Deciding to quit alcohol is enormous. It's a crucial step in your life and to be applauded. But it isn't easy. It is mentally and physically tough. Many alcoholics are entirely dependent on it to function, and their body finds it hard to work without alcohol. That makes it even tougher to stop. Can CBD aid alcohol withdrawal?
CBD Takes the Edge off Withdrawal Symptoms
Perhaps you're aware of the current attention CBD is attracting as a cure-all. It isn't, not just yet anyway. However, CBD does help a large number of people with a wide range of medical issues, like inflammation, anxiety, and managing chronic pain. Now CBD can help people going through alcohol withdrawal. Many are using it to help relieve the unpleasant symptoms that accompany the process.
CBD can take the edge off the symptoms. It can help get someone back into their daily routine faster. CBD is known to help relieve stress and anxiety, which are common side effects of withdrawing from alcohol. Individuals may also experience physical discomfort and CBD can alleviate that too It also works to repair the body.
Research into CBD is Lacking
Research into the possible benefits of CBD on alcohol withdrawal is thin on the ground. It's an area that would yield so many benefits. Did you know the USA collects over $10 billion each year in excise tax revenues from the liquor industry? If CBD research scientists received even a small percentage of that amount, they could make real progress in so many areas.
However, it looks positive that CBD does help people trying to cope with withdrawing from alcohol. It's a chronic illness, and individuals suffering from it need as much help and support as possible.
20 Million Americans Need Help to Quit Alcohol
Alcoholism is a significant health concern in America today. In 2018, twenty million Americans identified as alcoholics or had a drinking problem. Alcohol abuse in the U.S. causes the deaths of more than 100,000 people annually, and it's rising. The total cost to the economy in the same period reached almost a quarter of a trillion dollars. Yes, you read that right – a quarter of a trillion dollars. Alcoholism is a significant drain on our economy.
Abruptly stopping drinking is almost impossible; many find that gradually reducing their alcohol intake is the best technique and are already using CBD to assist with this process, which appears to work. Taking CBD with alcohol isn't dangerous. The benefit is, it reduces the effects of alcohol on the body.
Alcohol plays a central role in two-thirds of all cases of violence between individuals, friends, and family in the United States. Excessive drinking is responsible for 100,000 sexual assaults among young people each year and more than 100,000 annual deaths. [Source].
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
To appreciate how CBD can help, we need to look at the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body. I know it's a mouthful, but please watch this short video by the Canna Foundation, which is a world leader in Cannabis research. It makes it easy to understand.
If you wish to watch the video later, the graphic below illustrates the extensive reach of the ECS in our body.
The Endocannabinoid System
CBD Does Help With Alcohol Withdrawal: Some Recent Research
A study carried out by the University of San Diego in 2009 discovered that adolescents who smoked cannabis were less susceptible to brain damage from binge drinking. The journal 'Neurotoxicology and Teratology' presented the clinical data showing that compounds in cannabis helped to 'protect the human brain against alcohol-induced damage.'
The 'American Journal of Psychiatry' published a study on CBD. It reported the 'potential of CBD to reduce craving and anxiety,' which are two related characteristics of addiction that often contribute to relapse.
The study showed that in those given CBD, it resulted in a decreased heart rate and cortisol levels. There were no cognitive issues and no serious adverse effects. CBD's potential to reduce alcohol cravings and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation.
Latest Study - 2019
A further experimental study published in early 2019 found that CBD reduced the amount of alcohol consumed in animal models of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Additionally, CBD lowered fibrosis in the liver by reducing inflammation and stress, as well as lessened damage to the brain due to alcohol consumption.
The goal of the study was to emphasis the beneficial uses of CBD in alcohol withdrawal in AUD and the possibilities for improving or even preventing damage to the brain and the liver.
Please have a look at the results here:
In a recent study carried out by the Universities of Kentucky and Maryland, they established that 'a compound in cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) could be used to prevent alcohol-induced brain damage.'
Few studies have examined the effects of CBD on alcohol-related issues. The Journal' Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior' published the findings in September of 2013.
The study outlined how extreme alcohol consumption could result in brain damage as well as behavioural and reasoning impairments, which are believed to contribute to the long term and repeated lapsing nature of alcoholism.
Is CBD a Hangover Cure-All?
When we get drunk, the alcohol affects receptors in our brain and this in turn affects the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) ability to function correctly. However, CBD has been proven to assist getting it back into balance or homeostasis.
The common effects of a hangover (as though you need reminding!) include vomiting and nausea, dehydration, anxiety and lethargy.
CBD does help alleviate nausea. It is currently used to treat the same condition in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Anxiety is also reduced proven by recent research (see studies above). Because CBD starts to re-balance your system quickly after taking it, you should feel better quicker.
If you take CBD along with alcohol or before you go out for a heavy session, it has been shown to reduce alcohol intake, and it works actively to protect your brain from the effects of alcohol.
The bottom line is CBD is worth trying, it is not dangerous to take in the recommended dosage with alcohol, so the least it’s going to do ease the effects and maybe even reduce the amount you drink.
It may not be a cure-all solution to a hangover, but it is definitely worth a shot!
The Results are Positive - CBD Works
Preliminary results suggest that CBD can help reduce alcohol consumption and theoretically protect against specific harmful effects of alcohol, like liver and brain damage.
As a result of their findings, they decided to study the use of transdermal skin patches to deliver CBD to treat alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. After the study, results verified the viability of using CBD patches for the procedure.
A Recent Breakthrough
The cannabis industry welcomed a recent announcement by Vektor Pharma TF GmbH. Vektor has years of experience developing delivery methods for established pain narcotics to patients. Recent research has concentrated on cannabis delivery and dosage systems where high bioavailability with meticulous, repeatable, and continuous dosing is essential.
Results from initial studies using Vektor's oral or patch systems for CBD have been extremely positive. They deliver crucial timing and efficiency advantages over other standard oral methods. The preliminary results are in Figure 2 below.
The conclusion is that CBD can aid alcohol withdrawal. It actively alleviates the symptoms associated with the process. Also, it helps repair the body, and it works to protect the brain, liver, and heart as well as other vital organs. A bonus is it helps ease the effects of your hangover.
Hopefully, CBD can one day be prescribed as a patch (like the nicotine patches we all know), to deliver controlled accurate doses of the medication. The patches will enable anyone fighting addiction to lead a normal functioning life again while working at beating the addiction. It will make a massive difference to many lives.
The savings to the country would also be significant. Remember the quarter-trillion dollars it costs today?
Until then, you can buy CBD products legally, to benefit instantly.
I will leave the last word to the famous comedian Lord Buckley. The New York Times said he was 'an unlikely persona… part English royalty and part Dizzie Gillespie.'
He said: "Smoke a thousand joints, but never open up the bottle. No one ever won the war against John Barleycorn." - Lord Buckley.
Always speak with your medical professional before taking CBD and make sure you buy it from a reputable source with a COA, so you know what is in the preparation you are taking.