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CBD – Is It Addictive?

The popularity of CBD (cannabidiol) has been on a steady increase for a few years now. Its spotlight shone even brighter with the rise of different CBD infused products – from gummies, oil, to even chocolates; the possibilities are virtually endless for the CBD market. It’s very easy to just mindlessly munch on a handful of CBD snacks, which raises the concern of “Is CBD addictive?”

What is CBD?

To properly answer the question “Is CBD addictive?” we need to define what CBD is in the first place. CBD, also known as cannabidiolum or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is a term that is closely associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound found in cannabis. However, the two compounds are not the same and have very different effects when consumed. The main difference is that THC has psychoactive properties, while CBD does not.

The fact that CBD and THC can be derived from the same plant is often a source of confusion for a lot of people. This is probably why there is a lot of controversy revolving around the commercialized use of CBD. They tend to think that one term is interchangeable with the other, which is largely inaccurate. As mentioned above, CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that people associate with cannabis or marijuana usage, therefore it will not cause the user to become high nor will it alter their physical or psychological state the same way THC does.

CBD lends great use to a wide variety of ailments. Some benefits reported are seizure suppression and anti-inflammation. It can even contribute to reducing symptoms of chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, and anxiety, as well as help with problems in acne, sleeping, and appetite. Additionally, CBD use has been linked to aiding recovering people who are trying to wean off of heavier substances such as cocaine, alcohol, and heroin, among others.

Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD

There is a wide variety of cannabis plants, two of which are popular sources for CBD extraction: marijuana and hemp. And no, those two are not the same thing. Much like CBD and THC, people also tend to confuse marijuana and hemp with each other.

Marijuana, which is widely used for recreational purposes, contains THC and can cause that euphoric high feeling that a lot of people go after. Hemp, on the other hand, has little to no THC, so it does not cause any highs. Most hemp-derived CBD contains no trace of THC, largely because the hemp is usually cultivated solely for CBD extraction.

Since marijuana is typically grown and cultivated for its psychoactive or intoxicating properties, they tend to amp up the THC content of the plant. Because of this, the resulting CBD derived from it will contain a higher amount of THC, especially when compared to hemp-derived CBD. The CBD extracted from marijuana will usually have a greater percentage of THC than what is legally allowed in most locations (0.3%).

Truth be told, the high amount of THC in certain CBD products does open itself to a higher possibility of marijuana addiction. Add that to the fact that the body can build an eventual tolerance to excessive THC consumption, which will inevitably result in a larger intake. Sudden withdrawal from THC can cause a number of side effects such as anxiety, inflammation, sleep difficulties, and problems with appetite.

Most people seeking CBD products are not aiming to experience the high, but rather are seeking the health benefits that come with it. And since THC-laced CBD comes with a bunch of complications, hemp is the one used most often for CBD extraction as opposed to marijuana, since it does not have the same liabilities and setbacks that come with marijuana-derived CBD.

However, this does not mean that CBD products with THC should be avoided at all costs. The high experienced from THC combined with the therapeutic effects of CBD can actually create what is called the entourage effect, which means that the benefit experienced by the user is enhanced. Deciding to consume CBD with THC is a case to case scenario that is largely dependent on the individual’s predisposition and perceived control.

Is CBD Addictive?

After we’ve established the definition of CBD, as well as the differences between CBD and THC, and marijuana and hemp, we can finally address this pressing question: is CBD addictive?

The short answer is no. CBD in itself, and on its own, is not addictive, nor does it have the ability or composition to be addictive. In fact, it does what is essentially the opposite of what THC does to the body, molecularly speaking.

CBD has what can be called as anti-addictive properties, which is why it is even used to treat people who are trying to recover from heavier substance use and abuse. According to some experts, CBD is a great alternative for those who try to avoid engaging with addictive substances, since it does not have dependence or tolerance factors. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) deems CBD as a non-addictive substance with no withdrawal symptoms.

The long answer is that not all CBD products are created the same. It is important for consumers to read the label, and preferably even research the company from which they are purchasing their products from. Some, as mentioned before, may contain trace or large amounts of THC. People might get blindsided by the feeling of euphoria they get after consuming or using a CBD product without realizing that it was laced with THC. Other products may even be falsely marketed as CBD merchandise, while being just a CBD-inspired or hemp product. Remember that there are distinctions to be made among these products, so it is vital to know what the contents of the items are before usage.

All in all, CBD physically cannot be addictive. Taking all of this into consideration, it is still important to moderate the use of CBD products. Despite not having any physical evidence of CBD dependence or addiction, a person might still get psychologically dependent on the calming effects of CBD. And although it is not entirely a bad thing, it is still vital to maintain a good balance between the mind and body.


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