and it’s crippling in itself. The legitimate locations and institutions can help, but it comes at a high cost. And it’s a cost that many cannot afford with or without insurance. In fact, research indicates that financial restraints prevent many from seeking help for their opioid addictions.

CBD May be the Answer

Here’s what we do know about CBD oil—according to a survey by Brightfield Group in conjunction with HelloMD, women who use CBD oil are more likely to deter from their “traditional medicine.” In addition, cannabidiol works to balance hormones and help neurotoxicity and ‘modulates’ the parts of the brain that are affected by the opioids. In essence, studies show CBD oil may block the ‘rewarding’ reception of opioids and can be used in aiding in withdrawal symptoms and curbing the desire for opioid intake.  

To date, no research has verified that CBD oil itself causes side-effects or promotes addictive behavior. What’s becoming clear to many is that cannabidiol is not part of a gateway link to harsh substances; instead, for many, it may be a financially optimal, and healthier, route to weaning from addictive behaviors and substances.

Sources:

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/08/02/people-who-use-cannabis-cbd-products-stop-taking-traditional-medicines/#3207929d2817

https://www.projectcbd.org/addiction-alcoholism

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443635