Addiction to alcohol, opiates and sleeping pills.
Over the past hundred years, the use of cannabis products during rehab for those addicted to alcohol, opiates, or sleeping pills has been frequently discussed. Recently, the positive effects of using cannabinoids for opioid withdrawal symptoms have been confirmed in animals. However, it must be acknowledged that drug addiction is a disease that primarily requires proper medical and psychological care. Cannabis can only provide additional relief from therapy.
The role of CBD in addiction treatment.
CBD does not induce euphoria, and moreover, it abolishes the psychotic effects that THC is responsible for in cannabis. Cannabidiol is increasingly used in the treatment of various addictions, including black market marijuana with very high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD reduces anxiety, depressive symptoms, improves and stabilizes mood. With its anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties, it helps addicts alleviate symptoms of withdrawal syndrome. Moreover, cannabidiol affects the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, which is responsible for serotonin metabolism. Being a natural inhibitor of the mentioned receptors, it increases the concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body similarly to popular antidepressants.
The role of CBD in the context of opioid addiction is worth mentioning. Opioids such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl, sufentanyletc. are substances used in medicine to treat pain. Through their mechanism of action, they lead to the development of physical dependence, psychological dependence and tolerance. Their use is also associated with the occurrence of unpleasant side effects. Oncology patients are the most vulnerable group. By introducing medical marijuana, which inhibits pain sensation, into therapy, opioid doses can be reduced.
CBD may also be helpful in recovery from alcoholism. For now, research has been conducted on animals (2019). It has been proven that cannabidiol reduces the overall amount of alcohol consumed, reduces the motivation to drink in addicted animals, and leads to a reduction in anxiety and aggression. Additionally, the substance reduced liver steatosis and brain damage caused by ethanol abuse.
In 1970, a report was published by California psychiatrist Dr. Tod Mikuriya on the treatment of a 49-year-old alcoholic patient. Her doctor noticed that she drank less alcohol when she smoked cannabis. So he decided to encourage the patient to use cannabis when she felt the urge to drink. Together, they tried to find the right dosage to stop her alcohol use on the one hand and to encourage her to gradually return to her former living environment on the other.“After five months of treatment with marijuana as a substitute, the patient’s condition improved and she was able to go out again to public places where she had previously been drinking excessively and systematically fell into a hellish circle of addiction. Now, instead of drinking, she smokes marijuana to keep her willpower under control. At the same time, her physical condition has improved. She is also less irritable and believes that her ability to think and concentrate has improved “(T. Mikuriya, 1970).
A25-year-old man with spasmodic paralysis caused by an accident that damaged his motor nerves said that with the help of a doctor and cannabis, he was able to overcome his addiction to tetrazepam, a drug prescribed to combat spasticity. He now uses only cannabis and adds that it is the best solution for him.
Another testimony from a 45-year-old man about the effects of cannabis: “In January 1986, I tried to stop drinking alcohol for the third time. I was hallucinating and decided to try to manage the disease myself this time. When the convulsions started, I smoked hashish, which had a soothing effect. The same was true for the increasing anxiety, the fears and the spasms. It was thanks to the hashish that I was able to recover relatively quickly. After about a week I felt well enough to leave my bed and get back on my feet. Since then I have never drunk a drop of alcohol.”