As cannabis becomes legalized for recreational use in more and more parts of the world, cannabis use disorders have risen too. Though many argue that cannabis isn’t addictive, heavy users can experience withdrawal symptoms that are regular enough to have earned the name Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome. These symptoms include anxiety and increased heart rate, and until recently, CWS has only been treated psychologically. New studies done on cannabinoids have yielded interesting results, and CBD hemp oil might be the newest treatment for cannabis withdrawal.
What is Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome?
Despite Public Opinion, Cannabis is Addictive
Before we get into the specifics of cannabis addiction, let’s state what addiction really is: a brain disease that manifests by constantly using a substance (or doing something) despite harmful consequences. Addiction doesn’t have to be segregated to just known “harmful” substances like alcohol and cocaine. People can become addicted to caffeine, sugar, and behaviors. The biggest mark of an addiction is when someone needs more of their “drug” to continue feeling the effects. Quitting any addiction has both psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, and cannabis is no exception.
Several studies have shown that when a person stops long-term consistent cannabis use, they tend to have the same physical withdrawal symptoms. The typical symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome are:
- decreased appetite,
- depressed mood,
- sleep difficulty,
- and at least one physical symptom
- (stomach pain, tremors, sweating, fever, chills, headaches).
If three or more of these symptoms develop within a week after stopping cannabis use, congratulations, you have CWS. That’s the bad news. The good news is that researchers are finding new treatments for CWS every year.
Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome and the Body
The chronic, heavy use of cannabis has an effect on our body’s naturally produced cannabinoids — our body starts preferring smoking to making its own. This results in a desensitization and downregulation of our CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors, meaning the low level of cannabinoid proteins our body produces aren’t satisfying the brain. As a result, the brain starts making less cannabinoids, which leads the addict to smoke more to satisfy the needs of the endocannabinoid system. Luckily, the levels of natural cannabinoids return to normal two days after quitting the use of cannabis, and they are functioning normally in about four weeks.
CWS symptoms vary in severity from person to person, though scientists have discovered a regular list. The symptoms are based on the amount of cannabis used before quitting, gender, and environmental factors. Women report more physical symptoms than men, including nausea and stomach pain. Generally CWS can be treated in an outpatient facility, but if the person has mental or somatic disorders or severe Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), an inpatient treatment program may be recommended.
CBD Hemp Oil for CWS?
CBD Hemp Oil
Treating CWS with cannabidiol oil may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s a viable option. The reason that CBD hemp oil may help users quit smoking cannabis goes back to the reason people are using in the first place. Some people use marijuana as medicine (to relieve pain), for the effects of THC, to relax, and to go to sleep. However, the problem with street-level cannabis is the increase in THC, which results in an increase in cannabis withdrawal symptoms when the user stops. Even with legalizing marijuana, there is no official regulation of how much THC can be in a product. Purchasing from a legal dispensary still means you can get cannabis with varying levels of THC. If the user is looking for the positive effects of cannabis and not the mind-altering effects, CBD is a great alternative for marijuana use. Researchers have proven that CBD can help treat cannabis withdrawal syndrome, but how?
CBD hemp oil is like the cannabis without the “high.” It can be purchased in any state or online safely. CBD comes from industrial hemp, another type of cannabis plant, and CBD hemp oil contains 0.3 percent of THC. By law, that’s the most THC hemp products can contain. Cannabidiol can help with appetite, sleep disorders, and relieving pain, but it doesn’t get the user high. CBD hemp oil specifically works to boost your body’s endocannabinoid system, working against desensitization and downregulation. It helps your body repair the damage done by prolonged cannabis use by being a temporary supplement, just like you would take a B12 supplement when your body isn’t naturally producing enough B vitamins.
How to Use CBD Hemp Oil to Relieve CWS
There are many different options for taking CBD hemp oil for CWS, and it can even be useful if you want to gradually wean yourself off of marijuana for whatever reason. The most common methods are: vaping, tincture, capsule, and edibles.
How to Pick a Method
Choosing to vape your CBD hemp oil is a perfect solution if you are also trying to quit smoking cigarettes. For vaping, you heat the oil and then inhale it with a vape pen, electronic cigarette, or vaporizer. The effects of vaping wear off quickly, however, so you will have to perform this method more often. A tincture is concentrated CBD and it is the simplest and most direct method. For this method, you use a dropper to place a few drops under your tongue. If you already take supplements and vitamins in the morning, slipping in a CBD hemp capsule could be the least disruptive method. And last, if you’re a foodie, adding CBD hemp oil to your meals can be the easiest way to remember to use it. You can add the oil to baked goods (an excuse to have brownies every day) or use it on salad as a dressing.
The best part of using CBD hemp oil to ease Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome is that pure CBD oil without any THC component is completely legal and can be purchased just like other adult products. Adding to your daily routine as an alternative to smoking cannabis can give you all the medical benefits of cannabis you need without any of the withdrawal symptoms.