Is CBD addictive?

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Without a doubt, the popularity of CBD products is exploding. Many people may wonder: what are the possible side effects? Should one be concerned using CBD? Reasonable questions. Although safety data on cannabinoids is sorely lacking due to the ridiculous Drug War, some studies are now being done. In the March 2020 issue of Epilepsy and Behavior ( https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.106938 ) one such study was just published.

The authors were interested in finding if oral CBD administration is addictive. They dosed healthy folks with 750 mg of CBD twice a day for a month, along with a control group receiving placebo. Then the CBD was abruptly stopped, and the investigators assessed withdrawal symptoms using several comprehensive oral and written tests. No effects were seen in either the placebo group or the CBD cohort. 

What is meant by withdrawal symptoms? Well, if you take opiates for several days (2 to 6 days is all that’s needed), you’ll experience withdrawal. The symptoms are craving the med, body aches, and hot/cold flashes. No wonder so many kids get hooked after being prescribed Oxy for a tooth extraction or sports injury.

Alcohol is another addictive drug. Heavy drinkers who suddenly stop drinking will experience a severe and potentially fatal withdrawal syndrome known as the delirium tremens (or DTs).

Even coffee is addictive, with withdrawal effects seen in 24 h for continual users. Many of you have felt these effects: lethargy and headache.

Now we have solid data that super high doses of CBD don’t produce withdrawal, even after a month of dosing. This is in line with the fact that CBD is not considered “psychoactive” and does not produce a high when ingested. 

Good news indeed.

Now compare CBD with the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs Xanax and Valium. Both of those drugs are addictive and have withdrawal symptoms similar to alcohol. Many folks take CBD for anxiety. Now they can rest easy knowing that they won’t face the (potentially) fatal side effects seen with the other meds if they stop consuming CBD.

CBD is not addictive.

On another note, notice the large doses of CBD used in the study: 1500 mg per day. That’s the dose for refractory epilepsy. This is way more than I take, and I’m sure much more than most people. No serious side effects were seen in the study. We thus have robust safety data for one month, at a very high dose. So, this one-month study demonstrates that CBD is very safe at low doses for at least a month. 

Finally: some real data that educated consumers can use.

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