While current scientific evidence suggests that heavy cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence in some people, CBD by itself does not appear to be addictive. However, research into the long-term effects of CBD usage is still in its early stages.
Researchers, healthcare professionals, and academics continue to explore the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid and one of
Unlike its counterpart, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. However, people may wonder whether CBD is addictive.
In this article, we discuss what the research says about the addictive potential of CBD.
CBD, by itself, does not appear to have addiction-related effects. This may be because CBD does not produce intoxicating effects.
According to a 2017 Pre-Review Report, the
The results of a small
CBD also performed similarly to a placebo on self-reported feelings of intoxication. Conversely, the THC group reported feeling euphoric and sedated.
Not only is CBD not addictive, but it may even help treat drug addiction.
The authors of a
CBD does not create the ‘high’ effects that many people associate with cannabis use and may help treat a wide range of medical conditions.
CBD is a widely researched alternative treatment for epileptic seizures.
Reduces epileptic seizures
In a 2018 clinical trial, 72 children and 60 adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy received 5–50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) of CBD daily.
The researchers reported that two-thirds of the participants experienced at least a 25% reduction in seizure frequency while receiving CBD treatment.
In 2018, the
The FDA cites clinical evidence suggesting people with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes taking Epidiolex alongside other seizure medications
Learn more about CBD for seizures here.
Might reduce anxiety
CBD might also help reduce anxiety. However, current research shows conflicting evidence, and researchers need to conduct additional high-quality controlled trials to verify these findings.
Those who took a 300 mg dose of CBD saw significantly reduced social anxiety scores before, during, and after public speaking. Anxiety levels remained high in those who took the 100 and 900 mg CBD dose. Clonazepam reduced blood pressure or heart rate, but CBD had no physical effects.
Learn more about CBD for anxiety here.
Relieves chronic pain
The researchers also stated that CBD use was not associated with significant side effects. In fact, participants reported improvements in sleep and appetite.
The authors of one 2020 review state that cannabis-based treatments may offer a potential alternative to opioid-based pain medication.
However, the authors draw attention to the fact that most studies use a combination of THC and CBD. As a result, assessing the pain management benefits of CBD alone can be challenging.
Learn more about CBD and pain here.
Other effects of CBD
Other potential effects of CBD that have only been demonstrated in animals and require further investigation include:
- reducing inflammation
- regulating the immune system
- suppressing nausea
- inhibiting cancer
Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved pure CBD product. Despite this, the
- loss of appetite
- liver injury
- fertility problems
- interactions with prescription medications, alcohol, and illicit drugs
While CBD does carry some risk for adverse side effects, the authors of one
While chronic cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence, CBD alone does not appear to have the potential for addiction or abuse.
Preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may help treat substance use disorder.
Research is still ongoing. However, studies suggest that CBD is an effective treatment for rare, severe forms of childhood epilepsy. Current evidence also suggests CBD may help reduce anxiety and chronic pain.
Researchers need to carry out large-scale, high-quality clinical trials to thoroughly investigate the potential medical applications of CBD.