The cannabis plant has long been used to treat a wide variety of mental and physical ailments, diseases and illnesses. The most popular use of the plant is for its THC content, which causes feelings of euphoria. Another chemical that can be extracted from the plant is CBD, or cannabidiol. This compound does not cause an altered mental state in any capacity, but still has healing effects. CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, although there are numerous strains that contain equal levels THC and CBD, as well as strains that contain much higher levels of CBD than THC.
Strains that contain high levels of CBD between 15-25 percent include Harlequin, Ringo’s Gift, Sweet and Sour Widow, Stephen Hawking Kush, AC/DC, Cannatonic, Harle-Tsu, Canna-Tsu, Sour Tsunami, Pennywise, Charlotte’s Web, CBD Mango Haze, Corazon, Blue Dragon Desert Frost, Valentine X, and CBD Critical Mass.
The legal battle to get CBD made into a legal product in the medical field has been long, but recently the federal government declared that CBD derived from hemp is legal. Hemp, which has very low THC levels, has been used for centuries to make textiles, clothing, rope, food, paper, and more! There are still several states that restrict access to any medical or recreational products deriving from cannabis, and therefore CBD is illegal in those states.
In states where CBD is legal and readily available, many rehab centers are using different forms of the chemical to curb the urges that patients experience from drug withdrawal. Small numbers of rehabilitation treatment centers are even using THC to treat their patients going through a detox, though this is much more controversial and can come with adverse outcomes, such as a developed dependence on marijuana.
A recent study that was published in spring of 2019 involved a controlled experiment on both the immediate and prolonged effects of using CBD on patients who have just recently stopped using heroin after a long period of addiction. According to the results, when patients were put into a setting where craving-inducing cues were laid out, those who took the CBD reported lower levels of urges to use the drug again.
This study concludes that the research performed has strong implications of possible benefits that could arise in the future with the use of CBD in controlled settings to treat drug-related cravings. When addicts are attempting to get clean, the biggest risk in treatment is the possibility of a relapse. Many addicts do not make it through treatment the first time, and have to return to try again. When the possibility of a relapse is eliminated, the chances of making a full recovery and getting sober goes way up.
The authors of the study emphasize that self-medicating with CBD when going through a heroin withdrawal is not safe, and that many CBD products on the market are mislabeled and riddled with misleading information. Despite this, the use of CBD in controlled settings for recovering addicts is growing in popularity, and anyone suffering from addiction should speak to their doctor about the possibility of using CBD to aid their recovery process.