CBD: What Is It Good For? (Addiction)

Happy Friday!! And what a glorious Friday it is. We are all looking forward to the first really great weekend back up on the rocks/mountains. The weather forecast is stellar. The general overall vibe is starting to lighten up and this summer is shaping up to be a summer of legendary proportions. We have all been up against it in one way or another for the past 2 years and this is our summer to cut loose. So hold on tight because here it comes.

Legalization Follies

Last week we were talking about the problems facing the blanket legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. We talked about the path to legalization and mentioned that Europe is starting to move forward on legalization and that the US should do the same. Europe is going to be looking to the US for its cannabis supplies and expertise and the US will need to legalize cannabis at the federal level.

Currently the Senate is looking to pass the SAFE Banking act. The act finally gives the cannabis business access to banking. Its not nearly enough but its a start. The irony is that they are going to sneak it into a much larger bill designed to increase American competitiveness. If they really cared about increasing American competitiveness on a global scale they would legalize cannabis at the federal level.

Federal legalization would quite literally make the US a global powerhouse in the cannabis  industry. Cannabis is already the 5th most profitable crop in the US and it has not even reached commodity status. Federal legalization would be a major both globally and domestically. But I digress.

Addiction And Dependence

As we talked about over the last two weeks, there are many reasons why people still oppose the legalization of cannabis. For our money those who are opposed need to suck it up and take one for the team. This is bigger than their fear and loathing of a plant.

The fear and the loathing come from the fact that cannabis is still considered to be a dangerous drug and the perception that it brings the problems of other dangerous drugs. Addiction, teenage drug use and abuse, crime etc. Most of this is overblown but there is an element of truth. Particularly in regard to addiction.

Cannabis is not physically addictive like heroin, cocaine, meth, opiates and the like. It is however psychologically addicting and can become habit forming. We all know the stoners from high school and college who gave cannabis a bad name. Stoned all the time, totally irresponsible and completely incapable of getting their crap together.

We would not necessarily say that such people are addicts but they are definitely heavily dependent on cannabis and there will be some psychological and emotional fallout when they quit.

The Problem Is The Solution

So yes, we can all openly acknowledge and admit that cannabis can be habit forming. The good news is that nature is super clever and efficient. On the one side you have Delta 9 THC as a cannabinoid that has psychotropic effects and can cause dependency which is less than optimal. But on the other side you have CBD as a cannabinoid which is non-psychotropic and actually works to reduce addictive cravings and behavior. Two cannabinoids from the same plant that work together in multiple ways.

They can compliment each other when used in medical treatment, THC acting psycho-tropically to reduce pain and depression caused by pain. CBD working to reduce the swelling and inflammation that cause the pain and to reduce the anxiety caused by being unwell. They work in tandem to help the body achieve the desired effect.

Alternatively CBD works to reduce the craving for THC. So once THC no longer has a place in the users life CBD can help the craving pass. Even in the case of heavy THC dependence CBD has proven to be a very effective recovery tool.

How Does It Work?

The first step with CBD is that it works to reduce anxiety and increase your internal coping mechanism. Anxiety and stress are major factors that contribute to addictive behavior relapse. The reduction of anxiety is a no brainer. If you are not stressed you are far less likely to relapse into addictive patterns of behavior. The increased ability to cope however is unique. This abiliyt is best described in the following way. CBD is not some kind of miracle cure that makes all of your stress and problems go away. Quite the opposite. The problems are still there  and you can still see them quite clearly. The difference is that they are at arms length. They can be observed and dealt with from a distance, with perspective and understanding. They are no longer overwhelming and right up in your face.

Happily CBD has the same effect on your addictive cravings. For my own personal story, it was CBD that helped me to finally quit smoking cigarettes. The craving for cigarettes was still there but thanks to the CBD the craving was not overwhelming. I was able to observe it from a safe distance which in turn gave me time to think about the consequences of lighting up. The end result was that I consistently ended up choosing not to light up until suddenly I no longer felt the urge to smoke. At all. Ever. And that state has lasted to this day.

Full Disclosure

Now we are not saying that CBD cures addiction and I am definitely not saying that CBD will help you quit smoking, I am only sharing my personal experience. It has however been shown that CBD does work to help reduce craving and addictive behavior. You can read more about that here and here. The second article actually discusses that not only does CBD work to reduce the anxiety and stress that lead to relapse it apparently also goes to work on the actual brain circuitry that effects addictive behavior. This is an unexpected neuropharmacological bonus in addition to CBDs behavioral effect.

So thats all for this week. Its time to get out there and start enjoying the heck out of this weekend. Don’t forget to pop by the new and improved shop to stock up on your favorite Cali Craft products and have a great weekend.